I remember when I graduated college and got my first job. I was proud of myself. I was hired right from my internship. I thought I was a big deal making big money. In reality I was barely making enough to cover my bills but those just seemed like details. I was independent and self supported! Woohoo. It was time to celebrate and what better way then buying a Laptop! A Dell fully customized laptop. That’s right! My current mom-self looks at my twenty something self going WTF. A laptop? How about a trip to Hawaii, a massage, a shopping spree…..come on! How lame can you be!
Anyways, for some reason buying a laptop seemed like the best way to celebrate my entrance into adulthood. With no credit and no savings I bought that shit anyway. I financed the crap out of it. I remember it was something ridiculous like 15% but no worries I was on a payment plan. I would get that thing paid off in no time.
True to form I diligently paid the monthly bill on-time and in full. After a couple of months I noticed that despite my payments I still owed basically what I paid for it. I was in shock. How could this be?? After closely reviewing the bill I realized that only $10 was going to the principal and the rest was going to interest.
I groaned inside. This is going to take me years to pay-off!!! Errr!! Knowing that I didn’t want to just throw money away to “interest” I quickly figured out how to pay more to the principal. I also learned a valuable lesson and that is how you spend your money matters.
This is where I learned about the POWER OF THE PAUSE. I realized once the money was spent there was no going back. I have champagne taste on a tap water budget and I realized that doesn’t work on so many levels. From that moment on every time I wanted shoes, vacation, etc. I would pause. I would take 30 seconds and ask myself. Do I really want this? Is this really going to make me happy? Is this the best use of my money? How will this affect my money in the future? Is this going to make me more stressed? - is it worth it? I would ask myself these series of questions and I would realize in the end most times that the item was a fleeting impulse and that it would cause more harm than good. When I did spend the money on an item, it quickly became my favorite thing that I owned.
And by now you are probably wondering why we are talking about shoes rather than food. So, here is my point. Using the power of the pause can be instrumental in your success. Too often we just stuff food into our mouths and make choices that we wish we didn’t make thirty-minutes after we have made them.
So I offer you the power of the pause. Before you eat take 5-10 seconds think about the following questions. (of course you can ask yourself whatever questions you want. These are the ones that help me the most)
Is this option in line with my goal? Will it bring me closer or farther from them?
Is this going to taste as good as I think it will?
Why am I making this choice? (this is where emotions come in - are you sad, mad, happy or glad? )
How will I feel about my choice after I eat this?
Physically how will I feel?
If I eat this now? What will I not eat later (#wecan’teatdessertalldayeveryday)
Does this take work and patience to try? Absolutely! Will it take you longer then 5-10 seconds at first to go through these questions? Totally. Is it worth it? Yes.
The more you stick with this the easier it will become to make the choices that you want to be making and here is the deal. The times that you answer these questions and then eat the dessert, fries, etc you will be happy with your choice and you will be able to truly enjoy it instead of feeling bad, guilty, etc. I also guarantee if you start using this technique when you do decide to treat yourself you will eat way less than you did before. You will find yourself less often at the bottom of an empty tub of ice cream or bag of potato chips.
What would your life feel like if at the end of the day you felt good about all of the choices that you made?
Would you like help learn how to harness “the power of the pause”. Contact me at Theresa.Worley@icloud.com