When you take charge of your world and you set the rules, life is easy. If you want something and you have the means (aka money and time) then why say no to yourself? We’ve all faced too many NOs growing up. My baby gets at least 50 NOs a day – yes, I’m trying to cut that down. But with all these NOs, it makes sense that we rarely use it on ourselves once we are on our own. We over-indulge, especially when it comes to catching up with shows like I am trying to do with Game of Thrones.
I got hooked a month ago. It was also very helpful that we signed up for the HBO option with our cable company. After that first episode, I spent every spare moment I could watching the next ones. I watched the first season in 24 hours. For a mom that complains of not having enough time in the day, I have no idea where I got that time! That’s 10 hours of free time! (NB – I don’t watch TV when baby is around.)
Of course, I felt awful. I had too much to do and I felt immature and unproductive. I knew I had to cut down my watching and that I would NOT catch up with season 6 to watch the season finale with everyone else as I had hoped. I decided to watch an episode every other day. I failed the first day and watched two – they really know how to make those cliffhangers. But, I started to get on track, and I learned something quite interesting. If I don’t over-indulge, I enjoy the episodes even more because I focus on the journey and not the finish line. This got me thinking that self-discipline bears fruit that over-indulgence cannot.
With all the refusals we face, it’s hard to also refuse our own heart’s desires. But, refusing what our present-self wants gives our future-self the opportunity to enjoy what we have not yet enjoyed. It’s almost like a gift to ourselves to be opened with time. And when you schedule these enjoyments, you place treats all over your life like a parent hides chocolate eggs all around a garden for their children in preparation for Easter. When you over-indulge, you satisfy your present wants but add strain to your family, job, responsibilities and life. Everyone has to do it to learn, but when self-discipline becomes the solution, you truly indulge and optimize for all.
It may seem odd or uncomfortable to say no to yourself at first, but uncomfortable is what we want – check out this previous post. If saying no to yourself doesn’t work for you, you can always go back. But at least try indulging in self-discipline and share your experience.