For many people, self-control is the one skill they lack the most. A recent study that included over 50 countries asked people to list their character strengths. Out of all the traits, self-control came last.
So, what is self-control? It’s the ability to control how you feel, react to situations, and conduct yourself. When you lack self-control, it creates huge problems and it can be challenging to stay on track with what you want for your life.
Why is Self-Control So Important?
Research has shown that one major factor holding people back from achieving their goals was a lack of self-control.
So, what can you do when you’re lacking self-control, but you can’t afford to lose focus?
1. Look at the bigger picture. When you lack self-control and discipline, it’s easy to become discouraged. You tend to focus on the problem or what’s missing in a certain area of your life.
- The key is to switch gears and look at the bigger picture. When you can see how your problem impacts others, you’re more likely to regain control and become willing to make changes.
2. Take 15-20 minutes to move your body. You don’t need a gym membership or a strict exercise routine. Even something as simple as a brisk walk can do the trick.
- Exercise/movement stimulates the brain and helps you feel more energised and focused. It also has the power to strengthen your self-control and self-discipline, which are two vital skills for a healthy life.
- Regardless of the exercise routine you choose, always remain consistent.
3. Track your progress. Is it hard for you to stick to a healthy diet? People often try to eat healthy but revert to their old habits. Tracking your progress can help you stay on track and keep you motivated.
- Find someone who will keep you accountable, such as a friend or enlist the help of a food coach.
- Also, remember that small steps lead to significant outcomes.
4. Don’t expect perfection from yourself. People with high emotional intelligence know that perfection doesn’t exist. Thus, they don’t seek perfection.
- The reality is, people are fallible by nature. When you try to achieve perfection, you’ll always come up short. You’ll spend time lamenting your failures and what you think you should’ve done, so instead of moving forward, you may also give up on your goals.
- Your best bet is to set reasonable goals and always keep in mind that trying your best is enough.
5. Keep your eyes on the prize. What are your goals? If it helps, write them down and share them with a friend, mentor, or a coach.
- Sometimes it’s easy to lose focus when you don’t achieve results fast enough. However, if you remind yourself of your ultimate objective and keep in mind that lasting change takes time, you’ll be more likely to stay on track.
If lack of self-control or lack of discipline is what’s holding you back from achieving your goals, the time has come for a change. Think about what you can do to make changes. And remember that your best bet is to set reasonable goals and never lose sight of the progress you are making.