practice self-control during the holidays

The holiday season is here again and it has brought with it all its temptations as well — cookies, cakes, calorie-rich beverages, wines and spirits, irresistible deals and shopping offers. Wherever you go, it’s hard to escape these indulgences. They’re always there front and center this time of the year, whether we’re at family gatherings, holiday parties, restaurants, shopping malls, streets or online. 

Even though these temptations may give us pleasure in the short-term, they cause us harm in the long run. Our poor choices may expand our waistlines, diminish our bank account balances, and bring unnecessary stress and anxiety in our lives. And it’s best to get as far as we can from the instant gratification trap and refrain from participating in impulsive behaviors for our better well-being. 

In his book The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy points out that the small, seemingly insignificant choices we make daily create major changes in our life for good or bad. We think these things don’t matter and don’t worry about them because they have no immediate effect. But over time, they can lead us to places we never intended to be in. And that’s why it’s greatly important that we make conscious choices every single day, even in the ongoing holiday season. 

As John Maxwell writes, “Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today. In other words… You are preparing for something. The question is, What are you preparing for? Are you grooming yourself for success or failure? As my father used to tell me when I was growing up, “You can pay now, and play later, or you can play now and pay later. But either way, you are going to pay.” The idea was that you can play and take it easy and do what you want today, but if you do, your life will be harder later. However, if you work hard now, on the front end, then you will reap rewards in the future.”

He further instructs, “Think about it: What are you preparing for today? Success or failure? Does your daily agenda indicate that you make a habit of paying before you play? Answering these questions is a good predictor of what you will become tomorrow and in the future.”