Impulse decisions are choices we make without considering long-term consequences. They keep us from reaching our goals in areas such as health, finance, and relationships. All impulse decisions have one goal in common; to satisfy a desire and to do it quickly. Impulse decisions can also have one result in common, regret. When confronted with an urge such as eating that junk food, making that purchase, or losing your temper at someone, take a moment to pause and use these 7 steps to stop impulse decisions in their tracks.
1.) Become Physically Aware
Impulses start as a physical feeling. Take the time to notice where your impulse is coming from. Your stomach, head, or chest? Stop impulsive decisions as you feel them.
2.) Become Emotionally Aware To Stop Impulse Decisions
Attempt to connect an emotional feeling with the physical feeling. Why are you angry? What are you fearing? Why are you tense? Do not be afraid to dig deep. This is an excellent opportunity for personal growth.
3.) Become Impulse Aware
Stop impulse decisions by examining the motivation of the impulse. What actions does it make you want to take?
4.) Become Consequence Aware
Take a moment to think about the consequences of the decision. Will you be financially strapped? Will you sabotage your diet goals? Are you hurting your relationships? Ponder any undesirable consequences in the short and long term.
5.) Become Solution Aware To Stop Impulse Decisions
Come up with alternatives. Which one of those alternatives will have the best outcome? Thinking about the positives that will happen when you make a more wise choice will give you the motivation to change.
6.) Think About What You Are Gaining
What would you gain if you could stop impulse decisions? Would you be healthier? Would your relationship get better? Shift your perspective from what you are giving up, to what you are gaining.
7.) Call A Friend
Call a friend or someone who is supportive of you and your goals. The voices in our minds can be overpowering so we need an outside perspective to bring us back to our senses.
Impulse decisions are often habitual. They happen almost automatically when triggered. When you know a trigger is coming, be proactive and begin this process as soon as possible. If you do act on impulse, do not beat yourself up about it. It takes time. Setbacks will happen. Imagine being able to relive the situation. What would you have done differently? Use this information to develop a strategy for future circumstances and give yourself a chance to stop impulse decisions before they happen.