change Jan 04, 2021

When you're trying to achieve a new goal or become a different, better version of yourself, it can be challenging to create the kind of momentum that you need to actually achieve it. Today, we'll talk about embodying your future self today — why it works, as well as practices to help you do it.

Why bother?

First off, it's worth asking why we bother focus on embodying your future self rather than taking a different approach to achieving a goal. Let's look at the alternative, which is staying the same version of you and trying to keep up with tracking all of the new habits that this "better" version of you has. Maybe that's exercise, journaling, meditation, checking in with loved ones, or any other desired behaviors. If you stay the same version of yourself, then that's just a lot of work and a lot to track. Envisioning yourself as someone who just naturally does these things — and then accepting that you already are that person — is the way to speed up the process.

Focus on who you are, not on what you want to get

Focusing on the wanting of something reminds you that you don't have it yet, and it also makes your happiness contingent on you getting that thing. Instead, focus on the identity that you desire for yourself. What do you want to feel like? Come up with the top 5 emotions you know you'll feel as this next level version of yourself, and come up with creative ways to feel that way right now. Don't fall into the trap of thinking happiness depends on a situation. You can feel happy right now, simply by associating into a happy memory and really letting yourself feel it in your body. The same thing can be done with any emotion or state that you desire. Practice feeling it, and let your body get used to it.

Visualize it

The next step is to get really clear on what this new version of you is like, and to really let yourself see it and feel it. What are their days like? Or perhaps I should say, what are your days like as this version of you? Close your eyes and sink down into your body, placing yourself into that reality. What do you see? What do you feel? What do you hear? Get all the details. What are you wearing? What are you doing? Who are you with? Where are you? This is a great practice to revisit regularly, even if only for a few minutes. Practice checking in on the future/ideal version of you as part of a morning routine, and see how it affects your mood over the rest of the day.

Write it down

You could also try one of my favorite journaling practices, which is called scripting. In this style of journaling, you'll write about a day in the life of your ideal/future self. The trick, however, is that you'll write it as if it's end of that day and you are reflecting back on all of the good things that have happened that day. "I woke up at 7 am this morning to a beautiful sunrise. I drank my tea on the balcony looking out at the sea..." You can do this for a day 10 years in the future, or you can write it in the morning for the day that you're hoping (or expecting) to have today. 

Work with a pro

For my last tip of the day, I highly recommend working with a practitioner of NLP (neurolinguistic programming) or hypnotherapy. While these modalities sometimes have misconceptions attached to them, I can tell you from having experienced both of them that there was nothing controlling, scary, or questionable about them. I have experienced powerful shifts in my mindset, beliefs, and emotions from both of them, and I have seen the same happen with clients I've worked with. They are incredibly powerful tools for cementing that vision of your ideal self, installing a goal in your future timeline, eradicating any limiting beliefs standing in the way, and even in making habits easier and more natural to adopt. I can't say enough about either of them, so I'll just highly recommend that if you have someone in mind to work with in these modalities, it's definitely worth checking out. And of course, if you have any questions or want to get on a free call with me to see if I can help you out, my (virtual) door is always open.