Stanford psychologist, researcher, lecturer and New York Times best-selling author, Kelly McGonigal, believes that the connection strength between you and your future self is the key to success. Plain and simple.
According to studies, the closer you feel to the person you want to become and their achievements, the more likely you are to make real changes and behave in a way that move you towards your goals.
Most of us tho, feel so (SO!) far away from achieving what we want in life that we end up not acting the way it would benefit us the most in order to become our dream selves. We do that because we see that person as a total stranger and that’s our biggest mistake.
The day you can actually understand that your future self and you (right now as you are) are the same person, is the day you’ll start to make meaningful and lasting changes. Consequently after that moment, all of the sudden, you’ll see yourself stepping closer and closer to everything you ever wanted.
Amongst many of Kelly’s techniques that helps you visualise and truly connect to your future self, here are my favourite two:
1. Write a letter from your future self to your present self about who you are, what you’re doing, where you’re living and what you care about.
The letter can be as general or as specific as you like. Perhaps you may thank yourself for overcoming your biggest challenge of the present moment (an addiction/ your poor time management/ weight loss difficulties / family issues etc.) and describe what it was you did and why it mattered.
Research has proven that letters like such will actually give you more willpower overall.
2. Send yourself “Back to the Future.”
This is the exercise of imagining yourself in the future. It doesn't necessarily has to be a goal related exercise. It could be a simple grocery shopping imagination.
According to Kelly " That’s something about making the future real that gives us more willpower independent of the content what you’re thinking about."
You can also imagine, vividly, about either a good or a bad future reality to understand how it’s going to feel like ten years from now wether you do or don’t make certain change. This exercise has shown to be very powerful and can serve as a motivation tool for making the changes you need.