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Thinking About How You'll Feel to Survive Impulses

I just finished up a 12 hour workday. I got a lot of stuff done, took only the bare minimum in breaks, etc. All I wanted to do afterwards was watch Elementary, a modern Sherlock Holmes show. Somehow my "no new shows" rule gets bypassed for new shows about Sherlock Holmes, and I've been enjoying this one.

Last week I watched Elementary. I noticed that while I was watching, I was also doing other stuff on my computer-- organizing files, cleaning up email, checking things online. The anticipation of watching the show was extraordinary, but the actual experience didn't measure up. It was enjoyable, relaxing, stimulating, etc, but not as great as I expect it to be.

As I've written about before, I'm one of those people who has pretty poor impulse control. That's why I give myself so many black and white rules that Absolutely Cannot Be Broken. If my impulses see a crack in my resolve, they push through it. Being someone with poor impulse control is a really bad thing, too; the habit is correlated with less success in pretty much every area.

You'll notice, though, that I'm not watching Elementary right now. Instead I'm writing a blog post. For someone as prone to impulse as I am, it's important to rely on tricks while simultaneously buliding up resistance to impulse over the long term.

Self Destruction Is Generally Counterproductive

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

I was working on some tight deadlines while at a cafe.

Overwhelmingly, I had the urge to break from my diet and order a bunch of junk food - sandwiches, french fries, etc.

I'm not exactly sure why that urge comes up, but I think it's quite common. You've probably experienced it, yes?

If you're trying to refine your diet, or stop binge drinking, or sleep at a reasonable hour, or quit some bad habit, or... whatever... well, how have you gotten off track in the past?

Probably when there was a "good reason" - either something more important (like a deadline) or some general exception (like a "special occasion").

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