If you struggle to stick to routines—perhaps you are forever making grand resolves only to forget them again by the next day—it can be extremely difficult to change your lifestyle for the better. It is frustrating, wanting to behave in a certain way only to break and scrap your plans for a better you. If packets of Oreos are not safe in your cupboards for more than a few hours, or you simply can’t stop yourself binge watching your latest series, then you might need to work on your self-control. Self-control is commanding your body and brain with your prefrontal cortex; it is deciding upon a plan and sticking to it long after you have become bored and lost interest. It is hard work, certainly, but it is not impossible. Read on for tips about increasing your self-control.
- Learn How To Say No
The first part of developing control over yourself and your actions is to learn how to say no, and this begins with learning how to say no to yourself. Why can some people sit next to a whole tray of chocolate brownies for hours without dipping their hands in for a taste, and others can barely last five minutes? People who are naturally good at this are likely to be more successful in the long-term, but it can be learnt too. Practice your will, and say no to yourself. If someone asks if you want one, smile and tell them that you’re trying to be good. People may try to persuade you, but tell them to respect your wishes.
- Make Realistic Demands of Yourself
Only take on as much as you can handle, and try to be realistic about what you desire and what you can achieve. If you are trying to stop drinking, smoking, procrastinating and start a new job or a new relationship, maybe consider scaling back what there is that you have to do. Perhaps moderation is the way to succeed; therefore, try drinking only at weekends instead of giving up entirely. If giving up smoking is proving very tough, why not see if for the meantime you can switch to a vaporizer? Purchase one and fill it with liquids from https://www.mtbakervapor.com/e-liquid/, and with a wide array of flavors you might even find it preferable to smoking, and you won’t smell so bad either.
3.Take a Deep Breath Before You Act
Learn some simple breathing techniques and put them into action when you’re struggling to resist a certain temptation or craving. Before jumping in head first, taking a long breath can allow you the time to think before you act. If someone asks if you want dessert, think, mull it over, and slowly come to a conclusion. If you don’t know whether to go to the gym or sit at home, stop to consider your options. Not only can this help you say no, but it can also remind you why going to the gym is important before you completely write it off.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If things didn’t go exactly as you had planned them, or you are finding it harder to kick those bad habits and develop those good ones, don’t beat yourself up about it. The worst thing you can do is start feeling guilty and shameful about your actions, as these negative emotional states draw us in and make us more likely to ‘fail’ time and time again. Remember, it’s not that you cannot change, it’s that you have not changed just yet. By working on your self-control, you are helping to change in the long term.
Photo by Clarke Sanders
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