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Have you ever struggled to follow through on your plans, goals, or deadlines? You’re not alone.

Ancient philosophers even created a term for this type of behaviour: Akrasia. It’s the state of acting against your better judgment, even when you know what you should be doing.

So, why do we procrastinate and struggle with self-control? Our brains tend to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards, which can make it challenging to take action towards our long-term goals.

James Clear, the author of the bestselling book ‘Atomic Habits’, discusses this in a blog post “The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It

What’s interesting is that this also applies to money.

The tendency to prioritise immediate rewards over long-term ones is particularly evident when it comes to achieving financial success. Many people plan to save for retirement or invest in their future; however, need help to stick with their long-term financial goals because they prefer to spend their money on instant gratification, such as buying new clothes or going out to eat.

This can be especially challenging for those who run out of money before their next payday, as the immediate need for money often outweighs the importance of saving for the future. Additionally, the complex nature of finance and investing can make it difficult for people to see the long-term benefits, further reinforcing the pull towards immediate rewards.

We can overcome Akrasia and take control of our actions by following these three strategies:

  1. Create a commitment device, such as an automatic savings plan
  2. Reduce the friction of starting, such as breaking down financial goals into small, manageable steps
  3. Make a plan to take action at a certain time in the future, such as scheduling a meeting with a financial planner

If you’re struggling to save for the future and prioritise long-term financial goals over immediate gratification, or if you’re thinking about taking action on your goal to achieve financial success, click here to book a quick chat so we can explore your situation. By working with an expert, you can better understand your current financial situation and develop a personalised plan for financial success.