|Posted on May 31, 2011 at 2:34 AM|
Practice, Practice, Practice
The simplest way to get better at anything is to practice. As a weekly exercise, pick something you do in excess and stop for a week. After you've practiced for several weeks, try for longer. If you can make it a month, that's often enough time to actually change your behavior. It's not a new concept but it can be a big help. Tell yourself you're going try to cut out a particular behavior for a month and reassess once that month is over.
Find Adequate Distractions
When temptation is in front of you, it's hard to say no. If you can distract yourself and avoid thinking about that temptation, however, it's often enough to keep you from making a bad choice. The idea is that the more your mind and body are tied up in other actions, the less bandwidth you'll have available to try and indulge in a particular vice. Simply put: restrict and distract yourself to avoid making poor choices.
Take Care of Yourself
You have a limited supply of self-control and exhausting it can breed aggression. Keeping yourself healthy on a daily basis, however, can make a big difference. Like with anything, proper diet, exercise, and sleep make it easier to do what you need to do.
If exercising a vice is significantly easier than practicing self-control, you need to find ways to make it harder to make the wrong choice.
In order to use fear as a self-control mechanism, you need to be able to make the consequences of a particular action feel immediate. How you make the consequences feel immediate and influence your decisions is highly personal, but it should always be safe.