21 Days of Willpower Tips, Day 2. Future Self Continuity.
***Before you start this exercise, identify ONE willpower challenge that you want to think about these tips in relation to. Keep this focus for the duration of the 21 Days. Splitting your focus is not really even giving yourself the chance of success. Pick something you’re really sure you actually want.***
Don’t be put off that there are multiple steps involved in this tip. It’s not too strenuous.
1. Scoot over to this article. and look at the top of the page labelled p.34. It will open as a pdf. You’ll see a series of overlapping circles. These represent your sense of continuity between your current self and your future self. How much does your future self feel like the same you? Before you continue on, choose which one of the pictures best represents your sense of future self continuity.
2. Next, head over to futureme.org and compose a a quick email to future self. You might pick a date 10 years from now. You can pick whatever time period you want. Write a thank you email from your future self to your current self to thank your current self for putting in the hard yards to achieve your willpower goal. Write about the most positive outcome of realizing your wish (e.g., “greater wellbeing”) and events and experiences your future self has experienced associated with this positive outcome. Use your imagination. Don’t read Step 3 until you’ve set the email to send.
3. Go back to Step 1 and do the circle exercise again. Did writing the email increase your sense of future self continuity? Hopefully it did. Studies have shown that when people have a greater sense of future self continuty, the more they make decisions that benefit their future self. Here’s a study showing this related saving money – article.
Credit: This tip is heavily inspired from this book
which I love and is well worth purchasing.