Do you hold yourself accountable?
Or are you always stuck, delaying, putting things off?
Maybe you’ve caught yourself saying, “Next Time. Tomorrow. Or I’ll do it later.”
But that later never comes.
If so, don’t be ashamed. As humans, we often create plans. And then… never follow through with them.
But don’t sweat it. Holding yourself accountable and taking control of your life and actions can be learned. It just takes some self-control.
What is Self-Control
According to the Dictionary, self-control is restraint exercised over one’s impulses, emotions, or desires.
It’s the art of controlling your impulsive habits.
And it comes in many different forms like:
- Exercising 4-5x a week
- Not eating junk food when trying to lose weight
- Controlling your anger in a heated argument
- And not spending money on things you don’t need
Why Self-Control is Important
I am the one thing in life I can control, that’s why it’s important. And there are many benefits when you wield power over your emotions. You’re in complete control of yourself, your behavior, and your actions.
Knowing this helps in everyday situations.
Because those who lack the ability to control themselves are unpredictable individuals.
And you don’t want to be known as the “unpredictable” guy or girl…
They normally get into a lot more trouble than people who control their behavior and actions. All because they have NO self-control. And make poor decisions for themselves. Which does more harm than good.
And in specific scenarios, it can be downright embarrassing when you don’t practice self-control.
Just think of a toddler who doesn’t get their way when mom or dad refuses to buy them that toy, candy bar, or bag of chips they want at the store.
Suppose you’ve witnessed this – the rage of a toddler’s temper tantrum.
Then you know how this usually goes.
Many toddlers aren’t able to control their emotions. And they’ll continue to react to a situation like the one above a certain way until corrected.
And as an adult, you’re not a toddler anymore. Those glory days of throwing a temper tantrum with mom or dad in public are all gone.
It would be very unattractive now if you were to throw yourself on the floor when you don’t get your way!
At least to many other adults.
So practice some self-control.
Because I am the one thing in life I can control.
And it’s just that damn important!
It can change your world. Improve your mental health, relationships, interpersonal skills, career, academic, and entrepreneurial journey.
8 Tips That Will Help You Practice Self-Control
1) Develop a Positive Attitude
You should develop a can-do positive attitude with life.
If you have a negative mindset and believe you can’t change, guess what? You’re not going to change.
Always believe in yourself when trying to take control of your life.
Say this to yourself over and over again if you have to – “I am The One Thing in Life I Can Control.”
2) Make a List of Habits You Want To Change
What are some of the habits you’d like to change?
Get a notebook and list as many you can think of. Then out of all the habits you’ve written down, choose one.
What’s the #1 habit you want to work on first?
It’s important you pick and only work on one so you can track and give it all the attention it needs. And so you don’t become overwhelmed.
Once you pick the habit you want to change, take some time to research it.
You need to educate yourself on how others have quit the pattern you’re trying to change. And learning from them can save you a bunch of time as you try to do the same.
For example: Let’s say smoking is a bad habit you want to change.
Do some research on why smoking is terrible, the chemicals in cigarettes, the health risks, and why it’s addictive.
Then find out how others were able to quit this bad habit. And learn from them.
Because learning is a big part of this thing we call life, so… be a lifelong learner.
Many great teachers are willing to teach and show you what has and has not worked for them.
Connect with one and learn from someone you vibe with.
3) Keep a Personal Journal
Keep a notebook by your side for when you have impromptu thoughts and write them down.
This will help you recognize your thought patterns and learn what triggers them. You’ll also be able to control your bad habits better when the time comes.
And when you journal, you should create a time restriction on your thoughts.
Spend 10 minutes writing whatever comes to mind. This will help by making you more mindful of the habit you’re trying to change.
And hopefully, delay your need to engage in the harmful activity.
Then when you have the urge to act on the bad habit you’re trying to change, delay doing it for another 10 minutes.
For example, we wanted to quit earlier.
And… “I am The One Thing in Life I Can Control.”
So before doing it, we’ll put a time limit of 10 minutes before we’re allowed to even do it. During this time, we’ll write down our thoughts and the feelings that come to mind.
Once done, reread what you’ve written and see if you still need to smoke.
This is your chance to take an honest look within yourself. And recognize what makes you impulsive. Why do you want to smoke so bad?
Write it down, and DON’T LIE!
4) Set SMART Goals for Yourself
To reach your goals in life, you must start small. And start where you are.
This is why it’s always good to create SMART goals.
This will be a short, helpful guide for goal setting using the acronym S.M.A.R.T.
- SPECIFIC: Your goal is well defined, and you’re clear on what it is. Because when your goal is straightforward, you have a greater chance of accomplishing it. To make a goal-specific, you have to answer the 4 W’s:
- Who: Who is going to be apart of this goal
- What: What do you want to accomplish
- Where: Where is this goal going to be achieved at
- Why: Why do you want to achieve this goal
- MEASURABLE: You have specific checkpoints to help measure your progress and reach your goal. How will you measure this goal, and how are you going to know when you’ve accomplished it?
- ACHIEVABLE: The goal is attainable and is easy to reach even when mistakes happen. The plan should make you feel challenged but simple enough to achieve it. You should ask yourself if you have the tools and resources to be able to reach your goal. If you do not, how can you gain them to do it?
- REALISTIC: To reach a goal, it has to be realistic. Ensure you have the resources you need in place, and they are available on time. A plan is practical if you believe you can accomplish it.
- TIMELY: Your timeline has a start date and end date with your goal written down. This timeline should be realistic as well. No, you’re not going to lose 50 pounds in two weeks.
And to help you better understand SMART goal setting, I’ll provide an example using weight loss.
S.M.A.R.T. Goal Example Using Weight Loss:
Instead of saying your goal is to lose weight, create a plan stating: I’m going to the gym four times a week to drop 10 pounds. And lose my gut.
- SPECIFIC: I’m going to lose ten pounds by going to the gym 4x per week.
- MEASURABLE: I know I’m reaching my goal by losing 1 lb of body fat each week.
- ACHIEVABLE: I can lose 10 pounds within the next four months by going to the gym 4x per week.
- REALISTIC: It’s possible to lose 10 pounds within four months by going to the gym 4x per week and eating healthy.
- TIMELY: Continuing with this example, I will stick to a four-month timeline to reach my goal. The goal start date will be March, and it’ll end in June.
Setting your goals using this method will give you a detailed plan of what you’re trying to reach. When and how.
Making it seem less intimidating.
5) Start Doing Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are exercises that help with stress management.
If you want to develop self-control, then you need to learn how to lower your stress levels. These techniques are simple to do, and you can do them just about anywhere.
Here are some relaxation techniques you can try:
- Deep breathing belly exercises
- Autogenic relaxation
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Music and art therapy
Remember to be patient with yourself when starting these relaxation techniques.
In the beginning, you may not notice any changes. But, if you practice daily, you’ll see results, and your stress levels will be lower.
6) Do 10 Minutes of Low-Impact Exercise Everyday
Exercise has no time limits.
And not many of us set aside or schedule a time to exercise each day.
For many, a full hour and a half of exercising is way too long. Instead of trying to do a full hour-long workout each day, commit to doing 10 minutes of low-impact exercises.
There are benefits of doing low-impact exercises every day. 10 to 20 minutes consistently is all you need.
Exercise will improve your heart health, mental health, strength and lower your blood pressure. And it definitely helps reduce your stress levels and makes you more flexible.
There are a lot of low-impact exercises you can do. Here are a few:
You can also find low-impact cardio exercises on YouTube.
And you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to do them.
7) Practice Self-Love Daily
“I Am The One Thing in Life I Can Control.”
So if you want to take control of your life, you need to practice self-love.
Too often, we humans live inside our own heads.
Always talking negative and down about ourselves. So how can you take responsibility for your own life when you’re telling yourself you can’t do this or that.
And you know what! Practicing self-love isn’t as hard as you might think it is.
Start by telling yourself, “I LOVE YOU” in the morning. It may sound silly, but it works!
And to my fellow men, this is important for you to do as well.
Often when the subject of self-love is the topic, it is directed ONLY towards women. We men need to know our self-worth too! And since I’ve been sharing examples…
Here’s how you can practice self-love daily:
- Don’t compare yourself to others
- Don’t worry about others opinions, only yours matters
- Allow yourself to make mistakes
- Always remember your value is not in your looks
- End ALL toxic relationships
- Be uncomfortable – step outside your comfort zone
Practicing self-love will take you far in life.
So, get out of your head and believe in yourself!
Because if you want to achieve anything in life, you have to first believe in yourself.
8) Find a New Hobby
Having a hobby gives you a chance to relax and destress from the craziness of life.
It allows you to live a little.
And there are some health benefits to having a hobby as well. It promotes positive mental health, creates happiness, and lowers blood pressure.
If you don’t have a hobby at the moment, I suggest you find one.
There are tons of different hobbies you can do. And it’s not hard to find one.
Here’s a lists of examples and some fun hobbies you can pick up:
And the list goes on. And I should note you can also make some great money from doing a lot of these hobbies.
Sure, you’ll need to practice.
But if you practice and get good enough, you can create an excellent side hustle for yourself.
Conclusion – I am The One Thing in Life I Can Control
You are the one who controls your life. No one else does. So say it again…
“I am The One Thing in Life I Can Control”
Stop being so hard on yourself and feeling down. Life is too short to be unhappy.
Live life the way you want to live. Yes, there will be some challenging chapters in your story and along your journey.
But remain positive.