Most of you have completed some sort of plan, schedule, etc. Now it’s time to put it all together so that FUTURE YOU can say THANK YOU to present you for implementing!
But before we get to the action steps, let’s be honest about Present You.
Why is it that Present You sometimes screws over Future You by not taking the right actions, or not acting quickly enough, even though Present You fully understands and believes in your plan for success?
What makes people act against their own self interest? I decided to dive into the potential psychology of this and discovered that there’s something called ‘present bias’.
This means that it’s human nature to put short term needs and wants ahead of longer term ones. Of course procrastination is at work, or if you like a better phrase, ‘creative avoidance’. It’s a real thing that you must acknowledge and defeat this year… remember… Don’t decrease the goal, increase the effort!
Psychologists as well as Economists have done a ton of studies on this and even have a label for it : ‘Hyperbolic Discounting’.
“Given two similar rewards, humans show a preference for one that arrives sooner rather than later. Humans are said to discount the value of the later reward, by a factor that increases with the length of the delay.”
In other words, almost everyone would rather have $20 today than $30 tomorrow. Super counter productive, right? How can this be? Again I went searching for the answer.
Harvard Business Review:
The finding: Many people feel disconnected from the individuals they’ll be in the future and, as a result, discount rewards that would later benefit them. But even brief exposure to aged images of the self can change that behavior.
The research: Hal Hershfield ran fMRI scans on subjects and found that the neural patterns seen when they described themselves 10 years in the future were markedly different from those seen when they described their current selves. The waves were basically the same as they were when shown a stranger.
In other words: When you blow off your productivity, your brain is unconsciously making it the problem of a stranger. It’s not even YOU that’s going to suffer, it’s some other person!
How do these people who study this stuff suggest that we overcome and defeat this subconscious but very human tendency?
Simple: You have to imagine yourself, how you actually look, but the older you having, doing, seeing, being what your goals are. (not allowing your subconscious to think of future you as a stranger).
This may seem all ‘woo-woo’ to you, but you must get serious about setting Future You up and not letting Future You down.
Implement the act of imagining yourself with what your goals in 5 areas of life call for. Take a picture of yourself in that new Ferrari, Take a picture of yourself holding a check to yourself for $100,000 with ‘savings’ in the memo.
Set a reminder alarm at the end of each business day to look at these images.
Increase the Effort, Don’t Decrease The Goal
2019 Action Steps
1. Accept nothing less than the goals you’ve set for yourself in the 5 areas of life (Family, Financial, Physical, Spiritual and Educational). Post pictures of yourself having, doing, seeing, being those goals. Look at those pictures every day when you begin and end!
2. Finish what you started last year, years past, etc. Make a list of your unfinished projects and increase the effort to complete them. Set a deadline and get help if you need it! (Pre Listing Package, Database clean up, etc). Realize that some of them need ditched instead of done.
3. Prioritized + ProActive = Productive. Prioritize your actions every day based on the priority as it relates to profit. Actions which lead to income must take priority. Be intentional with your time.
Mark Twain said, ‘If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first’.
4. Practice Habit Stacking. This is the act of attaching new habits to old, existing and solid habits. For example, if you always brush your teeth before your shower, add the habit of looking at your goals between your tooth brushing and your shower. The habit will form more quickly and be more effective.
Your success in life is based on the accumulation of the habits your practice.
There’s a book called: “Habit Stacking: 97 Small Changes that take Five Minutes or Less”, by S.J. Scott. Easy read and very effective and defeating the slacker behavior that Present You might be practicing from time to time!
5. Have a definite starting and ending time to every work day. It’s even easier if you make it every day, period. This increases both your productivity and the quality of your sleep. Your family will also thank you for this!
6. Be relentless this year about getting to and maintaining your Magic Number. It is the most important number to know! This is the number of listings you must have at all times to meet or exceed your monthly income requirments. (Based on your Real Estate Treasure Map). Increase your effort, don’t decrease the goal. Remember it’s hardest to get there in the first place, but much easier to maintain!
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. —Dale Carnegie”
7. Be relentless about Being of Service to Others this year. Your success is the direct result of your ability to help enough people at the highest level to reach THEIR goals. If you haven’t yet reached that level of success, you haven’t figured out how to help enough folks at a high enough level. Increase the effort.
8. Be relentless about tracking your money, investments, bills, etc. Use mint.com to create your financial dashboard.
9. Track your year now: Dollar signs on days that are work days and X’s on days off. You don’t actually have 12 months to reach your goals. You have a series of productive days to get the job done!
10. Nutrition and Fitness must be priority. Most people need more effort and instead of doing that, they lower the goal. This cannot be acceptable to you this year. Sign up for Orange Theory, CrossFit or get a personal coach. Accountability is key.