2015 BLOG ASSIGNMENT #4 Read Six Ways to Strengthen Your Self-Control Muscle by Laura Entis. Write a 250-word response to the article. Advertisements Like this:Like Loading... Related 20 Comments Maintaining a healthy willpower may seem impossible to accomplish in the modern world due to product advertising and everyday stress. It is simply atrocious to improve willpower without stumbling into problems. This article combats these problems by providing advice to achieve a successful willpower. One such solution is to,“ Make contracts to avoid arguing with yourself.” This exemplifies that making contracts with oneself like setting a plan to do an activity can quickly save yourself from the stress of decision-making. For example, I set a plan to finish my homework at a set time to combat the decision-making task of, “ Should I do homework right now or later?” In addition, this advice assists me in my other tasks by setting a plan to do something; most of the time I do the task. Moreover, this tip pulled from the article relates to me the most. I can not simply improve my willpower because I simply can not to change my willpower due to the person I am. The other tips have no affect on me whatsoever unfortunately because the tips do not speak out to me. However, these tips can improve other people’s willpower.Establishing a healthy habit can change the things you do and eat. This solution can lead to a healthier lifestyle.Anyways, the only advice from the article that connects to me is the making of contracts to avoid time-consuming decision pondering. I have always made a plan to finish a task so I would not contemplate it in the future. This has saved my energy to complete other tasks and much needed valuable time to focus on another strenuous activity which requires energy to complete. I do not have a lot of discipline in the sense of self control. Sure, I control myself from time and time again however, I tend to cave in to my cravings and give up on contracts I have made for myself. I knew self-control can be improved, however for me, it is not as easy as it sounds. If I behave really well throughout the day, I tend to want to “pig out” and eat a lot afterschool. I have tried to exercise every day and cut out junk food on a daily basis but, within a week I lose my steam and slowly give up on the goal. When others test my patience early in the morning, it takes a toll on my mood and I lash out at other people or simply look agitated. My lack of willpower will be the end of me. However, I still have the power to change myself for the better. I will have to start off small by observing my routine over weeks and make slight adjustments. Perhaps, I could move a bit more during passing periods or choose bottled water over a sugary Arizona. I have a massive sweet tooth which leads to my parents buying sweets from time to time. If I tell them to buy them less often, eventually when I get cravings there won’t be any candy in the house to satisfy me. Instead, fresh fruit will suffice. Self-control will help me live longer and healthier. I have a pretty big problem when it comes to things like self-control. I believe that if you want something and you can achieve it, do it. If I can make brownies and if I put in the work for them, then I should be able to eat them. This leads down a road though that still requires self-control, which is where I go wrong. I love to eat, or play video games, and it does indeed take a lot of willpower for me to not do the things I love. I am starting to practice more self control though, and I find it that if I can replace what I’m doing that I have no self control over, I like to do things that are fun to replace these things. When I want to exercise, I usually try to do something that is fun, like playing a sport or go swimming. If I were to rewrite this article for people of my age group, I would indeed change some things around. I feel that this article caters to people of the age group from probably 30-50 years old. They should change certain goals to more things of our liking. Many people are age already like to work out, but they should take off maybe some things about food. People our age shouldn’t be doing things like crash dieting or just extensive diets in general. Watching what we eat is good, but many are still growing and need the nutrients that some of the food we eat provides. I believe this article is very good for people, but just for the older age group. Self-control is important; I understand that. Life is taxing in ways that can make anyone want to wrap their hands around someone’s neck and twist. That’s where the self-control comes into play. If I can’t mentally remind myself that some things just aren’t worth the jail time, then I can’t physically keep my hands where they are. Self-control is something that I prefer to save for the larger things. I think that using up my finite reserve of self-control is wasted on keeping myself in the habit of little practices. Being healthier, running marathons, doing my homework first, and working out shouldn’t be things that need my self-control. I understand the idea that these activities are ones that I don’t necessarily want to do, but treating them as things that need self-control doesn’t make it any easier. Instead I prefer to find creative ways to make them less like chores and more like entertainment. It helps to make them integral parts of my daily habits without associating them with negative feelings in the beginning. And it does all that without wasting what little self-control I have in my possession. My self-control is precious to me, so I do what I can to use it sparingly. Every now and then I stop and evaluate everything on my mental list of priorities, and I pull all the things that tend to pluck at the strings of my self-control to really examine each one. I use all those reflections to reorganize those taxing tasks as many ways as possible until I settle on one that sorts out what really needs my willpower and what’s just being unnecessarily needy. These are very helpful tips to help with life too because improving self-control is an important part of life. If you have no self-control, you will end up doing things that are not very smart and you will most likely regret. But having self-control can be tough throughout a day as life and making decisions using self-control can be tough. So these six tips are very helpful and easy ways to improve and strengthen this trait so eventually, making decisions with self-control will be easier and easier over time. These are tips that anyone can incorporate into their life, easily and with everyday tasks. I think the one tip I use the most now is the fifth one, making contracts to avoid arguing with yourself. I tell myself I will do things before the time comes around so I make time to do the activity I want to, and I don’t argue with myself about doing it or not, so it is much easier to complete my objective. The work of arguing is gone and I’m more motivated to complete what I said I would, so I don’t let myself down. Self-control is a very difficult thing to master with everyone. In everyday life, people struggle with it everyday for simple actions. These actions can be people cutting you off while driving and trying to eat healthy when you are surround by food that is unhealthy. These simple things really test our self-control if it’s bad or good. I feel that self-control is a skill that teens to adults should be or already master this skill in their life because sooner or later their going to need this skill. This skill can be used to control as well as relieve stress people have. Some skills that the articles talk about are really useful to practice or master self-control like practicing everyday, controlling your environment and making contracts to yourself to tell you to stop. I feel that people in this world have really lost this skill that was mastered by everyone but today only a few people have skill. Overall people should have this skill at least practiced or mastered because it is a really important skill that everyone should have just case a problem occurs. In my opinion, self-discipline is very difficult to attain. It would be so much easier to just free will everything, but there are times when control is necessary. From biting your tongue when you have something snappy to say, to not going for another handful of chips, every thing requires work. I personally tend to be easily angered and struggle to not give a witty response when people are rude towards me. Another thing that is hard to control, is being healthy. Now a days there is a Mc Donalds on every corner, and it is hard to avoid the urge to get a burger. I don’t really have this problem, but that’s mostly my parents doing. They are health fanatics, so it’s not like I have to completely use self-control, I’m just not allowed to eat food like that. The only times I struggle with choosing healthy food, is when I am with my friends because it’s not like they keep me accountable. This is why I think self-discipline has to do with others around you as well. Yes, you have to learn how to have control on your own, but it is easier when the people around you help. For my life style, the most relevant tip in the reading was tip #3 Practice Every Day. This tip is very practical and is easy to stick to. For a while I felt that I was not running as much as I should have. I would find excuses and argue with myself to a point in which I would talk myself out of running in the morning. Every once in a while I would run in the mornings, but it my running days were short lived. The lack of motivation and willpower were the greatest factors that influenced my inconsistency. It took a few months before I found my motivation. One day when I was training MMA, I got defeated by a fighter who had better cardio than I did. This event instantly became my motivation. The very next morning I went for a 2 mile run and it was awful. I knew that if I didn’t keep running everyday, it would continue to stay awful and I would let my MMA team down. This is where tip #3 was put into action. Once I started running consistently, it became a habit and stopped being as awful. Now, about 1 month later, I can look back on my decision to start running and appreciate the fact that I have gained the willpower to practice running everyday. My new motivation and willpower have also allowed me to run distances for over 2 miles. I am glad that I started using tip #3 because I feel that I can now give my MMA team what they deserve. Growing up as a kid I remember I had trouble with self-control but as I grow every year, I learn to be better at it. Everyday there are people who are struggling with self-control whether it has to do with diets, weight loss, or when it comes to decisions that aren’t smart. When you don’t have self-control things tend to always to go wrong and it’ll end to be regretful. I think the best advice on this article is advice number four. If you practice everyday, it will become a skill or a habit. Self-control is very to obtain as a skill, but having to practice that skill will make you better and better as you go on with your life. Practice does make perfect but us humans aren’t perfect. We tend to lose ourselves sometimes and it’s okay. Self-control happens when things are going out of control. I believe that self-control is a skill that at least every adult should master. The fourth advice is something I look to everyday. I’ve been practicing more and more so I can have this skill as a habit. These tips are very helpful and it can help you improve one your self-control. I know I will use these tips to help me get better at self-control After reading this article I realize that strengthening my willpower is something I have to work on. I think that a good tip the article gave was to rank tasks on your calendar or to-do-list by how much energy you will have to use to complete them. This could be very useful because when I’m in one of those lazy moods I could look at my list and do something that doesn’t require as much energy but still be productive. Unfortunately that’s my biggest struggle when it comes to willpower. I get in one of those lazy moods and all I do is nap, but when I wake up I feel like I haven’t been productive all day. Ranking items on your calendar could help prevent that. If this article was going to be written for an audience of kids I think only a couple things would have to be changed. The examples given are willpower struggles that adults’ face, while the biggest willpower struggle us students face is to start our homework. We could have all the time in the world but still start an assignment the night before because we were too lazy to start earlier. So instead of using working out as the main example, if you were writing for kids my age you would probably want to use homework or studying as the main example. Overall this article made me feel like I should do something to strengthen my willpower and made me want to be productive. Hopefully that lasts a while so I can finish other homework! Self-control can be quite difficult or easy for some people, but why is it important to maintain self control? For example, in the TV show Dragon Ball Z, a character named Vegeta has to main self control to reach up to same energy level (super saiyan 2) as Goku. In the article, it mentioned controlling or maintaining behavior. Controlling your feelings and emotions is honestly very helpful because the more you let people get to you the less distracted and unfocused you get. I was told before countless times, “to calm down” or “don’t let people get to you because all they’re doing is discouraging you”. Some tips on this article are 50/50 for me because some talked about diets and healthy eating. Those kind of tips to a teen seem very irrelavent, but for those that seem useful for me is the whole maintain your behavior and go to your “happy place.” Although keeping calm can be tough, in the long run, it will all be worth. The other two tips I found useful was balancing yourself and practice everyday. “Practice makes perfect..” and if i can maintain my composure and self-control then anything will be possible to achieve and the possibilities would be endless. For this article refer to a teen’s point of view, I think the author should add stories or experiences that other teens have faced and what they did to overcome that obstacle while dealing with self-control and see if these tips actually help. If I had to choose my biggest weakness, it would have to be self-control. I have a major problem with prioritizing important activities and free time, junk food and healthy food, and controlling my attitude. Like the article mentioned, “Our amount of self-control is finite”, and I strongly agree with this statement. In the morning from the time I wake up to probably around lunchtime, I believe I have a considerable amount of self-control in me, or at least enough to stop me from buying a doughnut during passing period. However, after this time I can feel my self-control deteriorating. I don’t have the initiative to do my schoolwork, I don’t have the willpower to stop myself from purchasing unhealthy food items, and it becomes an issue that affects my everyday life. In the past I have attempted to address this issue, but my attempts to fix the issue have all failed miserably. I believe the main cause for my failed self-control attempts stems from the people and the environment I have around me. If my sister comes home from school and decides to watch Netflix instead of doing homework, it becomes hard for me not to do the same. At lunch if all of my friends decide to go to taco bell, it’s difficult for me to turn away from the junk food. Such an environment can certainly decrease a person’s will power, and I definitely believe that mine has. The most important tip I took away from the article is to “control your environment”. Who and what is around you has a major influence on your self-control and will power and by adjusting your lifestyle it can increase the strength of your self-control. Discipline leads to self-control, and self-control leads to discipline, ever since we were in elementary school we have been told to practice self-control. We have been disciplined so we can practice self-control. This is a very important skill that enables us to pursue what we enjoy. But also endure moirai that challenge us. Plato once said, “For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories.” The way I interpret self-control, in general, is that if I can master this one skill, than many other “victories” will follow. I consistently had difficulty with self-control in elementary school because I was a “chatterbox.” I could not control my will to constantly talk to the person sitting next to me. Learning how to control my talking was a very arduous task that took years. However, I was able to strengthen my weakness through discipline. This article listed a plethora of tips to strengthen the “self-control muscles” but when it comes down to it, it’s all about discipline. If I develop strict guidelines the rest will follow, by practicing every day I will eventually strengthen my self-control and untimely achieve my goal whatever that might be. My self-control level tends to be high in the morning and dissipates as the day progresses. But even though my “self-control muscles” die out as the day goes on I know how to manage it. I am able to pick and chose my battles in a sense. Lately, I have been building up discipline and self-control so I can stay in the present. By this I mean not to multitask while my energy should be focused on a certain matter. This is a skill that I would like to adopt after seeing Cindy Crawford explain it on Oprah’s Masters Class. My goal is to be present in everything I do because I can’t multitask presence. Sure it might be difficult to achieve, but it is something worth doing. This article immediately caused me to be skeptical in the first three paragraphs because it makes the assumption that the reason for the majority of poor decisions made by an individual is lack of discipline. The author cited a psychology professor who concluded that the lack of self-discipline is the reason why “most violent crimes are committed after 10 p.m.” But this is clearly not an exhaustive explanation for misconducts at night. According to a study done by psychologists Chen-Bo Zhong and Vanessa Bohns of the University of Toronto, the main reason that crimes are committed at night is simple: heinous acts are concealed in darkness. On a large scale, there are multiple possible reasons to explain behavior of humans and to attribute all negative behavior on the lack of ability to resist an impulse is assuming too much. But at the same time, I concur with her opinion that individuals do have the ability to control their actions. “Like a muscle, willpower can be strengthened,” says Laura Entis. Although this idea that people can strengthen themselves may be accurate, it is easier said than done because like a muscle, self-discipline takes hard work and dedication to build. I appreciate the six techniques that the author provided because I truly agree that self-discipline is of more value than academic intelligence. However, I think because of other factors, and a preexisting lack of commitment and discipline, the claim that the “great thing about self-control is that unlike other characteristics like intelligence, it’s easy to improve,” is false. This article makes a point about self-control. I would personally choose intelligence rather that self-confidence. Everybody doesn’t really how important it is too have self- control. I usually try to maintain my self-control but at times I can’t help myself. Self control is like a natural barrier that helps you to know when it right and wrong and if you’re crossing the line. I have difficulty maintaining my self-control. I need to know if I can control or stop myself before I do something that can be my downfall. I will usually see my novelas and before I know it, it’s late and I still need to do chores. Its like I need to find a balance so I’m able to accomplish everything. This article makes another point, practice makes perfect. If you can do anything in a daily basis you get better. I usually try to use this philosophy in using my violin. After so many years not playing my violin, I’ve gotten rusty. If I practice like I used to practice I will be as good as I was once in my life. Another point is about trying to find an environment to do things. If I had a lot of things that may distract me I won’t be able to do what I want to accomplish. Theirs needs to be a balance, like choosing the violin and television. I would rather pick the television because it doesn’t take so much effort. I need to find a way to control my self-control because life is about balances. I live a daily struggle in fighting against instant gratification, from stopping myself from watching the next episode on Netflix to waking up early in the morning when all I want to do is stay in bed a few more minutes. This is why making “contracts” with myself is something I already practice regularly. I know that about 89% of the time I can talk myself out of things, so by making a contract I make things official and decrease the chances of letting myself fall down the rabbit hole towards the land of instant gratification. When I am making up a contract, I make sure to include three parts to it: the agreement, the reward, and the penalty. Setting up a contract in that way is very effective because whenever I feel myself wanting to break the contract I think back to the times I have and think about how terrible I felt once I had to accept the “penalty”. For example, when I’m at the crossroads of choosing between watching another episode and turning off the t.v, I think back to the contract I’ve made with myself. In this case, the agreement is that I will only watch one episode, the reward is that I’ll be able to watch an extra episode on the weekend, and the penalty is that I will not be able to watch any episodes for the next few days. By having penalties and rewards in a contract, I am able to strengthen my will power so that it becomes easier the next time I find myself in a similar situation. Self control is an interesting thing. On one hand, and as the article states, we all have the power to improve our own self control. But some people may lack the drive to improve their self control, or discipline. Some may feel that their habits are perfectly fine, but another person may think that they are lazy and unmotivated. So, for one to start to improve, they must first realize that there is a problem. If somebody can’t see their own faults, then it will be impossible for them to change them. The author uses an example of rode rage. In the morning, we may be more tolerant of bad drivers, but as the day goes on and we become more tired, everybody on the road seems to be an incompetent plebeian. I can speak from experience. But realizing that I have these antagonistic tendencies allows me to correct my own behaviours. But like any bad habit that needs breaking, intolerance and poor discipline requires consistent effort every day. People should, throughout the day, take breaks to de-stress. Stress management plays a huge role in combating bad discipline. If we are tired and stressed, we could care less about improving ourselves. But if we are calm and introspective, we can correct our flaws. But nobody is perfect. Not everybody will take this mindset of self improvement, and we must realize that. But one person can make a difference, and it starts by making good decisions to control our emotions and be more disciplined. maintaining self control is really not that hard for me, but I do slip up every once in awhile like every other person. So many people could maintain their self control but for me I sometimes have trouble maintaining my course and sometimes I fall out of line (metaphorically speaking). Whether it’s eating too much junk food or spend too much time on my phone, I always give in and fall out of line. It takes a lot of willpower for me to stop doing things that I really enjoy doing or even eating. One thing that I think that helps me stay in place would be swimming and hitting my punching bag to stay active and manage how much time I spent outside and on my phone or game system. One of the tips from the article that could really help me is changing your environment and practice controlling yourself everyday. You have to keep on telling yourself to stop eating too much or lazing around and get on up and do something that’s important to you. One way I would change this article is by removing the diets in general. As teens we don’t need diets right now, we are barely growing and we need certain foods to keep on growing. The article is good for older people ages 25 and above but not for us teens that much. I would also change certain goals to accomplish that are mentioned in the article. This article is a good source to find ways to manage your self-control and help you live a better life but it coul this article is a good source to find ways to manage your self-control and help you live a better life but it should be modify for a teenage reader to find ways for a better living life. I do agree with the article that it is better to be disciplined than intelligent. Once you monitor your behavior you might realize all the unhealthy stuff and habits you do on a daily basis. Whether it is skipping breakfast or procrastinating an assignment and you’re up till one in the morning. It takes 21 days to form a habit. It can be really easy to slip into some unhealthy patterns which can eventually be a hard habit to break. It’ll seem difficult to stop procrastinating your assignments because that is what you’ve been doing for the last 2 years. But overtime it’ll become much easier to start your assignments but you have to be consist and discipline yourself or it won’t work. I do agree that your environment is very essential. How can someone being working if the television is on? It’ll be hard to study and concentrate if you’re lying down in bed because you’ll want to fall asleep. You have to be strict with yourself and you need to find that perfect environment. Which I believe can also just be surrounding yourself with positive people that can support you. I believe it is important to make contracts with yourself because it’ll keep you in check. For example, you can reward yourself with candy and junk food if you finish your assignments early. Or just some extra T.V. time. I still believe it important to not discipline yourself to the point you freak out when something isn’t completed yet. I think this article introduced me to some really valuable tips. I already put some of these into practice. For example, in the mornings I have alarm clocks that ring at fifteen minute intervals beginning at 5:45. This gives me multiple chances to get out of bed until it becomes 6:30 a.m. where it’s my last opportunity to get up or I would be late to school. I often make contracts to avoid arguing with myself just as the article suggested to do. As always my alarm rang at 5:45 and in that span of 15 minutes until my next alarm was going to ring I thought to myself, “If I get up right now I could be ready to leave before 7. Then I could study for Nav’s test on the way to school and before class starts.” I made a contract to avoid arguing with myself later on: by getting up early, I got be ready for school earlier, and have more time to study but if I didn’t I would be more well rested but have to rush and have less time to study. This article also pointed out some things I didn’t even realize. For example, I didn’t know that by trying to focus on controlling certain impulses earlier in the day that it would affect on how you control your impulses later on in the day. This article brought to my attention that I shouldn’t judge people because of their lack of self control because maybe they are doing their best to try and focus self control in a different area in their life. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here... Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Email (required) (Address never made public) Name (required) Website You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change ) You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change ) You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change ) You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change ) Cancel Connecting to %s Notify me of new comments via email.