Delaying gratification basically means: Tell yourself you can have some later.
Say you have a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. How do you keep yourself from eating junk food at work or from eating more calories than you really need?
Studies discussed in Willpower by Baumeister show that the most successful method of, for example, not eating MnMs is to tell yourself that you can have some later.
People who said they could not have any wore down their willpower and eventually gave in. People who said sure, they could have some, but not now, didn’t wear down their willpower and in the end, often didn’t have the candy later either.
Dave Ramsey talks about this: Live like no-one else so that you can live like no-one else. But by the time you’re financially free, you may not want all the stuff you craved when you were in debt. However, telling yourself you could have it later helps with the gazelle intense part.
I find I do this a lot with ice cream. I tell myself I can have some later that night only to forget about it until after I’ve brushed my teeth. (Eventually the ice cream does get eaten, but when I’m actually hungry!)
Do you ever use this delaying gratification trick? Does it work?