The Best Strategies for Achieving Self-Control
Self-control is something that all of us are craving for. Having good intentions and sticking to your goals can be hard and harder for most people. We are not robots and only a few of us are capable of building the self-confidence along with self-control without following the impulses and being tempted by some bad habits or passions. For example, many of us want to lose weight, but can’t beat those night cravings. Some want to achieve the better career but can’t resist the desire to be lazy. That is why you may need a few efficient self-control activities and techniques to achieve your life goals, while firmly standing on the way to your dreams.
Why is it important teaching self-control?
Many people believe that grit and self-control are the same things. In fact, both grit and self-control have distinct differences. Grit can be defined as the ability to follow the long-term life goals during many years while developing self-control can teach you how to resist temptation in the moment.
The experts from Psychology Today claim that self-control for kids is even more important that building self-esteem and motivation for adults. The kids who have learned the impulse control activities can make more friends, get better grades, like sports, and be indifferent to bad habits like smoking. Some psychologists claim that self-discipline is more important than intelligence.
Learning self-control: psychology experts can help you
The team of Psychology Today also prepared a few expert recommendations and techniques that may help you improve self-control and achieve all goals that you wish for:
Self-control can always be increased
Surely, some people have an inborn self-restraint, but you can also learn it as a skill. Also, self-control can be quite flexible. Only you can define the range for your self-control – the sky is the limit. You just need to practice the chosen self-control method daily.
Understand fully what you want to control
You need to have a certain goal that can be achieved if you improve self-control. If you have a vague goal like “I need more control and I have to resist temptation”, your self-control technique may fail. Instead, you may say to yourself: “I need to work for an hour without checking the social media” or “Don’t have a snack before the dinner”. There are more strict goals that can be achieved. One step after another and you will gradually learn how to control yourself.
The brute force won’t help
All impulse control activities for adults prove that forcing yourself to do something never works. Instead, consider causing less interest to your temptation. Imagine that temptation doesn’t exist, it is simply an image in your head. Or try replacing it with other activities – instead of having a fast-food snack, try eating an apple. In such way, your food cravings will be satisfied and won’t result in the bigger waistline. Having no self-control and having a half self-control, so to speak, with replaced or abstract temptations – decide what is better for you.
Modifying your environment
A 2006 study found that secretaries had more candies when they had the bowl with sweets on their desks. Little changes can make big differences – this psychology rule can be applicable to many situations and may help you improve self-esteem or self-control as well. If you are prone to checking social media, delete them from your browser’s bookmarks at work or completely log off to prevent the quick checking of social media. If you have alcohol cravings, consider avoiding any clubs or bars and stop communicating with people who invite you to visit such places to drink a few shots. Such small changes can assist your self-control more than “bold” decisions like “I will never drink alcohol again, I can stay in a bar and don’t drink easily”.
Talk to yourself
Self-talk can be really helpful if you need to resist temptation. Try talking out loud why you shouldn’t eat or drink. According to some psychology experts, self-talk is one of the metacognitive representations that may help you think about your own thinking. Talk about your goals each time you have an urge to give up to temptations.
Forgive yourself if you fail
Failing is okay, especially if the strong emotion was involved. You are only a human after all, and your willpower may take a rest during a diet or staying with friends at the bar. You need to forgive yourself and promise to try better next time. However, if the fails prevail the successful episodes of self-control, consider avoiding the situations where your emotions may fail your motivation.
Your actions today affect the tomorrow actions
You need to achieve the small goals day after day. Never promise the things with the uncertain time period. If you want to stop smoking, start from giving a promise to stop smoking today. Not smoking today may result in a simple decision of not smoking tomorrow. Promising to do something tomorrow, instead of today, is a very bad decision for your self-control practice. Keep in mind the abovementioned recommendations about small changes lead to the big difference.
The last recommendation that can be given to people who are eager to get more self-control is to visit a psychologist who may help you on this difficult path. However, never stop trying to develop self-control because this skill can significantly improve the quality of your life and save more time for better things than bad habits or temptations.