How To Increase Your Ability To Delay Gratification
It is important to be able to identify the areas in which you would like to start working on increasing your self-control by delaying your need for gratification. Lets start by choosing three areas in which you would like to start to improve your ability in order to build up your self-control muscles. Lets choose three areas of your food life you would like to work up to,
#1. Someone brings treats to the office. So instead of eating your treat right away to perhaps take your treat and set it aside to have it after lunch or at your mid-afternoon break.
#2. When you come home from work and you feel like you are starving, to have something to drink instead of eating and delay your gratification until dinner.
#3. Instead of having dessert immediately after dinner, to delay your gratification later in the evening as a snack.
In order to choose something that will work for you it is good to identify the different rewards that you have set up for yourself during the day, and once you have identified them to be able to start to increase your self-control muscle by delaying your self-gratification slowly over time. So for example, when it is that you are feeling bored during the day and you go to your snack cupboard; to look in your snack cupboard and decide what it is that you would like to have but instead of taking it, to give yourself five minutes before it is that you can take it. Increase that the next time you go to the snack cupboard to ten minutes and the next time you go to the snack cupboard increase that to fifteen minutes, and then the next time you go to the snack cupboard to increase that to thirty minutes.
What will just naturally start to happen is that you will start to increase your ability to be able to delay gratification and it will become easier and easier to do so. You will start to notice that you will have less self-control struggles and then it will become easier to overcome these obstacles as you build up your self-control muscles. It will take less and less mental energy to be able to do so and you will become less fatigued and as the day progresses feel a greater and greater sense of accomplishment.
Let me give an example, during the day I have a tendency to fast. At different times of the day I will feel my hunger and instead of running to my lunch bag to eat my egg I will instead drink some water. I hold off my self-gratification, usually until mid-afternoon. I have found overtime I have increased my ability to do so. I can easily override my impulse and urges and am much more able to attain self-control. This I have found does not take much mental energy as I have practiced this holding off gratification over time. I find by the end of the day that with this increased ability I am less fatigued and I end up with a great sense of accomplishment and a feeling of success.
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