How Bonding with Your Future Self Helps You Save for Retirement

This year I was approached by the Consumer Protection Bureau who asked if they could use the Draw Your Future process in a modified format to help individuals save for their retirement. They were conducting studies with Hal Hershfield at UCLA business school about how could they help individuals who weren’t saving enough. They shared some of Hal’s research with me, which shows that approximately 4 out of 10 working adults have less than $10,000 in retirement savings, and 50% of households will fall short of meeting their retirement goals.

Why don’t we save for the future? According to Hershfield’s studies, it’s hard for some people to envision a future self, subsequently they choose to spend their money now, because ‘Who is that person in the future anyway?’ The greater the disconnect we have with our future self, the less likely you and I are to save for them.

In the work that I have been doing since 2011 helping individuals and teams draw their future, I have seen a significant uptick in a person’s ability to achieve their goals when they can see (and emotionally connect) with that future. After individuals have drawn and looked at where they are right now, and then imagined and drawn themselves one to three years from today, they often feel a surge of energy and enthusiasm to act on that vision and step into that future state by activating three bold steps. Those who have had the greatest success have put that picture somewhere they could see it every day and taken small, consistent action towards their goals.

Adding positive feeling to the image also appears to be a key driver. If we look at the work of Sonja Lyubomirsky on happiness, we see how much our happiness matters. When you start your day with an attitude of happiness, you tend to draw more happiness to you. That happiness is one of the benefits you can glean from drawing a picture of a positive future. The envisioning of a “best case” scenario activates a rush of serotonin. When you leverage that feeling of elation and lock it together with the picture of your future, you increase your likelihood of pushing yourself through any challenges you may face.

In a few days it will be 2019. Let’s bond with our future self and our success by intentionally drawing a positive future. Include in that vision all of the things that you will be doing and feeling as you connect with your passion and serve the world. Your future self is counting on you to bring your best self now, and learn as much as you can while you are here in this world. Yes, you are responsible to provide for yourself in the future, but you are also a little ball of love, and when you are doing what you love for a future self that you love, your happiness and joy is boundless.

Invite your friends to join our creative genius community as we learn and grow together in 2019.

Share with me what you have learned about yourself so we can share it with others.

Happy New Year