5 Best Ways to Increase Self-Control

5 Best Ways to Increase Self-Control

An achievement, be it of any kind, requires some amount of hard work and sacrifice.  The first thing you must have realized while chasing your dream is that you cannot have everything in life.  If you want to achieve something, you must also be willing to let some things go.  If you wish to lower your body weight, you must cut down on calories, even if you love French fries.  Self-control is as necessary as hard work, and if you want to make your dreams come true, you should practice both religiously.  

However, practicing self-control is easier said than done.  Several studies have suggested that most human temptations last for about 8 minutes.  If someone can abstain from an urge for the first few minutes and do it consistently, it would ensure that they remain focused on what matters the most.  This article will try to find the five best methods to improve self-control.  

Enough sleep 

Sleep is a crucial part of our daily routine.  But the modern-day lifestyle has a very dismissive attitude towards sleep.  Sleep is not only about resting the body; it is also necessary for the brain to process the cognitive trash.  If you do not get enough sleep, it can impact your brain function, particularly the Prefrontal Cortex, which is responsible for reasoning, and the Amygdala, which regulates emotions.  This is also something that C-suite executives and managers must remember – if you push your employees to work extra hours and make them answer messages and calls all the time, they are more likely to be stressed and unhappy.  This can also lead to cutting corners and resorting to unethical behavior.  As an executive, you must ensure that your team gets enough rest because a tired team may not function to its full potential, which is not good for the business.  You must set the example and make sure that your team prioritizes sleep.  You must also encourage the overworked employees to communicate about their problems so that they can be solved. 


When we talk about self-control, it is mostly about resisting our temptations and impulses and exercising our willpower.  A simple way to achieve this is through self-regulation.  Self-regulation is the ability to control your feelings and actions.  If you lack self-regulation, you may find it challenging to deal with anger, stress, or anxiety.  You can also feel more at ease if you practice self-regulation because it helps you connect with your values and communicate your needs.

Emotional intelligence 

If you are looking to control your emotions and impulses, you might want to start by learning more about your emotional intelligence.  You must watch how you behave in an annoying situation or whether you are staying composed in a stressful environment.  If you can keep your emotions and impulses in check, you are not only emotionally intelligent but also have leadership qualities

Decision Fatigue 

If you hold an executive-level position in a company, making big decisions would likely be part and parcel of your job description.  Therefore, it is also expected that you may be suffering from decision fatigue, also known as ego depletion.  It is a theory that suggests that an average human’s ability to make decisions worsens after making multiple decisions since the brain tends to get tired.  This not only applies to the more significant decisions, but every decision you make throughout the day can impact your brain.  That is why it is often recommended that you not make any important decisions at the end of the day because your brain might be exhausted.  Automation is another possible solution.  If you can put some of the minor aspects of your life on default, your mind will not be worried about them.  That way, your brain will be better equipped to decide on the more important topics.  For example, Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple, always dressed in the same black turtlenecks and blue denim.  This default mode of dressing kept his brain prepared for decisions on far more critical topics. 

SMART Goals  

Often the goal you wish to achieve may appear too big and lead you to lose your self-control.  In such a scenario, you must break your goal into achievable smaller targets or SMART goals.  SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.  By making your goals realistic and attainable, you can achieve them without feeling overwhelmed.  It may include everyday tasks in your personal as well as professional life.  Once you start fulfilling these smaller targets, it will provide you with greater motivation and self-control, propelling you towards the larger goals.  

Practicing self-control may be difficult, but it is not impossible.  All you need to do is figure out the source of your motivation and keep an eye on the larger picture.  Your lifestyle also plays a significant role in practicing self-control.  Apart from having a balanced lifestyle, you must also try incorporating some physical exercise into your daily routine.  The moment you start living a life of self-control, you will find it much easier to manage both the personal as well as professional aspects of your life.   


The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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