Self-control – or the restraint exercised over one’s impulses, emotions or desires – is what we employ to reach our long-term goals. Plus, studies show that people with self-discipline tend to be happier. But, how do you go about it when there are so many temptations and impulses surrounding you?

  • Know Your Weaknesses – acknowledge those shortcomings
  • Remove Temptations – ditch the bad influences
  • Set Clear Goals and Have a Plan – determine what you hope to accomplish and what success will look like to you
  • Practice Self-Discipline – it’s a learned behavior that requires repetition and practice
  • Be Aware of Triggers – acknowledging your weak spots means you won’t be surprised when they surface
  • Create Simple New Goals – focus on doing one thing consistently rather than trying to change everything all at once
  • Eat Often and Healthy – being hangry can impact willpower
  • Change Your Perception About Willpower – the amount of willpower you have is determined by your beliefs
  • Give Yourself a Backup Plan – go into situations with a plan to give yourself the mindset and self-control necessary
  • Reward Yourself – anticipation can be powerful
  • Forgive Yourself and Move Forward –keep moving ahead, even if you fall short at times, rather than getting hung up by guilt, anger or frustration

Sources: American Psychological Association, Vol. 43, No. 1, January 2012; Psychology Today;, 5/14/19; Merriam-Webster Dictionary

For more tangible tools like this, check out our 10 Life Skills Workshops to Support Students’ Mental and Emotional Health and Well-Being resource.