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How to Practice Self-Control

discipline personal growth self-control success Mar 15, 2022

Self-control is one of the essential skills we can possess. It allows us to hit our long-term goals and avoid any impulsive behavior that could lead to bad habits. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to practice self-control. This blog post will discuss tips to help you develop better self-control and achieve your goals.

Self-control is vital for success.

Self-control is one of the essential skills you can learn to achieve success. With poor self-control, you are most likely to give in to impulses and prioritize whatever can give you instant gratification. Self-control is synonymous with self-discipline and willpower. Practicing self-control can help us avoid temptations and overcome bad habits. It also lets us get closer to achieving long-term goals and maintaining consistency in our commitments. However, not all people are blessed with the ability to exercise self-control, leading to impulsive behaviors, such as giving in to addictions or making rash decisions. The good news is that it's possible to build self-control anytime as long as you have the will to do it. There are several ways how one can develop self-control.

1. Focus on one important thing at a time

It's easy to lose focus and get distracted when you do many things simultaneously, such as working on multiple goals. In addition, juggling many tasks at once will drain your energy and make you more prone to giving in to impulses. To combat this, focus on working on one goal, preferably the most important to you at the moment. If you know what your number one priority is, you can forego other things that don't matter much to you at the moment.

2. Think about the consequences

To improve your self-control, think about the negative consequences of whether you decide to do something detrimental to yourself. For example, if you want to quit smoking, you have to fight the urge to smoke every time you feel like wanting to smoke. Otherwise, giving in can worsen your addiction and lead to ailments that can be life-threatening. Likewise, when you want to lose weight, you have to control your diet or get fat and develop some diseases in the long run. So for any activity that can have dire consequences in the long term, you only need to remind yourself of them to exert self-control over what can bring harm to you eventually.

3. Avoid things that serve as temptations

If you want to improve self-control, you can avoid the things or activities that tempt you to give in to your urges. No matter how strong-willed you are, your self-restraint can still come loose and make you indulge sometimes. So try to avoid in the first place whatever can tempt you. If you want to save money as a habit, look away from advertisements that show significant discounts on things or go to malls where enticing offers are most likely in plain view.

4. Practice doing self-control

To gain greater self-control, one must continuously practice it to become more consistent and committed to doing it. The more you practice doing it, the more you will become adept at utilizing it whenever faced with situations that require self-control to overcome. Consciously using self-control whenever something can have consequences on you will turn it into a habit that can help you in your life.

5. Create plans and to-do lists

Creating plans and to-do lists helps in building self-control. With planning, you set in stone activities ahead of time so that if distractions occur, you can avoid them if they don't play any part in what you have to do. Planning your activities ahead of time also helps conserve your energy and willpower so that you don't have to waste your time and energy thinking about what to do. Being drained of energy can make you more susceptible to losing self-control, so plans can help counter this behavior.

6. Improve your self-esteem and self-confidence

Low self-esteem and self-confidence can affect your lack of self-control. You can tend to do something anyway with poor esteem, even with negative consequences, because you think poorly of yourself. Low self-confidence can make you forego long-term goals and prioritize short-term goals instead since you might think you can't commit and do the actions necessary to achieve meaningful and long-term goals. However, all is not lost. It's possible to build esteem and confidence anytime, and there are ways to do it. Exercising self-control becomes easier when you have a better opinion of yourself and feel more confident.

7. Think long term

When you lack self-control, you tend to grab opportunities and do things that can give you pleasure and satisfaction right now. Thinking in the long term and trying to see the bigger picture of something can aid in developing self-control. Long-term thinking helps you identify the necessary actions and things to help you fulfill your long-term goal. Delaying gratification is part of self-control. One can forego short-term pleasures to attain something beneficial and provide greater happiness in the long run.

Gain better self-control in your life

Good self-control is beneficial to your life. It allows you to avoid behavior that can damage your health and well-being, prioritize things for personal development, and achieve any long-term goal you want. Excellent self-control is necessary when forming good habits in your life, such as doing regular exercise, not smoking or drinking alcohol, getting a good amount of sleep every day, preventing overspending, eating a healthy diet, etc. In addition, good self-regulation is vital for goal achievement and career success. Repeated practice of self-control will help you avoid making irrational decisions and avoid temptation.

One thing to remember about self-control is that it is a limited resource. No matter how good are you with your self-control ability, it can eventually drain if you practice it too much. Every instance where we practice self-control drains a portion of it, so doing it multiple times in a single day is not a good idea. You have to take a break, and sometimes, you can't help but spoil yourself a bit so as not to deprive yourself too much. Self-control is necessary when you have a growth mindset, but don't forget to enjoy yourself and be happy in your everyday life.

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