So much of success and achieving goals is built on good habits, and good habits are often built on discipline, self-control, and the elimination of bad habits. But improving self-control and building good habits is much easier said than done, and it takes a lot of physical and mental discipline to better yourself. Here are five ways to help improve self-control and build good habits:
We are not wired to consistently resist temptation, a study found that the way most people resist temptation is to remove the temptation. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, “training self-control through repeated practice does not result in generalised improvements in self-control.” So you can stop beating yourself up for not having much self-control, we’re not wired for it. So if people are not wired to have self-control, how do disciplined people exist? They remove temptation, creating effortless self-control. Instead of struggling to resist temptation, remove the temptation. Set yourself up for success by managing yourself and your surroundings by removing temptations. It helps to make decisions automatic and self-reinforcing, so you can focus on priorities and decisions that matter more. An example would be what goes into your shopping trolley. If something (a food) regularly makes its way into your house that is unfavourable or hindering your progress, don’t put it in the trolley to begin with. That temptation won’t be there when you get home.
Measure Your Progress
What gets measured gets managed. According to Psychology Today, monitoring your progress keeps you focused on your goals. Monitoring helps us become experts on our own behaviour, and it makes habits less difficult to govern and change.
Learn How To Manage Stress
Stopping and taking a few deep breaths helps your heart rate slow down, that helps you relax in the moment. Make sure to exercise regularly, eat well and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It all improves focus, cognitive function and your health. You make poor decisions when your blood sugar is low and you are sleep deprived. Exercise helps you sleep better and helps you have discipline with your diet. Learning how to manage stress in healthy ways ensures you have the energy to keep grinding when work and life can feel overwhelming.
Make a to do list for every day, week and month, so when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you know you’re making progress and doing the very best you can. It makes you feel more in control, because feeling overwhelmed and like things are out of your control only leads to disorganisation, stress and wasted time.
You are going to fail, failing is a part of life. Forgive yourself and move on. Beating yourself up and worrying achieves nothing, it is wasted energy. Winston Churchill once wrote, “Success consists of going form failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Eighty percent of achieving a goal is your attitude, and good attitude is a happy worker, and you’re going to need to learn how to happily grind if you want to build self-control and achieve ambitious goals.
Self-control, self-discipline, willpower, whatever you want to call it, IS something you can build. Something you can improve and make stronger just like a muscle. Exercise your self-control and feel the difference with which you function and complete daily tasks. Your health will thank you!