48. 7 seconds to a new you.

Back in the day when live radio and television broadcasts were the norm, an idea was born to prevent profanity, mistakes, violence or other undesirable material from being transmitted. This became known as the 7 second delay. This meant that we were not seeing or hearing the broadcasts in real-time, but rather 7 seconds later.

My friend Joel used a modified (actually elongated) version of this to shed 85 unwanted pounds.

This is what he did.

When Joel decided that the time had come to get serious about losing the weight that had slowly crept up onto his frame over 20 sedentary years, he came up with a very simple method of doing this.

He made a commitment to himself that every time he had the urge to eat something that he knew he shouldn’t eat e.g. Snickers bars, potato chips and the like or consume a greater quantity of food than he knew was necessary, he would simply an enact his version of the 7 second delay.

He made a note of the time with the understanding that if, at the end of two hours, he still desired the same food or treats, he would indulge himself.

And he discovered something rather interesting along the way. He learned very early on that cravings do not last anywhere close to two hours. Not once since he began this practice has he still felt an urge to eat, or overeat, once the two hours had passed and, in his words, “the weight fell off me faster than I ever imagined possible.”

In less than six months the 85 pounds, plus an additional five, had disappeared.

Joel came up with a name for his technique. He calls it the Habit of the Seven Second Delay and has since applied it to many other areas of his life.

He realized that his prior habit of instant gratification – giving in to the cravings – was a sign of having low impulse control and he began to examine where else in his life this impulsiveness was having a deleterious effect.

He found a few areas where is hastiness had led to him making poor choices and he began applying the Habit of the Seven Second Delay to these issues.

He learned that he was an impulsive shopper and modified his use of the Habit of the Seven Second Delay in order to change his behavior.

He decided to never go shopping without a list and to purchase only those items on that list. Like so many of us he was frequently tempted to make purchases outside of the list and addressed these temptations by stretching the Habit of the Seven Second Delay to 24 hours.

This meant that if, at the end of 24 hours, he still wanted to purchase those items, he would have to make a trip back to the store in order to do so.

He told me that in one year there was only one occasion when he made the trek back to the store.

By his calculation, his adherence to the Habit of the Seven Second Delay saved him approximately $18,000.00 over the 12 month period.

Joel swears that the discipline imposed by the Habit of the Seven Second Delay has changed his life in ways he could only have dreamed of and the buyer’s remorse and eater’s remorse and all the other remorses’ that had been part of his life, have now been removed permanently.

If you think the Habit of the Seven Second Delay can help you realize many of your life’s dreams, please don’t make any rapid decisions.

Think about it for 7 seconds and then get started.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at  www.lifesinksorsoars.com  and let me know what you think.

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