I did it again… I broke down and committed my fatal folly.
It’s like my brain shuts off all logical thought processes once I feel tired. I know that drinking caffeine for energy is not only ineffective but a spiraling doomhole of sugary addiction. I know that I’ll feel alert for all of 20 minutes before I crash and crave more of the sickly sweet, oh too beautiful substance.
Yet, here I am. Ashamedly staring down my delicious Mountain Dew asking myself why my self control is that of a fruit fly faced with a ripe banana. Why do I keep making the same predictable and self-destructive decision?!
I hate being tired. I can’t say that enough times. Feeling groggy is the second worst feeling to being hungry and the horrible fact is being groggy MAKES ME HUNGRY! This combo turns off my logical thinking switch and seductively whispers “oh how delicious that Dew will taste! Go on, just one won’t hurt. Just one soda today and then back to water like we promised each other. It’ll be so satisfying!” (For the record, in my head this dialogue is voiced by Him from Power Puff Girls).
I know better, I really do. I know what snacks I should eat, what foods to pack for lunch, and how much water I should drink instead. It comes down to my self discipline… well lack thereof.
This led me to ask how in the world do I build self discipline and self control without being a miserable blob of self-loathing?
- Admit your shortcomings. Ok, done! I can’t handle being tired or hungry. It makes me irrational and impulses over powering.
- Eliminate your crutch from your life. For me, I have to stop buying soda so I can make it hard to purchase. The soda machine only takes cash so starting tomorrow I will stop bringing cash to work. No cash, no soda! I also need more sleep but ironically getting to bed on time is part of why I need this self discipline discovery!
- Have a plan and be prepared! Preparation and planning are key to not letting temptation and impulses reign supreme. I’m going to start making sure my water bottle is full, with me, and ready when I need it. Packing my lunch will help too because fast food people tend to hand me soda when I ask for it. Convince is the sister of impulse so making alternatives more convenient is critical!
- Pause-and-Plan slowly and steadily. This shocked me but Stanford University actually found that willpower is like a muscle and that it can be impacted by perception! They also found that the more you use willpower the more challenging avoiding temptation can be so starting slow is important! (This was a super interesting read! I recommend anyone give it a go!)
- Sleep. Well isn’t this just a bag of irony and facepalms. I need self discipline to get myself to bed on time but I need to get myself to bed on time to build self discipline. I guess in this case I’m just going to make a plan (bed by 9:30 daily) and remind myself of everything else when I inevitably don’t want to go to bed!
- Forgive Yourself and Keep Trucking. At some point, like today, I’m going to jump on the struggle bus again and I’ll fall into caffeine’s temptress grip again. I have to accept that I did it, forgive myself because I’m begrudgingly human, and try again tomorrow!
Self discipline is actually a very challenging subject and is a lot more like a physical exercise than a mental one. This makes it all the more complicated to build and improve on. I’ve only just begun my exploration of the topic by reading up on some articles but I think I have a solid plan!!
Most of these tips are from Entrepreneur.com which I am not affiliated with! 🙂 Header Image Credit.
Do you have issues with self-control? What are your biggest challenges? Do you have anything you use to keep yourself accountable?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!!