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How to develop self-control

Do you have a hard time controlling yourself? Do you find it difficult to control your emotions and the urge to buy something? Do you want to improve your self-control?

There are times when we tend to act before we think. Examples of this include:

You bought a laptop even if you couldn’t really afford it.

Because you had an argument with your spouse, you went on a shopping spree.

Because you were hurt by what your child told you, you swiped your credit card over and over for things you didn’t really need.

And many more…
Impulsiveness is the primary problem of people with low self-control. But is it really bad to be impulsive? Actually no. What’s bad is the absence of self-control.

And how do you develop self-control? Here’s a rule that I have been personally practicing for the longest time.

ONE MONTH RULE
Every time that there’s something you want to do or you want to buy, write it down on your notebook.

Do you want to buy a new cellphone? Do you want to go on a European travel? Do you want to resign from your job? Do you want to put up your own restaurant? Do you want to buy a sports car?

List all of the things that you want to buy and do, and put the date when you wrote it. And then, wait 30 days before you make any decision to take action. While waiting, bring your attention to other things, so that when the one month is up, you can have a clearer, unbiased mind.

After a month, revisit your list, and assess if you still want the things written on your notebook. If the feeling has gone, then you have saved yourself from the trouble that impulsiveness brings. But if you still want what you’ve listed down, then go for it.

There is no shortcut to a habit that you want to develop. And it is the same thing with self-control.

Don’t rush the one-month rule. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the days in between. Don’t stress yourself out. Remember, good things come to those who wait.

Self-control is a gift from God. Only God is able to give us the grace to control ourselves in every situation or decision. So, while you’re waiting, pray to Him that He will give you the grace that you need. Pray to Him for the wisdom to decide and act according to His will.

It may have a self in it, but self-control cannot be achieved by ourselves. We need the help of the Lord.

THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.
What about you? How is your self-control? If you want to develop self-control, follow the one-month rule. And don’t forget to ask for God’s help in your journey. (Chinkee Tan)

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