Self-control is one of the things that people often miss. Most people can’t control laziness, can't classify goals by priority and can't keep themselves regularly productive. People can’t sit down and do the thing they should be doing. Maybe they can start strong and do really good at the beginning, but in the end, their energy dies. Everyone should have self-control to achieve his goals. Hello everyone and welcome to thebestmind.net. In this article, we're going to learn about ten simple ways to build self-control.
Set your standard
When you're productive first thing in the morning, what happens? You're more productive throughout the day, Right? What if you're lazy first thing in the morning? That lazy morning snowballs into a lazy afternoon. My point is, you set a standard right after you wake up and that standard guides your behavior for the rest of the day.
So, you start your day by keeping yourself in check. Avoid distractions like watching TV while you eat or control your laziness by waking up without the snooze button. Each of these little victories will build your self-control, develop your self-discipline and it'll help you resist temptation time after time.
Find your locus of control
Who's in control of your life, is it you or is it someone else? Most people assume they're in control of their own life, but when they stop and think about it, they realize someone else is deciding their life for them. Psychologists call this: a locus of control.
Your locus of control is any person community or idea that guides your definition of success. Your family might push you to take a certain job. Maybe they've convinced you that doctors are successful, while artists are failures or maybe your hometown has a huge affect on your priorities. You might look up to the people in your community and think, that's what I want my life to look like or that's what success means to me.
Generally, someone's locus of control falls into one of two categories: internal or external. Those last two examples, your parents and your hometown are both examples of an external locus of control. In other words, the most powerful force in your life comes from somewhere other than you.
On the other hand, an internal locus of control begins with you. It means you base your decisions off of your own value. If you have an internal locus of control, you motivate yourself, you inspire yourself and you change your own direction without worrying about what other people expect of you. So, what does all this have to do with self control?
A 2019 study from the journal frontiers in psychology found out that your locus of control has a substantial effect on your mindset. In fact, individuals with an external locus of control are more likely to experience psychological strain and less satisfaction with their lives. When you're stressed or unhappy, it becomes harder and harder to resist temptations, maintain good habits and keep yourself in check.
Now, as complicated as all this sounds, it's a lot simpler in practice. If you want to build self-control, make your own choices. Anytime you're about to make an important decision, ask yourself, is this really what I want or am I doing this because someone else expects me to? The more often you follow that internal compass, the more control you'll feel over your own life.
Adopt a doing mentality
Imagine you're setting new goals. This year, you really want to exercise on a regular basis. So, you say to yourself: I'm going to try to exercise three days a week. It sounds like a good goal, but there's one big problem: The word ''try''. Many people set themselves up for failure by adopting the wrong mentality.
A trying mentality makes your goals seem optional, it creates room for failure and it assumes that you're going to mess up, but what's the point of setting a new goal if you're expecting yourself to fail? That's why adopting a new mentality is so much more effective for developing self-control.
Instead of trying to work out 3 times a week, you tell yourself that you're going to work out 3 times a week. This rigid mindset stops you from flaking on your goals and losing your motivation, because a doing mentality is all about one thing: picking a goal and sticking to it.
Rearrange your priorities
The average person sets a lot of goals. Some for their career, some for their health and some for their passions and hobbies, but not every goal demands constant attention. So it's important to keep your priorities in check. Just ask yourself what are my most important goals, because those goals should sit at the top of your priority list. These are the goals that you're working to accomplish every single day, goals you can't afford to slack off on.
Now, ask yourself a second question: what are my least important goals? these are the goals you want but don't really need. The goals you don't mind fading into the background. Now, both of these kinds of goals are crucial for self-control, because you need to know what comes first and what comes last. If you keep your priorities in check, you can stay firm on the things that matter and give yourself some room to breathe on the things that don't.
Monitor your progress
Few things are more motivating than progress. If you're trying to lose weight, you want to see a lower number on your scale. If you're trying to be more productive, you want to cross those items off your to-do list. Progress inspires you to push harder and harder every day. So, don't let that progress go to waste.
To build your self-control, keep tabs on your progress. Pay attention to the little improvements that you make over time. They might seem small or insignificant now, but every bit of progress adds up. That way, when you're feeling tempted or losing control, you can look back on how far you've come and remind yourself what you're fighting for.
Reroute your control
Self control isn't habit specific. In other words, if you're trying to quit a bad habit, you can help yourself quit by quitting something else first. Let's say you want to cut junk food out of your diet, but you're having a hard time controlling yourself. So, instead of focusing on junk food, try to stop watching TV for a few weeks.
During those few weeks, you may be eating junk food, but you're still practicing self-discipline, you're still resisting some kind of temptation and you're building self control, which means that you'll have an easier time tackling junk food the next time around.
Boost your energy
When are you the laziest? You're lazy when you're unmotivated. You're lazy when you're distracted, but most of all, you're lazy when you're tired. If your body and brain doesn't have the energy to perform, your productivity is going to nosedive and that's why fatigue is such a powerful predictor of both self-control and performance. So, how can you give your energy levels a boost?
According to a 2006 study from the University of Georgia, regular exercise is a great place to start. Exercising multiple times per week can reduce general fatigue, which means you have more energy to get things done, but that's not all.
A 2017 study from The Behaviour Modification Journal found that physical activity increases self discipline on its own. In other words, consistent exercise will keep you in control of your life, because regular routine teaches you to delay gratification and stick to your goals. So, if you want to build self-control, it might be time to start hitting the gym.
Sometimes you take on more than you can handle. You lose control, because you're feeling overwhelmed. If that happens, don't force yourself to do everything at once. Pick out the most important things and postpone the rest. I know it seems like procrastination, but it's really not, because you're learning what you can and can't handle. You're learning how to set your own limits and those limits will keep you productive and in control down the line.
Automate your goals
Out in the real world, self control falls by the wayside. You're having fun with your friends, you got swept up in the moment and you forgot all about those goals that you created for yourself. You tell yourself that's okay to have fun every once in a while, but doing something on only special occasions can quickly turn into a bad habit. So, what simple tricks can you use to keep yourself under control?
One effective strategy is called: goal automation. Decide on certain things ahead of schedule. That way, when you come face-to-face with temptation, you automatically know what to say. Let's try for an example, imagine you're going to eat with a group of friends, you've been really really good with your diet. So, you want to make sure you order the healthiest option available. Instead of getting tempted by all the other delicious options, you decide before dinner that you're going to order a salad. So, that's exactly what you do. By the time, you get to the restaurant. You don't even have to look at a menu. You already know exactly what to order. In that way, you're relieving the pressure and you're keeping your habits under control.
Practice your failsafe
People who automate their goals often use something called: a failsafe. Let's say you decide to order that salad, but your friend orders a burger that makes your mouth water. You know what you're supposed to say. You decided your order ahead of time, but that irresistible temptation that burger is changing your mind. This is the perfect moment to use your failsafe.
A failsafe is a ritual you do everytime you lose control. Some people close their eyes and count to ten, others go to the bathroom and look in the mirror. You can choose almost anything as your failsafe as long as it helps you clear your head.
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