Paul Spector, MD, recently wrote in an article for Huffington Post that offers simple solutions for changing our behaviors in efforts to better our health.
In behavioral economics, the principle of temporal discounting illustrates that most people, when offered a choice of $50 now or $100 in 6 months, take the $50 now. In criminology, Spector sites research data that supports the idea that present rewards trump a capacity to envision future negative consequences.
Both ideas draw a parallel between our current health problems and our inability to prioritize delayed gratification. This inability has contributed to the increases in chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and cancers.
The crux of Spector’s proposed solution is to connect with our future selves by envisioning our lives in the future, identifying our target behaviors, and deciding how our current behaviors align (or don’t align) with those desires.
Photo Credit: Hjem