How do you master self-control?

Self control

I have always found the inner workings of our minds so interesting and how they reveal themselves in our habits.

I can honestly say that I have not mastered self-control. But I find it fascinating.

In some areas of my life I have been able to create systems and rituals to limit the damage that can follow impulsive behaviour.

Especially with how I manage my money. This has always been an area which I have been able to display exceptional self-control, I have never had debt, I have been able to fund all my passions and holidays with cash, a master’s degree, a month walking the Camino, volunteer English teaching in Vietnam and four years of maternity leave with no maternity leave cover and still being able save every year.

But don’t get the wrong idea, I am definitely not perfect.

We all have a weakness.

Chocolate, frozen coke (I am embarrassed to admit) and salt and vinegar chips are mine.

I have been known to start and sometimes finish my university assignments the day I got them because of my obsession with finishing things.

My own impatience with ‘getting stuff done, now.’ If I decide I am going to mow the lawn, organise our closets or do a bake off and prepare morning tea treats to freeze for the next term I can’t be held back, I must do it straight away. Not being able to take action can make me so frustrated.

I guess on the risky scale they don’t rank too highly especially when compared with smoking or base jumping.

But the curious thing is that they are all fueled by impulsive behaviour.

It can be so quick that you find yourself doing something that is not in alignment with the rest of your values. And why?

I don’t have all the answers but I am going to share with you some of the research that I come across and pick out the helpful chunks, so together we can choose to lessen or eliminate our self-control challenges regardless of if they are shopping, chocolate or busyness addictions.

There needs to be a balance doesn’t there. I can’t imagine a life without chocolate completely. That would just be sad. But I am sure I can find a way to limit how often I devour chocolate in a frenzy without considering its taste or texture and only to realise two seconds after the wrapper is off that it’s in my stomach.

You don’t need to be in the depths of debt or struggling with obesity to want to understand self-control and how mastering it can have a positive impact on your wellbeing.

A tip to try: Ask yourself ‘what feeling am I chasing’ when you are about to buy, eat or do something impulsively. Is this really going to give me that feeling? Can I get in another way?