Don’t Re-decide

It is very difficult to contain our impulsive tendencies when we’re buffeted by short-term conflicting emotions and temptations.

A clear, definite choice made when you are thinking and planning with care and then remade when you’re tired, hungry, feeling sexual appetite or irritated is a setup for failure. This re-choice is highly likely to be a short-term, impulsive reaction rather than based on consideration of your long-term best interests.

In answer to your sleepy self asking whether you need to get up right now or can snooze for 15 more minutes, the only answer you should give is a continually repeated reminder that “I already decided this is the time to get up, so get up!”

If you see the chocolate and think, “I can have one piece.” Start repeating, “I already decided to not have any sweets until after dinner, so keep moving.”

It is important to consciously refute the feeling that there is an opportunity to re-decide. The repetition of the thought “I’ve already decided!” helps to block the insubordinate thoughts, images and feeling that there is in fact an opportunity to re-decide.

The process needs to be very deliberate:

  • Make a clear, conscious and unequivocal decision
  • Think through the likely re-decision points (e.g., when the alarm goes off)
  • Decide what you’re going to say to block the insistent notion that there is an opportunity to re-decide
  • Start repeating the saying you’ve decided to use to block tempting thoughts
  • Act on your decision. Start before the re-decision pressure has a chance to take hold
  • Celebrate your willpower
  • Rededicate yourself to not re-deciding the next time

Re-decisions are a major factor in failure to stick to new behaviors. Any equivocations will sabotage your efforts. Be very clear and definite. Don’t look back!