How often have you said to yourself today "I will......"and then you never do? How many of you have said this already this week? For as long as humans have been around, we have been struggling with delaying, avoiding, and procrastinating on issues that matter to us. Behavioural psychology research has revealed a phenomenon called “time inconsistency,” which helps explain why procrastination seems to pull us in despite our good intentions. Time inconsistency refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards. The best way to understand this is by imagining that you have two selves: your Present Self and your Future Self. When you set goals for yourself — like being more active or eating more healthily you are actually making plans for your Future Self. You are envisioning what you want your life to be like in the future. Researchers have found that when you think about your Future Self, it is quite easy for your brain to see the value in taking actions with long-term benefits. The Future Self values long-term rewards. However, while the Future Self can set goals, only the Present Self can take action. When the time comes to make a decision, you are no longer making a choice for your Future Self. Now you are in the present moment, and your brain is thinking about the Present Self. Researchers have discovered that the Present Self really likes instant gratification, not long-term payoff. So, the Present Self and the Future Self are often at odds with one another. The Future Self wants to be fit and healthy, but the Present Self wants a donut. Sure, everyone knows you should eat healthy today to avoid being overweight in 10 years. But consequences like an increased risk for diabetes or heart failure are years away. This is one reason why you might go to bed feeling motivated to make a change in your life, but when you wake up you find yourself falling back into old patterns. Your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future (tomorrow), but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment (today). Who will win the battle today your present or future self?

Posted by Her Spirit at 2019-09-18 07:27:30 UTC