“Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.”
― ThucydidesThe History of the Peloponnesian War

The traits of self-control and self-regulation are vital to one’s success in any area of life, but too often people don’t really feel like they are in control of their lives and give into temptation far too often. The truth is that each person is responsible for his or her self-control. Thus, that is why the trait is termed “SELF-control”.  Those with high self-control tend to experience more success in life. Those with low self-control tend to experience more negative emotions, addictions, and setbacks.

Self-control is much like a muscle in that it can be exercised and built up.  The key is knowing what exercises to do and doing them regularly. Your self-control can be scrawny or completely buff! The choice is yours!

Here are 8 techniques that you can use to gain a better grip at self-control and self-regulation.

  1. Exercise regularly.  If you want a fit body and better health, make a commitment to exercise regularly. This means making the decision and actually following through.  Even if you spend 20 minutes three times a week engaging in exercise, you are exercising your self-control at the same time.  Take control confidently and just do it!
  2. For projects, allot a certain time to complete.  Self-control regarding projects means that you should allot a certain amount of time for the project and resist the temptation to get up until it is done.  Put the phone away. Get off Facebook. Shut the door.  Finish your project! You’ll feel so good when it is done in two hours instead of two days.
  3. Say no to junk food.  You certainly don’t have to say no to all junk food, but start saying no to much of it.  Exercising self-control and self-regulation when it comes to eating will serve you good physically and mentally. You’ll feel happier and healthier just by resisting the temptations!
  4. Perform daily home cleaning.  If you tend to let your home go and then get annoyed at how messy it is by the end of the week, make a commitment to spend 15 to 30 minutes per day picking up and cleaning. Take one room per day or just set the timer and spend daily time keeping it maintained.  This act of self-control will make you feel happier and more at peace each day.
  5. Keep your thoughts in check. If you are prone to negative thoughts, monitor them frequently and replace the negative with positive.  Resolve to keep a positive perspective in life and as you do, you will notice that more positive things come your way!
  6. Stop gossiping. Self-control means resisting the temptation to gossip about others. Yes, it is difficult at times- especially when it’s really juicy gossip, but remember your resolution and just keep it to yourself.
  7. Make lists. If you are a procrastinator or unorganized, simply make a list each day and follow through with that list. Practicing self-regulation on a day to day basis will become a habit if you simply follow through for a few weeks.
  8. Resist the temptation to be mean.  Hey, everyone gets angry, annoyed, frustrated, etc., but self-control means resisting the temptation to take out such negative feelings on others.  It also means holding your tongue even if the person deserves a lashing.  If you do happen to need to address something, remember this: Honesty without kindness is really just being mean.  So be honest, yet kind. It goes a long way.

Learning how to live a controlled and regulated life simply feels good. Take these tips into consideration and be a role model for others who want to be self-controlled, but are having difficulty.



Lisa Cypers Kamen Headshot 2014 Internationally recognized Positive Psychology Coach Lisa Cypers Kamen is the Founder of, Director of 501 (C)(3) nonprofit Harvesting Happiness for Heroes (, and Host of weekly Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio.

Currently living in Los Angeles, California, Lisa Cypers Kamen is the mother of two active children. She is philanthropically dedicated to the success of various charities related to children and military issues.


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