Future Perfect

So much depends on perception. Perceiving identity as static results in static behavior where little is gained or learned, with minimal emotional reward. “This is who I am,” someone might think, “so this is the way things will always be.” Granted, disorders like schizophrenia and depression control behavior in certain immutable ways, as can things like sex, ethnicity, class status, and age. Still, the “Who I am” affirmation is always subject to modification. Sometimes, it’s good to reshape identity (and thereby behavior) by shifting your perception of the process. Research shows that it takes around two months for a new behavior to turn into a habit. Figuring out which behavior to modify can be anywhere from self-evident to complex. While addressing it in the moment is the most important part of the process, thinking in the future perfect tense helps, too. The future perfect refers to a completed action in the future, or projecting yourself into the future while looking back at something you’ve done. If you think, “If I remain consistent in pursuing my goal, by mid August, I will have [fill in the rest],” then you can better envision how you will have changed. It’s often better to reshape identity through personal discretion. 

Photo By: Tashen's *All American Ads of the 60s*