Because we apparently believe that our future selves will behave better than our present selves, we can "trick" ourselves into "doing the right thing" by agreeing today
to take action tomorrow
that we wouldn't take today.
Though this is
one of those instances of social science researchers confirming what our experience already tells us (ever try to quit smoking?) it's worth taking a look at Future Lock-In
, one of the most-read articles of last year in Harvard Working Knowledge