Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Delayed Gratification

Oddly enough, after I wrote yesterday’s entry I started researching instant gratification, and I came upon thousands of results, many research-based, that indicate that not only is instant gratification something everyone wants and buys into, but also that food and money are the most common ways people go about obtaining instant gratification. Well, so much for me being special.

As I poked around more and more, I repeatedly came across the concept of “Delayed Gratification.” It seems that the experts agree – we as humans are hard-wired to want and give into instant gratification, and there’s usually nothing behind our seemingly uncontrollable impulses. So how do you stop the cycle in order to get ahead? Some say by delayed gratification.

It’s simple, really. All you do is put off giving into what you want. The concept is not to entirely refuse that which you want, but to hold out for as long as you can. By doing this you practice control and can eventually see days and even years down the road and conceptualize something like major weight loss or having enough money saved up to put a down payment on a house. And the waiting is worth it.

I feel like I’ve heard this before. Waiting is worth it… Waiting is worth it… SEX! Whatever you do, don’t have sex! And how many of us delayed that gratification, huh?

I tested myself last night. I ate a sensible dinner and a sugar-free ice cream pop and told myself I was done for the evening.

“Delayed gratification,” I kept telling myself. I’ll be happier this summer when I’m at the pool if I resist the urges. “Delayed gratification. I can do this.”

And then I ate a quarter of a jug or premium ice cream and told myself I’d start with the delayed gratification tomorrow. Crap.

2 comments:

Megan said...

A!! That sounds like me with getting into a strict routine with working out to get my butt in shape for the wedding. Yeah, we're three weeks away and I haven't worked out since last week.

chrissy said...

i know what you mean..i lost 7lbs and FINALLY went back to the gym last night, so i celebrated by eating fried chicken today...wtf?

we must keep poolside in vegas at the forefront!!