How To Improve Self Control And Discipline: [15 Psychology Tips]

If you’ve ever wondered how to improve self control, this article is for you.

Self-control is something we all struggle with. Some people are more successful at controlling themselves than others. Some people give in easily when they are tempted to do something they know they shouldn’t do.

Self-control is something we should all strive to get better at. If we lack self-control in anything in life it could lead to depression, loss of relationships, loss of money and probably a shorter lifespan.

The idea of self control is to limit yourself to things that will benefit your life and stay away from the things that will harm you in the long run.

Some of the things you may need self control over are things like over eating or procrastination. You need self-control when you are in public.

Some words need to be contained. You need to be aware of what you’re saying before you allow it to leave your lips.

You also need control over your time and how you use it. Many times you waste the free time you could be using to work on new projects or growing relationships with your friends and family.

If we can master the art of self-control then life becomes manageable, fun and even exciting.

We will meet new people, grow relationships and develop projects that become something bigger than one single person can fathom.

How To Improve Self Control And Discipline:

1. Decide What You Want to Do

Part of self-control is to know what you want, or knowing what has to be done. If you don’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt what it is you’re supposed to be doing then there’s no way you can have the self-control to get it done.

There are couple ways to know what you’re supposed to be doing. The first is to be told what to do. If you’re working at a 9-to-5 job, you’re most likely being told what to do every day.

The best way to know what you’re supposed to be doing and how to do it is to ask the person in charge the proper way to get it done.

For example; if you need to know how to stock a certain item on the shelf you will ask your boss how he would do it. Then you would imitate that action over and over again until you have mastered the action.

If you are trying to accomplish a personal goal, then you have to know what those personal goals are and what the steps are to achieve those goals.

If you don’t know these things then you’re kind of moving in the dark and there’s a strong possibility you will not complete your stated goal.

2. Make a Plan to Get It

It is two different things to know what your goal is and to actually be working towards completing that goal.

You can always know what you want in life, but if you don’t take the steps to achieve those goals, then you’re basically just making a wish and hoping it comes true.

What you need to do is sit down and think about what it will take to get to that particular goal. Are you going to have to do all the work yourself or can you find someone to help you achieve that goal?

Do you have to make investments and purchases to help you achieve that goal? There are a lot of things that could go into making your passion come true.

From my experience, the only way to know how to get to a goal is to sit down and make a list of all the things that must happen before that a goal is complete.

If you don’t know what it takes to get to that goal, you need to find someone who does know and ask them what they did to make it happen.

Once you know what it takes to accomplish your goal then you should sit down again with a new sheet of paper and set a timetable for when you intend to complete each step to accomplish your goal.

Give yourself a certain amount of time to complete each step. Know what date and what time you need to be complete by. Then you will feel bad if you don’t accomplish that task by that given time.

He will be more likely to get it complete.

3. Follow Through with that Plan

Once you have a plan to achieve what you want to accomplish, you must make those plans happen. Having the plans mean nothing if you don’t take action on them.

Always be ready to move forward and do something. Take action and make those plans a reality.

Taking action can be one of the hardest things you can do. The reason most people don’t is because they don’t take that first step.

Take the first step. If you take that first step the rest will come naturally. If you can drive forward towards the finish you’ll be more likely to accomplish your goals.

There are couple things you can do to make sure you take that first step. The first is to put everything else aside and dive right in to the step that will get you started.

Then you should continue on until you finish the job or find a stopping point where you will want to pick up and continue at a later time.

Another thing you can do to make sure you begin your project is plan time and space to actually work on the project.

If you know you have a bracketed amount of time to get the project complete, then you will be more likely to get started and focus on that project.

SEE ALSO: How To Be More Confident In Yourself: 21 Hacks To Boost Confidence

4. Know Where You Need Improvement

When you’re having trouble actually doing what you should be doing, one reason could be you don’t feel you are good at it. You feel whatever you do is not quality work or other people are constantly judging what you are doing.

The only way to battle this particular feeling, in my opinion, is to find ways to improve on your actions.

If you can set your mind to the fact you are learning, then other people knowing you’re an amateur is not as big of a deal because they know you are focusing on becoming better at what you’re doing.

One of the biggest ways to become better at what you’re doing is to make a list of the things you’re not so good at. Sit down and pinpoint the things you know you need to work on.

Next to that list write down things you can do, ways you know will help you become better at those particular weaknesses.

Having that list will keep you thinking about what you should be doing to become better.

Looking at that list on a regular basis will keep your mind focused on doing the correct things instead of pondering things that really don’t matter.

5. Decrease Your Stress Level

Stress is one of those things that can affect your life in many ways. It can cause you to eat more and gain weight. It can cause nervousness and not loss of sleep. Stress can keep you from doing things that will help you better yourself.

There are several ways to decrease your stress level (1). The first is to cut back on the amount of work you were doing. People stress themselves to unknown levels when it comes to their jobs.

Many people work twice the number of hours they should be working in a week and come home just to work on a second or third job.

Take a good hard look at what you’re doing for a living and try to decrease the amount of work you were doing on a weekly basis. If you have to cut back your lifestyle to do so, it is probably a good thing to consider.

Take a vacation or a three day weekend and do something fun where you don’t have to think about other people, about your work or any of the daily life activities that cause you stress.

We should, as human beings, take a vacation at least once a year, preferably twice a year.

Learn how to meditate and get some exercise by running, soccer or anything aerobic. Letting out that extra energy locked in your body will relieve stress.

Any kind of sport or physical activity will release that energy. Meditation will also release that energy if you can clear your mind and body and force it out by sheer willpower.

6. Get More Sleep

Many people find themselves not as productive as they would like to be find because they do not get the amount of sleep they should be getting. They sit up and worry through the night about the next day, about what they should be doing or what they should be learning to improve themselves.

Many people worry so much they just lay in bed staring at the ceiling for hours on end.

There are a few things you can do to battle sleeplessness. The first is to get rid of all distractions from your bedroom. Get rid of the alarm clock and your cell phone and the TV and focus on sleeping.

No one else should be able to bother you while you’re sleeping. Let everyone in the house know you will be laying down and they should not bother you.

If you’re not sleeping at night because you’re worried about your job, then maybe you’re in the wrong job.

If you’re constantly worrying about things you cannot control at the time you’re trying to sleep then something is wrong. You have to make changes so you don’t have that worry anymore.

Find a way to relax before you go to bed. I don’t think you should turn to medicinal drugs or alcohol to make yourself go to sleep. You should learn to relax your body.

Find time to meditate and calm yourself before it’s time to go to bed. Take a run to expend the energy you may still have pent-up in your body before you lay down to sleep.

Take a hot shower to release those tense muscles so you can relax and fall asleep easily.

Find a book to read till you can’t hold your eyes open any more. If you end up reading for hours, then you have learned something or enjoyed a good sci-fi thriller while you are awake.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re setting your alarm clock at 6 o’clock in the morning and you’re not falling asleep until one or 2 o’clock in the morning, you are not getting enough sleep.

Find a way to be the fall asleep early or don’t get up till 10:00 AM. Adjust your daily schedule so you can sleep between 6 and 8 hours per night.

7. Exercise and Eat Well

I think we have gotten used to eating what we want and not really what our body needs.

We fill our systems with carbohydrates and sugars forgetting that we need all the vitamins and minerals that vegetables and fruits give us naturally.

Then we try to supplement them with vitamins that don’t ever really absorb correctly into our bodies.

If we want our bodies to work the way they should work, then we should take the time to learn what it needs.

Take time to read up on nutrition and what you should be eating for your amount of activity you do everyday. Go see a doctor and a nutritionist and discuss with them how best to take care of your body.

Use their knowledge to understand how your body works and what nutrition it needs.

From my experience everybody is unique and the nutritional needs are different from person-to-person. This is why consulting a professional nutritionist is so important.

If you have high blood pressure or high blood sugar or any other physical problem that needs to be addressed, you need to make sure you are looking at those problems.

You need to see a doctor who can help you regulate those attributes of your body. If you don’t, down the road you may find it more and more difficult to do the things you want to do.

8. Reward Yourself

It’s amazing how much you can get accomplished if you reward yourself when you finish a project. Set aside a little bit of money and some time and promise yourself a treat if you finish your project by a certain time.

You can go to a movie or buy a box of ice cream or invest in that new piece of tech that you’ve always wanted but have not allowed yourself to spend the money on yet.

Dangle that prize in front of your writing space or wherever you are working to remind you of what you will give yourself if you finish the project on time.

These prizes don’t need to be really big. They can just be something you don’t give yourself very often. Make sure it’s something that you want enough to entice you to do the work.

If you don’t then you may be disappointed in your progress because your treat was not special enough to strive for, to finish the work for.

9. Be Optimistic

I know a lot of people tend to put their work down. They think what they are doing is the worst project ever and they feel like what they are doing is not worth the effort.

They do this to themselves because it pushes them to create a better product.

Personally I find when I put myself down, I tend to not want to go back to the work. Then I am stuck. Instead of putting myself down and thinking the worst of my projects, I try to think the best of what I’m doing.

I try to believe everyone who will ever read or touch or experience my work will think it’s the best thing since sliced cheese.

10. Smile

You will be amazed at what a simple smile can do. Having that smile when you approach any situation can change the entire outcome of what is happening.

Smiles are contagious. When you smile at one person they almost always seem brighten. They may not always smile but their day has become a little bit nicer.

Sometimes they will extend that smile to someone else because you brightened their day, making your smile go.

11. Step Back

Sometimes you have to stop what you’re doing and take a walk. You can frustrate yourself to the point where your brain will basically stop working. You won’t be able to think straight or make a decision to move forward.

Sometimes you just have to stop and take yourself out of the project for and unknown amount of time.

Many times that frustration will just make you mad. If you are mad, stop. Come back when you are not mad anymore. This can be any amount of time from just a few minutes to several days.

Sometimes you can’t afford to take that amount of time away from your project so you will have to create a way to be okay with what you’re doing.

You will have to do something else to take your mind off the project.

This is when a hobby or a conversation with a friend or even just eating a lunch is enough to get you over that anger and allow you to come back with a fresh mind.

When you come back with that fresh mind, try not to drop yourself back into that pit where you were frustrated. Attack the problem with a different perspective.

Find a new way, a new solution for the project you’re working on.

If you need help, make sure you call on your coworkers or a friend or even an outsider who might have a different opinion on the project.

SEE ALSO: How To Be Successful In Life: 16 Awesome Tips To Live Life You Wanted

12. Distract Yourself

Distracting yourself is a way to reset your mind. You can take a break. Stop what you’re doing and find something else to do. Maybe you have a different aspect of the project you’re working on that you can begin.

Sometimes you might need music or a TV show playing in the background to give your mind something else to do so you can concentrate on your project.

Your mind moves so fast, your hands or your mouth cannot keep up with what you’re thinking about.

By the time you’ve output to the point where your brain is, your brain has moved on to other things, possibly things that don’t even pertain to what you’re doing.

Then you may have trouble continuing.

If your brain has something else to do like listen to music or working on a crossword puzzle or doodling while you are working on a project then it will slow down long enough for you to finish that segment of your project.

13. Create a List and Stick To It

Lists are an amazing tool many people do not take advantage of. I make a list for everything. If I’m going shopping I make a list of what I’m going to buy.

I do not buy anything that’s not on this list.

So if I need milk like I do every week and I didn’t put it on the list I do not buy the milk. So I make sure my list is complete and ready for my shopping trip.

I also make lists of things that need to be done. I will make a to-do list for my day off. This allows me to get stuff around the house done that has needed to be done for some time.

If I don’t make this list, I find I sit around the house and watch TV or surf the Internet or do something else that’s a complete waste of time.

I may not finish the list but I find I get most of the list complete when I make that list at the beginning of the day.

I make lists of goals that I intend to complete. I will make a list of things I want to do in a given month or a given week. At the end of the year I will make a list of things I would like to accomplish for the next year.

Many times just writing these things down will keep them in my head and I will somehow make them happen. If I don’t make them happen I add them to the list for the following year.

The idea is to keep those items in my mind. Making a list allows me to keep them in my mind longer and I don’t forget them quite as easily.

14. Change Your Scenery

Motivation can dissipate if you are doing the same thing in the same place all the time. If you can change where you work, you might find it easier to get back to work.

Changing where you work can help by getting you away from the distractions you are used to at home or at the office. The idea is to put you in an unfamiliar place to work.

If you can focus on the job at hand by taking away the distractions around you (2), you will get more done in a shorter amount of time.

This may be off handed by the fact that you have to travel wherever you are going, but if you can walk there from your home or your office, then it might not be so far that it causes the use of too much time.

The best time to change your scenery is when you notice you are spending more time doing things that don’t matter over the things you need to be doing to get the job done.

Going somewhere else is a way to reset your mind on the task at hand. It also gives you the time that you take to travel to think about what you need to do to get back on track.

Sometimes it’s as small as motivating yourself or finding a new way to look at the project so you can get excited about it again.

15. Find a Partner

I think the easiest way to increase your self-control is to have a partner who is trying to do the exact same thing you are.

If you are trying to write, find another writer.

Together you can challenge each other to word count wars where you compete against each other to see who can write the most words in one day.

If you are trying to keep from eating fatty and calorie dense foods, you need to find someone else who is also trying to avoid those kinds of foods.

You might also find it helpful to find someone who has had success in losing weight and avoiding the foods that cause weight gain.

If you can find someone who has the experience, then you can learn from them how they did it, using them as an example to get excited about losing weight yourself.

If you find yourself at work and you’re losing focus on the project at hand, finding a neighbor who is working on the same project, who might be willing to discuss what you’re having troubles with, could be a huge benefit.

If you can discuss it out loud then you should be able to get back on track and possibly find a new way to look at things.

Thank you for reading this article about how to improve self control and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here