There’s a bit of twisted irony to the way this world works.

Have you ever noticed that many things that feel or taste good, aren’t actually that great for your health and well being?

Fast food, candy, alcohol, to name a few.

Video games, staying up late to watch movies or watching YouTube when you should be working.

All super fun and delicious, but these can have real consequences when it comes to attaining your goals.

They can slow your productivity, chew up your time and destroy your motivation.

So everything in moderation, right?

Which is easy to say, but is it really that easy?

Can You Delay Your Gratification?

Pleasure and entertainment can be a slippery slope for many, and just calling for moderation doesn’t offer any real advice.

“Just once” or “just a taste” can quickly become, “Oh hell, what’s one more?”

And before you know it, you’ve got a habit going, you’re procrastinating like a seasoned pro, or you’ve gained 10 pounds.

Remember, it’s the actions that you take day in and day out that will lead to either success or mediocrity.

Life is Full of Temptations

Calling for total abstinence doesn’t offer any real advice either.

What you really need to focus on is developing self-control.

You know… that sometimes elusive ability to postpone immediate gratification and control your impulses.

But you’ve got to do it, because temptations are everywhere and they’ll never, ever go away.

How to Develop Self-Control

I can picture you thinking, “Ok, sounds real good.  But how do I do that?”

Well, you build up your resolve and self-control one decision at a time.

It’s a little bit like training your muscles to grow.

It doesn’t happen overnight, and that first day is always the hardest to drag your ass to the gym.

But once you start seeing results, it gets easier and easier, and soon you can’t imagine living any other way.

It’s also much easier if you have a process for tackling this issue.

I talk about this in the ‘Ending Procrastination’ chapter in my book, Master Your Productivity.

Let’s look at some of the main points that you can start using right away in your own life.

Be Honest with Yourself

If you can’t honestly admit to indulging in behaviour that limits your success and well-being, then you’ll never make any changes.

I recommend you actually write out the areas in your life where you’re lacking self-control.

Get real with yourself so you can get real with your self-control.

Awareness of the Consequences

We often shut this kind of awareness down, because if we’re too aware of what we’re doing to ourselves, we’ll feel badly and have to make a change.

And believe it or not, humans resist change, even when it’s good for us.

More of that twisted irony, right?

So tap into honesty and use this awareness of the consequences to fuel your motivation for bettering yourself.

Develop Mindfulness

Being mindful means to be aware of what you are doing and why.

So ask yourself these kinds of questions throughout the day:

“Is this what I should be doing right now to reach my goals?”
“What would a productive, healthy person be doing right now?”
“If I do this, am I going to suffer consequences later?”
“Will this food build me up or make me feel like crap later?”

Avoid it Like the Plague

One of the simplest ways to increase self-control, is to avoid the places where it’s going to be tested.

Don’t go to the bar if you’re trying to avoid drinking.

Shop at the fresh market if you want to shed pounds and get down to a healthy weight.

It’s simple, right?  But you’ve got to do it.

Use Accountability

Letting somebody else know of your intention to break a bad habit is a powerful technique.

The other person will be able to support you, remind you, and motivate you in your efforts.

Accountability also plays on a number of deeply-seated psychological elements:

  • the desire to please others
  • the fear of looking like a failure
  • the drive to appear successful to others

These are not ideal forms of motivation, but they do work, so why not take advantage of them.

Be Kind to Yourself

Don’t be surprised if making a change is a struggle.

And don’t be too hard on yourself either.

If you fall off the wagon, just get back up and keep going, learning all the way.

Master Your Productivity

If you do suffer from self-control issues, you can dive into the solutions in much greater detail in Master Your Productivity.

It’s a step-by-step guide to improving your overall life performance so you can attain the dreams and goals that you want in this life.

It’s loaded with all the tools, tips and strategies that successful people use.

And don’t worry, I made sure to write it in a very easy-to-read and concise style.

So grab your copy here and start living a better life.

Until next time,


Nigel Cook
Accountability Coach
Holding Your Feet to the Fire

PS: Want to reach your goals faster? Check out one of the online accountability coaching programs and book a free Coaching Call.