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How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding It

https://lifehacker.com/how-self-control-works-and-how-to-boost-your-willpower-5802572

lifehacker.com

How Self-Control Works, and How to Boost Your Willpower by Better Understanding It
If we were entirely logical, we'd be able to abandon our bad habits, curb temporary moments of insanity, and practice self-control. Our logic is paired with emotion, however, and sometimes our emotions motivate us to make poor decisions. That's where self-control comes in.

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Self-Control

Self-Control

Our logic is paired with emotion, and sometimes our emotions motivate us to make poor decisions. That's where self-control comes in.

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Self-Control is difficult to produce

Self-Control is difficult to produce

The main reason is that indulgence is much easier than the alternative. 

Self-control requires work. It's easier to focus on work that provides temporary satisfaction.

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Boost your willpower

Boost your willpower
  • The simplest way to get better at anything is to practice. As a weekly exercise, pick something you do in excess and stop for a week. After you've practiced for several weeks, try for longer.
  •  Find Adequate Distractions as a method of self-control.
  • Take Care of Yourself so that you do not deplete your reserves.
  • Make it harder to make the wrong choice. 
  • Introduce Fear. It's easier to adjust your diet or kick a habit if you truly believe it's going to kill you or cause immediate harm.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Self-Control

 ... is the ability to regulate and alter responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.

Research on Self-Control

  • A 2011 survey found that 27 % of respondents identified a lack of willpower as the primary factor keeping them from reaching their goals. 
  • One study found that students who exhibited greater self-discipline had better grades, higher test scores, and were more likely to be admitted to a competitive academic program. 
  • The study also found that when it came to academic success, self-control was a more important factor than IQ scores.
  • A health study found that people who were rated as having high levels of self-control during childhood continued to have high levels of physical and mental health in adulthood.
  • Research has found that self-control is a limited resource. In the long-term, exercising self-control tends to strengthen it. 

Motivation and Monitoring

A lack of willpower is not the only factor that affects goal attainment.

  • There needs to be a clear goal and the motivation to change. Having an unclear or overly general goal and insufficient motivation can lead to failure.
  • You need to monitor your actions daily towards the achievement of the goal.
  • You need to have willpower.

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Self-control

Self-control

It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies a...

Why self-control matters

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.

Biological limits to self-control

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

Avoid willpower depletion

Building willpower is similar to building muscle. Continually exercising without giving yourself a break is not the best way to increase your strength or performance.

Do...

Use your imagination

Imagination can blunt the cravings that erode your self-control.

If you imagine lying on a peaceful beach, your body will respond by relaxing. If you imagine being late for an important meeting, your body will tense in response. Use this to your advantage in building willpower.

Think about something else

You can even use your imagination to keep unwanted thoughts away.

Every time that unwanted thought occupies your mind, consciously think about something pleasant instead.