In theory everything is quite simple.
You want to achieve a goal, so you make a plan and then act accordingly. If you want to lose weight you will stop eating cake.
Yet this is not what actually happens.
Neuroscience says that we constantly make a comparison between ourselves now and ourselves in the future – i.e. when we have lost the weight.
There are two ways to approach our future selves.
1) Some people think about their future self like we think about another person; they create a disassociated view of what they could call 'this new self'. The new self is viewed as quite different from their current self. The gap is huge.
2) Other people view their future self as much more similar to their current self; the same but thinner for example. This is called 'modified self'.
The degree of alignment between our current and future self can determine how good we are at making predictions about achieving goals.
If there is a big difference between how we view our current and future self; this can lead us to not really believing that we can achieve this.
The view we create our 'future self' is important, because it helps or hinders us from achieving our goals.
The extent to which we imagine our own mind and our reactions in the future has an impact on whether we resit temptations and stay focused on goals in the present.
So if your goal to be thin is based on a picture of your 'modified self', you will more likely resist temptations and stick with the goal.
This also confirms the idea of small improvement steps. Each day a small improvement, each day - a small step outside of your comfort zone.
What's the main message?Check your picture of your future self. If it is wildly different to your current self you might want to modify the picture. Also check you have a realistic self-image. How well you know yourself is an important start point for changing.