Everyone struggles with discipline, whether it’s saying no to seconds or hitting the gym instead of crashing on the couch. But without self–discipline you can’t be truly free to live. While that may sound counterintuitive, since liberation is seen as an unshackling of chains, it all depends on how you look at it. After all, an inability to resist temptation means it dominates you, not the other way around. And even science backs the notion that physical health depends a lot on your mental game.
Empower yourself by unlocking real skills for mastering self–control:
- Be conscious. Know what your worst habits are. You can’t break from them if you don’t recognize them.
- Be vigilant. Avoid justifying negative actions simply because you’re drawn to them. Stand back and objectively observe whether it’s good or bad to give in to your whim (whether it’s gossiping about a coworker, biting your nails, or lighting that cigarette). Once you’ve accepted there’s work to be done, you can take the first active step.
- Be inspired. While peer pressure isn’t everything, one study showed that self–control, or lack of it, is contagious. Look for role models who exert the kind of self–discipline you want to develop and join forces with others who share your beliefs. If you’re surrounded by people who make healthy choices, chances are you’ll follow suit.