“A study suggests that the key to defeating the temptations of instant gratification is the ability to picture what the future will be like if only we did not give in.”
So, if we can conjure or imagine or visualise a detailed image of how we will look / feel / act / what we will wear / what we will eat once we have been diligent in our eating and exercise, we will more easily stick to our goals and more easily resist temptation.
In other words, you have to have a big enough ‘why?’ to keep temptation at bay.
Our ‘why’ can come in two forms – why not exercising and not eating well would not be good for you and will have long-term health consequences, and why exercising regularly and consistently sticking to a healthy eating plan will be helpful over the long-term.
The easiest way to think through this is to simply write down as many things as you can think about under the ‘if I don’t side’ vs the ‘if I do’ side. For example: I will always feel unwell. I won’t be able to keep up with my kids. I will always feel uncomfortable in my clothes. I won’t enjoy going on adventures with the family. I may die younger. And on the opposite side … I’ll be able to keep up with the kids. I will be a good example to my children. I will enjoy shopping for clothes and will feel and look good. I will live a longer, more enjoyable life.
Keep these lists tapped somewhere you’ll see it regularly to remind yourself why being consistent over the long-term is the wiser option, and your ‘why’ is bigger than the temptations.