Here’s how you can resist the temptation of instant gratification.

Today I wanted to talk about delayed gratification.

Here’s a scenario for you. You’ve allotted $100 in your spending plan this month to buy something for yourself, but you see those fabulous shoes on sale for $199. Do you use a credit card or stick to your plan of no longer using credit and paying all credit cards off. 

If you give in and put that $199 (plus tax) on your credit card, you might derail your debt elimination plan, but you’ll get to wear those beauties to your upcoming event! If you resist and find some shoes within your budget, then you’ll receive an even greater reward down the line — more expendable cash and more savings because you’ve finally paid off your credit cards.

“The uncertainty is what makes waiting so hard.”

This is the definition of delayed gratification: The ability to resist the temptation of an immediate pleasure to obtain a valuable and lasting reward in the long term.

We live in a world of instant gratification. We believe we have to have everything now.  Why is waiting so difficult?  It’s the uncertainty. Those gorgeous shoes are a sure thing, but your goal of eliminating debt seems much further off.  Your mind is erroneously saying that you don’t know when or if this long-term reward will ever arrive.

But you can fight against this desire for instant gratification with a few strategies:

  • Know your values. When you know what’s important to you, you’re able to make choices that lead you to more joy.
  • Create a plan. Know what you want and, more importantly, why you want it.  Set clear goals with realistic deadlines.
  • Celebrate yourself and your journey. Acknowledge your wins, big and small.

Delaying gratification may not be easy, especially if you think you may not reach your ultimate goal. Change your thoughts about it and resist that temptation. If you need some help, reach out to me at my website. This is part of the work that I do with my clients, and I’d be happy to help you as well.