When it comes to habits, our actions in the present make future present moments more (or less) likely.
Do I journal today? That’s a vote for my journaling identity – which increases the likelihood of another journaling moment tomorrow. Predictive power.
Do I check Instagram today? That’s a vote for my Instagram-browsing identity – which increases the likelihood of another Instagram moment tomorrow. Predictive power.
Have I journaled 700 days in a row? I can say quite confidently I’ll journal again tomorrow. Massive predictive power.
So how do change the future?
Weaken the predictive power of one habit – stop taking the actions you want to change.
Strengthen the predictive power of a new habit – intentionally start taking different actions, and let every present moment be a vote for that new habit (and new identity).
The process is challenging and slow.
You’ll need patience.
Willpower to resist the pull of habits that have already accumulated tremendous predictive power.
You’ll need presence of mind and perseverance to choose new actions because you know they’re important to you.
It’s challenging. Slow. And worth it.
Because this is how you make the future yours.