Recently, I read an article that was about making decisions for your future self. The article was more or less describing the process and science behind impulsive decisions and means to making effective health changes began with identifying our future self.
The article stresses the importance of our daily choices affecting our long-term goals being difficult for some because of our lack of knowing our future selves. We decide to eat the donut in the office versus having the apple or opting out because we want instant gratification, this stems from being aware of our wants at the moment while being disconnected from our long-term wants and needs.
The simplest way that I could break this down would be if ever I drink too much before I head off to bed I actively decide to drink a glass or two of water, knowing that in the morning it will help against dehydration and a possible hangover. At that moment I am thinking of my future self, and ultimately making a better decision for my future self because I know the outcome of the situation. Does that make sense?
The act of visualization is a really powerful tool and one that can take our rudimentary goals and turn them into well-accomplished achievements.
In a way, the reason we do not end up keeping resolutions or goals for health or fitness or really anything; is due to not knowing our future selves. By thinking about your future self as an extension of your current self, we are able to consciously make decisions that will benefit our future self.
The article noted that brides are often the best at visualizing their future selves and focusing on their goals by visualizing the way they want to look and feel during and after their wedding. They often are more likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle, make smarter food decisions, and even prepare mentally for the long haul better than most people, but I wonder what that would look like if we took that concept and just applied it to all other areas in our lives.
Without sounding too “The Secret,” the act of visualization is a really powerful tool and one that can take our rudimentary goals and turn them into well-accomplished achievements. So maybe next time you are considering the donut at work opt for the apple, or when deciding between vegging out on your phone for an hour, opt for reading a book. Take a moment to conjure thoughts of your future self (even your tomorrow morning self), imagine how you want to feel, how you think, how your future self dresses, eats, lives, and then in every decision consider that person—that person is you.
Whether it is living a healthier lifestyle or starting your own business, envisioning yourself already in that space constantly, will help you make decisions to take you to that next step in the process.
What do you think? Is this something that you would consider trying out?
I know for myself, I find it difficult to stick to long-term plans. Not so much where I have no longevity, but I am easily distracted and always up for the next fun endeavor, so sticking to long-term goals can sometimes be a challenge; but I think I am going to try it out. Maybe over the course of the month of March, I will envision how I want to be in April, and see if I can stick with the small decisions every step of the way.
Will you join me?