Who can even think about the future when you’re constantly putting out fires right now?!
Most of us are so busy with the urgent that we never get to the important.
The problem with this?
When we have no idea what we want in the future, we can’t possibly make it our reality!
We all but guarantee we get more of the same.
It’s time to be intentional and this week’s podcast episode will teach you how to do exactly that.
You can listen to the episode here…
Or keep reading the post below:
Even though it feels like we make decisions automatically, everything you do has a purpose even if you’re not aware of it.
Most of us are driven by the short-term, immediate gratification type goals that are disconnected from the long term repercussions of those decisions.
So what does that all really mean?
Dr. Benjamin Hardy, author of Be Your Future Self Now, says that most people make decisions (or set goals) based on the immediate battles you face and don’t have the innate capacity to think about your future self and her goals.
He says, the quality of connection you have with your future self determines the quality of your life and behaviors now.
With that in mind, what you really want to do is start with what you want, and then work backwards from there.
Envisioning a Different Future
When you do think about your future self, it’s likely that not only is the goal vague, but the path to getting there is just as unplanned.
What would happen, though, if you fully committed to the person you want to be years from now?
How would having that clear goal impact the decisions you make today?
For example, you may say that in the next five years, you want to lose 100 pounds and run a triathlon.
When you think about that goal through the lens of everything you have to do now to get there, it can feel overwhelming and maybe even painful.
But if you start to think about how those things you have to do now will benefit your future self, and look at the goal through that lens, the idea of not making progress becomes more painful than the changes needed to get there.
Make sure you look out for these threats to your future self:
Threats to Your Future Self
1. Without hope in the future, the present loses meaning
The future dictates the decisions that you make and you can’t be motivated if you don’t have hope. If everything feels difficult and like you’ve tried it before and failed, why should you believe that this time will be different?
Dr. Hardy says that you have to commit to the goal, but not to a specific process. The goal doesn’t have to change, but the way you’re going about reaching it does.
2. A reactive narrative about your past stunts your future
When you’re reactive, he says you feel like a victim, but that what happened to you doesn’t matter as much as the story you decided to tell yourself about what happened.
No matter the memory or experience, you can choose to reframe it with a different perspective that better serves your future self.
3. Being unaware of your environment creates a random evolution
Dr. Hardy refers to this as Pygmalion effect, where performance and results are often based on the expectations of those around us coupled with the mere-exposure effect, which states that people prefer things that they’ve been repeatedly exposed to and not necessarily because they like those things.
So in terms of becoming your future self, he talks about how if you want a bigger and better future, you need to expose yourself to different perspectives and more evolved people.
4. Being disconnected from your future self leads to myopic decisions
In order to make the best decisions for your future self, you need to see her as a different person and as a friend who you love.
The connection to your future self is what will help you become her.
5. Urgent battles and small goals keep us stuck
There will always be something short term vying for your attention, but in order to support your future self, you have to shift your focus from the small things to the big things that really make an impact.
6. Not being in the arena is failing by default
It takes courage to get into the arena, because once you’re there, it’s inevitable that you’re going to fail and, although painful in the moment, this is exactly how you learn and adapt.
Dr. Hardy encourages you to get advice from people who have experience with the battles you’re facing and he also warns against taking advice from people who aren’t in the arena with you.
This is something coaching can help you with immensely. We get in the arena with you and help you find solutions to those things that feel painful in the moment.
7. Success is often the catalyst for failure
When you are working towards your goals, you have a subconscious baseline where you’re comfortable and when you start to see successes, you subconsciously self-sabotage back to that baseline.
In order to safeguard against this, each time you reach a certain milestone, you need to reassess how you are going to reach your ultimate goal and maintain progress towards it.
Truths About Your Future Self
1. Your future drives your present
All human behavior is goal or future driven so the goal determines the process and that can create the constraints that help guide us.
2. Your future self is different than you expect.
If you are unhappy with your current self remember that where you are right now is temporary. You have the capacity to change and grow despite feeling like you’ll always be the person you are now.
3. Your future self is the pied piper
Everything you do has a consequence, good or bad, and your future self is an exaggerated result of the decisions you’re currently making.
Dr. Hardy says that you can’t escape your future self and you can’t not pay the pay the price to get there. The question is, will you pay now in daily, small, consistent ways or try to pay it all in the future and not actually get the results you wanted?
4. The more vivid and detailed your future self, the faster you’ll progress
In order to become your future self, you need to have measurable metrics, a vivid vision, and clear mile markers along the way.
This is something we do in our membership option called the Club, we have Club Quests, which are long-term behavior based consistency challenges. We know that when you focus on the behaviors, you will get to that future faster. To learn more about working with us, check out www.estheravant.com/gfg
5. Failing as your future self is greater than succeeding as your current self
On the way to becoming your future self, you have to allow yourself to be in positions where you might fail.
If you don’t put yourself in difficult positions where you’re forced to adapt, then you will never learn how to handle those situations once you do reach your ultimate goal.
6. Success is achieved by being true to your future self and nothing else
Your success should only be measured by whether or not you are living in alignment with your vision for your life.
No matter what that looks like, no matter how unconventional it might be, or how many people don’t understand it, success is you living up to your dreams.
Steps for Becoming Your Future Self
1. Clarify your purpose
Define the most important things for you to be working on right now and then pick your top three priorities.
2. Eliminate lesser goals
Identify the things that are standing in the way of you working towards your top three priorities and work to eliminate those things.
3. Elevate from needing to wanting to knowing
This is the process that takes you from thinking that you need to do something in order to be fulfilled to realizing that maybe it’s not a need but it is still a want to ultimately deciding that you know you can do or become whatever it is you thought you needed.
4. Ask for exactly what you want
This can be a difficult step for a lot of women, but it’s so important to make your needs and wants heard by asking for the support that you need.
5. Automate and systemize your future self
Make the routines that you want to create as frictionless as possible, and then add friction (or roadblocks), where you want to avoid things.
6. Schedule your future self
Your schedule reflects your priorities and your commitment so you need to take ownership of your schedule and prioritize what matters most.
7. Aggressively complete imperfect work
You need to know when to stick with something and when to quit. You shouldn’t just stick with something because your former self invested in it.
My Challenge to You
Now that you have all of this information about how to become your future self now, I would like to challenge you to sit down and write a letter from your future self to your current self.
Really paint a vivid picture of the life your future self is living and go out and start making the decisions that will help you get there.