What is Impulse Control and Delayed Gratification?

We have all experienced those moments in which we are tempted to give up on long term goals to gain something in the present. For example, have you ever started a diet to reach a target weight by the end of the year? 

However, just a few weeks into the program, you see a delicious new chocolate bar for sale at the grocery store. Instead of sticking to your diet and reaching the long-term goal of losing weight, you end up buying the chocolate to gain satisfaction in the moment. 

If you were to stick to your guns and disregard the junk food, you would eventually achieve delayed gratification. This article will discuss exactly what this term means and why it is so hard to achieve. More so, we will mention a few ways in which you could go about increasing your ability to delay gratification. 

What Is Delayed Gratification?

Delayed gratification refers to the sense of achievement and success that you develop after showing will power for an extended period. To achieve delayed gratification, you would have to stay disciplined instead of giving up on a long term goal when you encounter a few temptations. In other words, you choose long-term success, like reaching your target weight, over a few smaller moments of happiness, such as eating that chocolate bar. 

Why Is It So Hard To Wait?

It is challenging to control our impulses. When we want something that is easy to have, it is tough for us to turn it down. More so, caving in to these temptations is much easier than sticking to a long-term goal and staying disciplined. For this reason, many people fail to achieve delayed gratification

Increase Your Ability To Delay Gratification

There are a few steps that you can take to increase your ability to delay gratification:

  • Set realistic deadlines. It can be very difficult to stay disciplined when your goal seems impossible to achieve. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds within the next two weeks, you are more than likely going to be met with failure. This will cause you to give up on aspirations before you achieve them in the future. 
  • Set definitive time frames. When you set a definitive time frame, it becomes easier to stick to your guns. 

Concluding Thoughts

Delayed gratification refers to the sense of accomplishment and happiness you experience after achieving a long term goal. It is incredibly difficult to achieve delayed gratification, as we struggle to avoid our impulses. To increase your ability to delay gratification, you should set realistic deadlines and set definitive time frames.

Choose your Reaction!