In our fast-paced world, giving in to instant gratification is easy. We want results, and we want them now. But unfortunately, this often leads to unfulfilling results and wasted time.
In a world where we can have anything we want at the click of a button, many of us struggle with instant gratification. These expectations, however, can often lead to financial problems and feelings of dissatisfaction.
To break free from instant gratification, we must change our perspective and focus on long-term goals, instead of short-term wants.
Here are 4 tips to help you overcome instant gratification:
1. Identify the reason why. Whether it’s getting a text message right away, streaming a movie without any buffering, or being able to find information with just a few clicks, we all want things to happen immediately.
Take a moment to ask yourself why do you react so quickly? Is it absolutely necessary or urgent? (The answer is most likely, no!)
* We live in a world where we constantly receive information and stimuli. This can be overwhelming, so we naturally seek ways to simplify our lives.
* Thanks to technology, we’re used to getting what we want immediately. A click of a button orders us food, calls an uber, or lets us stream a new movie or show.
* Instant gratification feels good. We get a dopamine hit when we receive something quickly, so our brains increasingly crave that feeling.
2. Evaluate purchases you wish to make. Require a 2-week delay before making any purchases over, say, $100. Instead of buying that new outfit or gadget that you may use for just a few weeks, save your money for something that lasts.
* Instead of focusing on the materialistic items you want, be grateful for everything you already have.
3. Set “cool-off” periods for technology. Similar to delaying purchases, you can also set a cool-off period before using your phone, social media, TV, and so on.
* Set acceptable times when you use your gadgets. For example, set your phone outside your bedroom and promise not to touch your phone until after completing your morning routine.
* Intentionally challenge yourself not to reach for your phone immediately when it dings. Give yourself a self-imposed 5 or 10 minute delay before grabbing it.
4. Start a hobby. Hobbies give you a creative outlet to develop your skills, while also acting as a healthy distraction from the things that try to steal your attention.
* Hobbies give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Plus, it can help reduce stress and provide an outlet for creativity.
* If you want something to do in your free time that re-focuses your energy, try gardening, drawing, calligraphy, learning a new language, whittling, and so on.
5. Set small goals and celebrate when you reach them. When setting goals, the focus is often on the result, rather than enjoying the journey. Learn to appreciate the process!
* Each time you reach a goal, celebrate your achievement, no matter how big or small. The act of setting goals and celebrating your successes can help to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. It can also motivate you to keep going.
* Long-term goals are key to overcome the trap of instant gratification. The work is the reward!
Instant gratification can be overcome when you understand the reason why it happens in the first place. Then challenge yourself to cool-off before you react to the dings, buzzes, and urges that tempt you in your every day life.
Discipline is like a muscle ” it’s tough at first, but the more you practice these tips, the easier it gets!