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For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with self-control. Whether it has been reading books, watching tv, scrolling on social media, or eating habits, I have struggled to control how much I consume. I will sit down to accomplish something, and then the temptation to keep watching a show or read a book I’m in the middle of  will overwhelm me. I will not be able to focus on anything else and will eventually succumb to temptation. Constantly going with my impulses and desires makes things that don’t fall under that category incredibly difficult to accomplish. At least for me, when I lose control, it leads to anxiety, loss of sleep, and A LOT of added stress. 

To regain some more self-control, I have compiled some tactics that I either already use or will try to use from now on.  

  1. Remove temptation 

This is the most important thing for me to do, especially when I am really struggling with self-control. I will refuse to watch a tv show or read a book until all of my tasks are accomplished, and I have a day to burn through whatever I want to get through. Something beneficial to me has been the Screentime feature in the settings app on the iPhone, where I have been able to limit the time I spend on certain apps on my phone like Tik Tok, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

  1. Create a strategy or plan

Create a to-do list for what you need to get done or what ideal behaviors you want to do, and then try to check those off every day. This can help with a greater sense of control for what you need to get done and how you can accomplish those tasks 

  1. Changing patterns 

Psychologist Howard Rachlin argues that self-control comes from choosing “patterns” of behavior over time rather than individual “acts.” So when we are thinking of behaviors we want to break, we should think about what the environments, actions, and/or feelings are that set us up to fall into the temptation of the behavior we want to break. By identifying the lead-up of our behaviors, we can better prevent them from occurring.

Julia is a junior Business Administration and Communications Studies double major at Furman. Outside of HerCampus, she is also on the executive board of the Chi Omega chapter on her campus. Some of Julia's favorite things include: cooking, working out, Law and Order: SVU, Taylor Swift, and being around the people she loves.
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