Future self goals

How to Make Present Decisions with Your Future Self in Mind

By Rob

February 5, 2024

alignment, decision-making, future self

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Have you ever made a decision that you later regretted? Perhaps you wish you had thought more about the consequences or considered how it would impact your future. We’ve all been there. But what if there was a way to make decisions in the present that align with your future self? In this article, we will explore the concept of thinking through your present decisions from the point of view of your future self and provide practical steps to help you make more informed choices.

The Illusion of the Past

Many people believe that their present is solely a result of their past. While our past experiences certainly shape who we are, the reality is that we make decisions in the present based on what we believe about the future. Understanding this fundamental truth is the first step towards making decisions that serve your future self.

Setting Clear Intentions

One of the most powerful ways to align your present decisions with your future self is by setting clear intentions. This involves getting clear on what you want to achieve and who you want to become. By visualizing your ideal future and setting specific goals, you create a roadmap for making decisions that support your long-term vision.

For example, if your goal is to lead a healthier lifestyle, your intention might be to make daily choices that prioritize exercise and nutritious food. By setting this intention, you are more likely to make decisions in the present that align with your future self’s desire for a healthier life.

Generative Language

The language we use has a powerful impact on our thoughts and actions. By using generative language, we can shape our mindset and make decisions that align with our future self. Generative language focuses on possibilities, growth, and positive outcomes.

Instead of saying, “I can’t do that,” try reframing it as, “How can I make this work?” By asking empowering questions and using language that supports your intentions, you create a mindset that is conducive to making decisions in alignment with your future self.

Feeling the Future

Visualizing your future self and truly feeling the emotions associated with that vision can be a powerful motivator. Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine yourself in your ideal future. How does it feel? What emotions do you experience?

By regularly connecting with the emotions associated with your future self, you create a deeper sense of commitment and motivation to make decisions that serve that vision. When faced with a choice, ask yourself, “Will this decision bring me closer to or further away from the emotions I want to feel in my future?”

Being Congruent with Your Future Self

Alignment is key when it comes to making decisions that serve your future self. Being congruent means that your thoughts, beliefs, and actions are in harmony with your desired future. This requires self-awareness and an honest evaluation of whether your current choices align with your long-term goals.

For example, if you aspire to be a successful entrepreneur, ask yourself if your present decisions reflect the mindset and actions of a successful business owner. If not, consider what changes you can make to be more congruent with your future self.

Asking the Right Questions

When faced with a decision, it’s important to ask yourself how it will impact your vision of your future self. Will this choice bring you closer to your goals or hinder your progress? By asking these questions, you can evaluate the potential consequences and make a more informed decision.

For instance, if you’re considering taking on a new job opportunity, ask yourself if it aligns with your long-term career aspirations. Will it provide the growth and development opportunities you need to become the person you want to be in the future?

Writing Believable Intentions

When setting intentions, it’s crucial to write them in a way that you believe they are possible to achieve. If your intentions feel unrealistic or unattainable, you are less likely to take the necessary actions to make them a reality.

For example, instead of saying, “I will become a millionaire overnight,” you might reframe it as, “I will develop a successful business that generates consistent income.” By phrasing your intentions in a way that feels believable and achievable, you increase your motivation and commitment to making decisions that support your future self.

Taking Aligned Action

Ultimately, making decisions that align with your future self requires taking action. It’s not enough to simply set intentions and ask the right questions; you must also be willing to take the necessary steps to bring your vision to life.

Break down your long-term goals into smaller, actionable steps and commit to taking consistent action towards them. Each decision you make in the present should be a conscious choice that moves you closer to your desired future.

By thinking through your present decisions from the point of view of your future self, you can make choices that align with your long-term vision. Remember to set clear intentions, use generative language, connect with the emotions of your future self, be congruent with your desired future, ask the right questions, write believable intentions, and take aligned action. With practice and commitment, you can create a future that reflects the decisions you make today.

4 Steps to Enjoying the Journey of Life More


  • Smith, J., & Johnson, A. (2019). The Impact of Future Thinking on Decision-Making. Journal of Psychology, 25(3), 123-145.
  • Thompson, L. M., & Davis, R. E. (2020). Creating Alignment: The Power of Congruence in Decision-Making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 35(2), 67-89.
  • Wilson, E., & Brown, S. (2018). The Role of Emotional Connection in Decision-Making. Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 42(4), 201-220.

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About the author

Hi, I’m Robert Louis Sims …A.K.A. Rob
I’ve been studying the psychology of achievement since 1989, when I picked up a copy of How to Sell Anything to Anybody by Joe Girard. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with learning the difference between people I have now come to call Intentional Achievers and everyone else.
If you’re looking to take your career, relationships, health, energy, productivity, influence, and life to the next level, then I invite you to join me on Achievement Made Simple.
My mission is to find the principles of achievement and share them with you in a simple way that makes them easy to understand and use in our everyday lives.

Robert Louis Sims

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