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  • Writer's pictureHanni Berger CEO JOYVIAL

How to Stop Giving Into Temptations?


In this blog I’ll explore our strong urge to give into our temptations which can stand in the way of us reaching our long-term goals. We’ll explore why smaller rewards that we receive immediately are often more enticing than rewards further down the road. Finally, we’ll discuss what you can do to stay strong in the moments of temptations so that you can live the life you want – by your design.

Instant Gratification versus Long Term Goals

I suspect you know what I’m talking about but just in case, do any of these examples sound familiar?

You want to lose weight and feel more energetic. You know that sugar isn’t good for you, that it makes you sluggish and traps extra fat in your cells but you end up opting for the cookie (or two).

Or you want to feel less stressed and be more at peace in your life. You are tired of just reacting to everyone and everything. You have heard over and over that meditation or other forms of quiet time, like a relaxing walk in nature, can ease your mind and support all of these goals, but yet you opt for another episode of your favorite Netflix series.

Need one more? Less alcohol. Many mornings you wake up feeling foggy promising yourself that you will not drink tonight, but yet by the time you finally shut down your laptop and start your evening you find that just one glass of wine/beer/cocktail is your well-earned reward. That glass turns into two or three or maybe the whole bottle.

In a 1960 Stanford study titled “The Marshmallow Experiment” kids where given the choice to either have one marshmallow now or wait to get a second marshmallow. As you can imagine, many ate the one marshmallow rather than opting to wait to get two. Here is the kicker – researchers followed these kids for 40 years and discovered that…

Those who have the ability to delay gratification are more

successful in every part of life.

More specifically, the kids who held off to get the second treat had better SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse, lower likelihood of obesity, better responses to stress and so much more.

Reasons why we opt for instant gratification

There are several reasons most of us opt for instant gratification.

1. It's easy. How often do you order your favorite take-out or stop in a fast food restaurant because it's 'easy'. We know it's not what we want, but it's the path of least resistance.

2. Lack of trust. If you have been “burned” before by not receiving a promised reward, this leads to a lack of trust. Take the example of weight loss. That delicious treat, like a cookie, in front of you now is a sure thing, but your goal of losing weight seems much further off and not so certain. Our lack of trust in ourselves leads us to take the easy way out.

3. No clear vision. Without a vision of what we want our future to look like and why we are excited about reaching those goals, it is almost impossible to succeed trying to reach our goals. That's one of the many things our team of executive health coaches specialize in.

4. We see it as reward. Our current bad habits are often rewards for other things that are hard. For example, in my life I sometimes justify my decision to eat chocolate as a reward for a day of hard work.

How to Make Better Choices and Stick with Them

Create a vision

1. Be crystal clear about your long-term vision. Simply stating that you want to be fitter, have less weight, stress less, be more spiritual, spend more time with the family, or whatever your vague goals may be isn’t enough. Like in business you want to be very specific in creating your goals.

For example, what does ‘being fitter’ mean to you? For one person that’s a 6-pack and the ability to lift lots of pounds in the gym. For others, it could be all about walking up the stairs without being out of breath.

You want to create the ideal vision of you at your healthiest, most JOYful self. These aren’t just goals on a piece of paper but very clear images of how you want your life to look like. Creating a visual in your mind or on paper can be very helpful to keep you focused daily.

In short, if you want to be able to say ‘no’ to the instant gratification right in front of you, you must have a powerful ‘yes’ to a future you can’t wait to experience. Creating a powerful vision with an expert, like one of our executive health coaches, is the first, and very important step in you being able to get that excitement.

2. Know your priorities. Now that you have a long-term vision, you still need to prioritize these goals. For example, one of your goals may be to have more fun in life, to fully live life and celebrate. A glass or two of wine might be part of your vision. How does that vision compare to your other goals? Become clear what’s most important. You can’t do it all at once but taking small strides in one direction works best instead of standing still and going nowhere (or sometimes even backwards).

3. Create alternatives for those moments of weakness. Let’s say you want to celebrate an evening with the family after a long day of work but equally want to stay away from the bottle of wine that made it feel like a celebration.

Ask yourself, what other things could make those moments special? Is it playing a board game with your family and laughing together? Could it be a loving conversation with your husband after the kids are in bed? I encourage you to brainstorm alternatives and have a plan before coming home and standing in front of the fridge with the bottle of wine already cooled.

In my mind, having a little bit of disciplined, enough to reach the vision you truly want to achieve, is the only way to live the life we want. You have the potential to be so much happier and healthier than we are . Work with a JOYVIAL executive health coach to help you unlock your vision and allow you to start taking the steps towards the life you want to live.

So often, we are just going through the motions, expecting things to just turn out – but we need an daily vision and clear intentions to accomplish this. If you are interested, click the 'Contact' button in the top right corner or simply send us an email to to schedule your free discovery session.

Remember, at JOYVIAL, we are committed to helping you live your healthiest, most JOYful life. For all the latest health and wellness tips and to get inspired, following along with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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