When it comes to money, we all make irrational decisions. That’s why many people struggle to stick with their written budgets, and constantly look for tips and tricks to spend their money in clever ways. However, no matter how many “hacks” you learn about managing money, you’ll never be financially successful if you don’t develop self-control. You must stay disciplined consistently, otherwise you’ll be more likely to make poor decisions with your money.
One of the best and most effective ways to skyrocket your self-control is to start dreaming about your future–to start emotionally connecting yourself to it.
Picture the life you want to live down the road and let that inspire you to take better money decisions in the present. As the popular advice of financial expert Dave Ramsey goes, start living like no one else, so that later you can live and give like no one else.
Yes, there will be times when you might find eating out with friends or taking a shopping trip for “retail therapy” to the nearby mall incredibly tempting. After all, the future is so distant and you still have a long way to go; a tiny indulgence won’t impact your financial life that much. Right? Actually, it will. Every tiny decision you take today, every action you perform in the present is going to impact your future, for better or for worse. You have to fight the temptation and not give in to it.
To help you do that, UCLA’s Hal Hershfield suggests developing and cementing an emotional connection by imagining a conversation or writing a letter to your future self. Alternatively, you can visualize an “older you” expressing gratitude and appreciating the benefits of taking good decisions in your former years — taking it easy and enjoying a comfortable and convenient life thanks to all your early investments and sacrifices.
The surefire way to ignite your passion and intensity towards your financial goals is to see your dreams in 4K definition. The more detailed, the better. Think about how you would like your life to be 30 years from now — April 23, 2051 to be precise! Create a compelling, crystal-clear vision for yourself, and let it fuel your efforts today.
As a wise person once said, “Every action you take is a seed you sow, and every seed you sow is a harvest you’ll reap. You’ll never change your life until you change your choices.”
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