Have you noticed that with each generation that hits adulthood, there appears to be a greater need for instant gratification? Whereas our parents' and grandparents' generations were content with staying in the same job for life, living somewhere that was not their ideal and going out for dinner was a special event, now we want everything and we want it now! We want the perfect house in the perfect suburb by our mid-thirties. We get frustrated if we don't get a response to our texts or emails immediately. I won't even go into instant messaging! We expect to be able to afford to go out every week. Instead of saving up and buying that record or cassette at the music store, we download it instantly and put it on the credit card. We order fast-food or, as in my case, pizza home delivered, because we think it will be faster and easier than making dinner. Yes, I am not immune. Basically, we expect to get what we want, when we want it! And, the blood suckers out there are now praying on this. Have you seen the amount of get-rich quick schemes and fast-food joints that are out there and growing by the day?

This is leading to an epidemic where resisting temptation is getting more and more difficult. Especially for each new generation that have never experienced having to wait for snail mail (the post) to hear from friends or family or until the bank opened during the week before you could go in with your passbook to withdraw money. The rapid advances in technology is a major culprit of this, but instead of just freeing up our time to do other things, our world just gets faster and faster and we want to do more and more.

What's wrong with this, you may ask? Although it may lead to short-term satisfaction, it is often at the cost of achieving our longer-term goals and the deeper, more profound feelings of success and balance in our lives. In fact, it can and does lead to quite the opposite!

So, how do you resist temptation for the greater goals in your life? Well, it's not necessarily easy, but here's a few tips:
Become aware of your temptations. What are the things in your life that you know you should avoid or do less of? What are the temptations that you give in to, that make you feel worse afterward? These could be anything from procrastination to eating the wrong foods, sex outside of an intimate relationship, buying stuff you don't need, or indulging excessively in something.
Examine what triggers you to give in to temptation. What triggers one person may not be the same trigger for another person. You need to find out what is specific to you that leads to to give in. A few common triggers are indecision or lack of thought about what you want out of life, your job, your relationships, your future direction. Attention seeking. Stress or feeling sad. Frustration with the way things are headed in your life, with other people in your life or with yourself. Lack of self-confidence. Boredom. Or the age-old one "I'll get to it tomorrow".
Build up the negative of giving into your temptations. If you continue to give in to your temptations, where will you be in a year from now or ten years from now. How will it affect your health, relationships, finances, energy, self-confidence?
Build up the positive of not giving in to your temptations. If you don't give in today, this month and get habituated into not giving in, what will change for the better? Your health, relationships, finances, energy, self-confidence?
Plan for temptation. You know you will be in a situation where temptation will rear it's ugly head, so plan for it. This way you can be prepared and overcome temptation before it takes hold. If you know that you need to go to the shopping centre to buy a pair of trousers because you're old ones need replacing, go in with a plan of what shops to visit and only look at the items you need. Take a friend with you for moral support (even better, take a friend who will think everything is far too expensive). And before going, visualise being tempted by that fabulous jacket and deciding to just walk past it and not even take a close look.
Avoid temptation. Don't buy food that you know you will over-eat. Avoid sales if you might over-spend. If you tend to procrastinate or avoid exercise in the mornings because you're just too tired, switch your exercise time to the afternoons (this was particularly helpful for me). If you procrastinate on the big tasks and end up doing nothing as a result, start by doing the little, easy tasks.
Swap the temptation with something else. Do you crave sweets and end up eating a whole bar of chocolate? Buy some fruit to have instead.
Distract yourself at the core times when the temptation becomes overwhelming. Take up a hobby, do some exercise, study or research, wash the car. Anything that will lead to a more positive outcome.
Reach out to others for support. Friends, family, counselors, mentors can all be a great help in getting you through the times when temptation hits. A mentor is a great way, as you can copy what they do to avoid succumbing to temptation.
If you fall, get back up. Don't let succumbing to temptation stop you from trying. Practice makes perfect after all! The more you resist, the easier it will become.
Finally, reward yourself for not giving in, and really appreciate it. Make sure the reward is fun and opposing to what the temptation is. If your temptation is related to spending money, make the reward something less costly but really enjoyable.

Author's Bio: 

Kristina Plimer is the highly qualified founder and head coach at Bluesky Coaching Sydney. Kristina holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Psychology from the University of Wales, Cardiff (ranked in the top 5 of all UK universities for Psychology at the time), a Diploma of NLP and Coaching, and a Certificate of Hypnosis, amongst others. Kristina is also an NLP Master Practitioner, Psychotherapist, Time Based Therapist and Family Group Conference Facilitator.