If time travel was possible and you could go back in time to change one thing in the past, what would you change?
Would you try to change the world by attempting to kill Hitler before World War 2 starts? Would you buy stock of a company you know is doing extremely well in the present? Would you take a leap of faith that you never did, such as asking out someone you didn’t have the courage to, or moving to a city that you always wanted to live in?
If we ignored the numerous hypothetical troubles that come with time travel, such as the grandfather paradox and chaos theory, the possibilities seem endless. This is because hindsight is 20/20 and we have a tendency to obsess over roads not taken and missed opportunities. Even though we cannot change the past, we lament how if we had the choice, we’d make so many changes to make our present and future better.
Now ask yourself this question: if you from the future could travel back in time to now, what changes do you think they’d want to try to make? The thing with time is that it marches on linearly, making every moment a past of the future. A major difference in this scenario is that unlike the first scenario, we actually have the power to change in the present and the future.
So whenever you catch yourself regretting how life would be different if you had made different choices in the past, change your frame of mind. Instead, consider what changes you could make now to make your future self have less regrets. Maybe it is treating yourself (within reasonable limits), or finally taking that trip you always dreamed of, or taking a chance on something you are unsure or anxious about, or keeping resolutions on living a healthy, better life.
Although physics (currently) dictates that time travel is impossible, our minds have the power to travel in time virtually from the future to now, letting us make choices and take actions so we can live with less regrets.
On the last day of the year, almost anyone is bound to make a few New Year’s resolutions. However, realistically it is rare for those resolutions to be kept, and instead forgotten within weeks. But according to Dr Richard Wiseman’s experiment, it was found that utilising other techniques instead of just keeping them to oneself was more effective in carrying out those resolutions. Here are ten methods to help keep one’s New Year’s resolution successful:
Make one resolution only: Rather than making many false promises, it is better to concentrate your efforts into one.
Tell someone to remind you: A resolution only in one’s mind is bound to be forgotten. Instead, tell a friend or a loved one to remind you, or write up a big sign or post a picture somewhere visible.
Plan ahead: Making resolutions requires planning; instead of making an impromptu resolution on the night, think for a few days beforehand for a more effective plan.
Be specific: Vague plans always fail. Instead of “I will quit smoking”, try something specific like “I will smoke one cigarette less for every two days”.
Do not reuse old resolutions: Reusing resolutions will only bring regret and frustration from constant failure, so either make a fresh resolution or use a different approach, such as changing “I will get better grades” to “I will study more”.
Set S.M.A.R.T goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based goals are significantly more effective and efficient. For example, if you are looking for a new job, rewrite your CV, set goals you can keep for every new week and apply for a job twice every week.
Think positively: Rather than thinking of the repercussions of not making a resolution, think of the rewards of keeping the resolution.
Carrot over stick: Think how your life will improve from the resolution. For instance, deciding to socialise more will bring more friends, more fun and more happiness into your life.
Visualise: Seeing yourself carrying out the resolution and reaping the reward will help keep the resolution.
Be Persistent: Forming habits take time, so do not blame yourself or give up when you slip up a few times. Instead, you must keep trying with perseverance and confidence.
Lastly, the research also found that women are worse at keeping resolutions compared to men (30% vs 37% respectively).