Whether you’re trying to lose weight or concentrate harder at work, a healthy dose of self-discipline is what you need most. With a strong strategy and tips for when temptation arises, you’ll reach success in no time.

1. Start on a Monday.
Researchers found that setting a date or event to mark the start of a new regime can make you more likely to follow through on your goals.

2. Write down your reasons for self-discipline.
Affirmations strengthen self-control by focusing on higher values rather than on immediate impulses.

3. Visualize how you will benefit from your own efforts.
Studies have shown that your willpower lasts longer if you motivate yourself with the positive effects of your self-control.

4. Prepare a plan of what you’ll say and do if temptation arises.
This is a proven technique taken from self-regulation strategies. For example, If someone offers me dessert, then I’ll ask for fruit.

5. Combine something you want to do with something you need to do.
A published study from Management Science found this forms good habits by pairing a should behavior (walking the dog) with a want behavior (gossiping with a friend).

6. Hide temptations in hard to reach places.
Tests have repeatedly shown that hiding candy from view makes you more likely to resist indulging.

7. Set an alarm for bedtime to get a full eight-hours of sleep.
Sleep deprivation can impair the way your prefrontal cortex works, which is the part of your brain where self-regulation takes place.

8. Ask friends to keep an eye out for bad habits you fall easily into.
One study showed you’re better at self-control when given repeated reminders.

9. Weigh all your options before making a decision.
Psychology Today states that making an instant decision can result in poorer choices.

10. Drink hot water, lemon and a tablespoon of honey.
Science shows that a fall in willpower can be tied to lower glucose levels.

11. Avoid drinking alcohol.
Research shows alcohol can compromise self-discipline by reducing your ability to reflect on the consequences of your actions.

12. Use visual reminders.
Data shows thatleaving meaningful cues around your home can remind you to stay strong. For example, post-it-notes on your bathroom mirror can help remind you of your goal.

13. Surround yourself with self-disciplined people.
Research has shown that undisciplined people wishing to improve gravitate towards people with more self-control — these people can form an effective support group.

And remember...

14. Make sure your self-discipline is for you and not someone else.
Studies show your willpower is depleted when you try to please others instead of focusing on your own goals and desires.

Self-discipline is a muscle you can exercise and strengthen. These simple techniques will build lasting behaviors to enable you to reach your goals.

Content originally published by https://www.cashnetusa.com/blog/14-ways-improve-self-discipline/

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn is a freelance writer and digital nomad currently living in rainy yet wonderful London. She writes (and reads!) about personal growth, productivity in the workplace, self improvement, and the importance of work/life balance and how to achieve it.