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How to Resist Every Temptation and Be a Winner in Life

How to Resist Every Temptation and Be a Winner in Life

Self-control. Also known as willpower, discipline, or determination, this useful trait is a great lifelong skill to have in your back pocket. Self-control will help you overcome tempting situations in life and will also keep you on track when the going gets rough. Read more about how to gain the self-control needed to overcome almost any situation.

What is self-control?

The true definition of self-control is to control one’s emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. Psychology Today defines this tool as, “…the ability to subdue our impulses in order to achieve longer-term goals.” [1]. Instead of acting on immediate impulses, self-control can help us to control our emotions and help prevent us from doing anything we’ll regret, like eating that delicious chocolate milkshake when you’ve been trying to eat healthier. Exercising self-control, or willpower, in these types of situations eventually leads to success and big achievement.

Why is self-control so hard?

There are studies that show that self-control is exhausting [2]. Any task or situation that uses your focus or attention actually taxes your patience and self-control. That’s why after a trying day at work, it’s more likely you’ll lose that control when you get home in the form of binge eating or being ornery towards family members.

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Human beings naturally like to revert to old and familiar routines that are comfortable to them. So any kind of change or new routine that uses a lot of your focus is tapping into your self-control tank. It takes a lot of focus to master new routines, or even to overcome our everyday feelings and impulses.

That’s why at the end of the day, especially days that are filled with a large amount of newness or stress, our self-control tank can be low on fuel and we are more likely to feel exhausted and drained. However, there are ways to identify when your self-control is running on empty and how to refill your tank.

How to tell if your self-control runs on low?

So what are some warning signs that your self-control might be running on low? Let’s address a few of these signs and how to refuel and re-energize your mind and willpower.

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Signs self-control is getting low:

  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Lack of Patience
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Intrusive Thoughts

So what steps can you take to regain control?

If your self control is bad, your relationships would be bad too

Not only is self-control important in achieving personal goals and underlies any successful person, it is also extremely important in our social lives. Using self-control is part of our everyday interactions with others. More often than not, we are put in situations that cause stress or friction within us that may be caused by other people, and the power to control your feelings and emotions in these situations will make or break you.

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Giving into impulsive emotions and feelings can have bad consequences, and knowing how to use self-control will save you from some pretty awkward situations, according to My Self Development [3].

Here are 4 simple ways to build self-control:

There are a number of ways to recharge and re-energize so that you are running at optimal levels of control, ensuring that you are effectively dealing with everyday situations to the best of your ability.

1. Practice situations that exercise self-control

Practice makes perfect, and practicing situations that exercise self-control, like refraining from sweets or technology for a day, will improve these skills [4]. It will also improve your confidence that you can control yourself in stressful situations.

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2. Distract yourself from the tempting situation

When a situation pops up that is tempting, finding a good distraction (like taking a walk or phoning a friend) will help avoid the bad behavior. Also, replacing bad habits with rewarding or positive behaviors is a great way to kick those naughty routines that can be very tempting.

3. Put yourself first to be energized

When your self-control is exhausted, and it will be many times in your life, it can be easy to snap and revert to bad behaviors. A great way to prevent this from happening is by taking care of yourself. Eating healthy, getting enough Z’s, and exercising are great starters. These simple methods ensure that you have the best energy level to handle stress and properly cope with it [5].

4. Change your environment to decrease temptations

By decreasing distractions or temptations within your environment, you won’t need to exercise as much self-control, thereby increasing your focus and energy on more important things. Improving your surroundings will help reserve your self-control for when you need it most [6].

Get started now!

Having good self-control isn’t always easy, and it sometimes takes a lot of work. But by practicing and using some of the tips above, using your self-control will get easier over time, and before you know it, success will follow.

Reference

More by this author

Amanda Lindsey

A registered nurse and a mom who loves to share health resources to help others.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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