Our current behavior has consequences in the future. One interesting way to think of this is to think of a present you and a future you. For example:
- The present me loves to stay up late, but the future me pays for it dearly when the alarm goes off the next morning.
- The present me likes to eat too much, but the future me pays for it later with poor health.
- The present me would like to spend everything I make – and then some – but this would cause the future me to live in poverty when I could no longer work.
Numerous studies have shown that those who feel a close connection with their future selves make better choices in the present, both financially and in other areas. All of us ignore our future selves at times but the more we can consider them in our decisions the better off we will be. If you currently tend to ignore your future self, what can you do to establish a connection?
In my last post I wrote that setting goals is the best way to get to know your future self. FutureMe.org is an interesting tool to make commitments to your future self to accomplish these goals.
Simply go to www.futureme.org and write a letter to the future you. You can pick what date in the future you want to have the letter emailed to you. It is easy, fast, and free. The website will suggest a $3 donation but it is not required.
I just wrote two letters to my future self. In one of them I committed to some physical goals in the areas of exercise, eating and sleep. In the other I committed to having a specific amount of money in an emergency fund. Both will be emailed to me a year from today.
This is a fun way to begin to establish a stronger connection with your future self and to make some commitments that will make your life better in the future. I recommend you give it a try.