Many of you know that I love Pop-Tarts. Especially, the frosted brown sugar cinnamon ones! And I’m not sure I’ve ever read the nutritional label, but safe to say they’re terrible for you! But some things in life are just worth it!
While these things are so so good, it’s clear you can’t eat them all the time. So I limit myself to one sleeve (2 individual Pop-Tarts) per week. Rather, I don’t eat one sleeve every week, but when I do decide to eat one, the rule is that I cannot have another for 7 days. Gotta watch the waistline 😉.
During this past week, my Pop-Tart craving hit me hard on Wednesday. And, as one does, I gave in to it (unfortunately, I was forced to resort to frosted strawberry because my main squeeze was MIA).
Then, when I finished working on Friday night, it hit me again as I was shutting down my computer around 9:30 pm. And the timing was inopportune because I needed to walk Dutch. Our normal route takes us past a Duane Reade with every flavor of Pop-Tart imaginable. So I decided to leave my wallet and phone at home (no cash, credits cards, or Apple Pay with which to make a purchase).
I left everything at home for the same reason that we do not buy boxes of Pop-Tarts to store at home. I don’t trust myself.
None of us has a bottomless well of discipline and motivation, myself included. We’re human. Our desires and emotions overpower rational thought on a daily basis. It happens like clockwork and it’s perfectly predictable.
So, for me, the way to hack the system is to remove opportunities to cheat. If I have no way to pay, I can’t buy Pop-Tarts.
It’s the same reason that, whenever I have hunted for apartments in the past, the number 1 prerequisite is a good gym in the building. If I don’t have to leave the building, there’s never an excuse not to go.
It’s why my phone is always face down on my desk and on silent. If I cannot hear the notifications or see them pop up, there’s no chance of distraction.
Long story short, it seems to me that the shortest route to discipline is making it easy to remain focused on whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Make it hard to cheat.
But at the same time, be compassionate with yourself every now and again. Someone has to eat those Pop-Tarts!