One of the big problems with setting goals is that we’re really bad at imagining our future self.
Remember what you imagined you’d be as an adult when you were a kid? I’m guessing there are some gaps between that dream and your current reality.
In the same way, there will be gaps between your current reality and your future self. And that’s partially because when we talk about goals, we’re often talking about long time frames. Consider retirement, for example. That could be upwards of 20 or 30 years from now. You can’t even imagine yourself at that age, let alone plan for it. That’s your parents, not you!
When we start talking about our distant future self, it’s easy to rationalize the decision to not do anything. Something 30 years down the road sounds an awful lot like something that can be started tomorrow.
In fact, our future self can often feel like some other annoying person constantly stealing heaps of fun from our current self.
And yet, while our future self may feel like a big old pain in the neck, it's important to realize that appeasing that person is still very much in our best interest.
You may feel like you’re still 30, but if you just celebrated (or mourned) turning 40, it’s time to get real. Our future self will be here faster than we think. Remember all the stupid stuff you did as a teenager? Don’t continue doing the same stupid stuff as an adult.