Having self-control even when it's REALLY hard

Having self-control even when it's REALLY hard

by Natalie L 12 Feb 2020

Even the strongest of wills feel the pull of temptation every now and then. While to fail may be the most human trait of all, it's not an excuse for us to give in to yearnings on a regular basis. The ability to overcome our base desires is what separates us from wild animals and while some may accomplish this more easily than others, self-control is an act that everyone is capable of. Sometimes, just more practice is what's needed.


1. Resisting the unhealthy crunch

Nowadays, junk food and unhealthy snacks are just about everywhere, and it is hard to resist the smell and taste of a salty crunch. Regardless of whether you're on a diet or not, one should minimise the consumption of such products due to their low nutrient density and high caloric density. If you're unfortunate enough to be in an environment that sees you being bombarded by temptation by way of snacks, it will take a fair bit of perseverance to pull through. One method of coping with this is to have a change in perspective — instead of being absolutely anti-snacks, change your choice of snacks to healthier options. Go with fruits over chips, or iced tea over soft drinks.  


2. Ignoring the snooze button

Oversleeping is a universal problem. Once you hit that snooze button, it is more likely than not for you to be late for your first morning appointment. Additionally, experts have found that how you spend the first 30 minutes of your day sets the pace and productivity for the day ahead. Nevertheless, we understand that waking up might be dreadful when you’re not well-rested. Having a healthy sleep routine is extremely crucial. Don't be afraid to invest in devices like white noise machines and blackout curtains as they can make a huge difference in your sleep quality. Even if your first instinct is to hit the snooze button upon first ring, force yourself to get up and move around a little bit. Even if it is a few rounds through the house, some measure of physical activity will prove to you that you're not really as tired as you think you are.


3. Hitting the gym

Committing to a regular training routine can be tiring and dreadful if you're not used to the practice, especially after a long day or week at work. It is all to easy to postpone your time in the gym to some other day, but this often becomes a vicious cycle of procrastination. To combat this, it is important to have a strong intrinsic motivation and to set progressive goals for yourself. Remind yourself of why you started in the first place and just how far you've come. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym either – start small, perhaps with just 10 to 15 minutes each session. Do not belittle how much of an impact 15 minutes of demanding physical activity can have on your health and fitness.


Odds are that you will falter from time to time, but that's no reason to lose all hope and give up altogether! Rome wasn't built in a day, so don't expect an iron-clad will to come so easily either. Learn from your mistakes and use that to strengthen your resolve; the steps you take (no matter how small) will bring you closer to your goal. Remember: the refusal to give up is one of the biggest acts of self-control there is!