Everybody has goals in life. They might be as simple as reading a book a week. Or they could be bigger, like gaining admission into a top management school.

Meeting your goals requires good habits. One good habit that is critical to success is discipline and self-control.

Let’s look at the example of Rohini, an ad executive who wants to do an MBA.

Her goal is to save one-third of her salary every month for a year to help pay for her management degree.

The problem is that Rohini doesn’t know how to exercise self-control.

She spends her entire salary every month and doesn’t save any money. The reason? She can’t resist the temptation to say no whenever her friends make plans to go to movies, restaurants, concerts, and parties. She spends the money she should be saving on these outings.

Wanting to change is not enough;  you also need to know how to develop patience and self-control. The real challenge is to follow self-control tips.

Self-control is the ability to manage your actions, feelings, and emotions. It’s also the ability to restrain yourself from doing things you want to if they are not in your best interest.

People with good self-control can regulate their behavior and discipline themselves to work towards their goals.

Rohini wants to save for a degree, but she can’t resist the temptation to splurge on outings.

The good thing is that by knowing how to build self-control, we can overcome temptations that stop us from reaching our goals.

How to develop self-control

There are various ways in which a person can learn how to develop self-control and live a healthier and happier life. Let’s take a deeper look at them:

  1. Belief in one’s own abilities

You often see gymnasts and athletes deliver extraordinary performances. Have you ever thought about how they can do it?

The answer lies in self-belief. People with confidence in their abilities can exercise self-control and push themselves beyond their limits. People who get defeated are usually those who believe that things are beyond their control.

  1. Setting the right goals

Goals are the destinations towards which we direct our actions. Following the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) principle when goal-setting will help you set achievable goals.

For instance, just vowing to wake up early every day is not enough. But if your goal is to specifically wake up five minutes earlier every day until you develop the habit of waking up at 5 am, you are more likely to achieve your goal.

  1. Self-supervision

Successful people are capable of self-supervision. They can monitor their progress and focus on doing the right things that help them achieve their goals.

For instance, if the goal is to learn a new language, people with self-control will set realistic targets, monitor their progress, and use the right resources on their learning journey. Their motivation to achieve their target will come from within. People who know how to have self-control find it easier to achieve their goals.

  1. Resisting temptations

Temptations are often the biggest hurdle in our path to success. As we saw in the case of Rohini, the best of intentions often get defeated if a person is not able to resist temptations. If she knew how to have self-control, she would have achieved her goals easily. People who can resist temptations can remain focused on attaining their goals.


Today, the importance of self-control is well known. Several scientists and educators understand how this ability can help achieve success and happiness in life. You too can adopt the right habits and learn how to develop self-control.

Harappa Education’s Leading Self course can help you understand yourself better so you can develop good habits for success such as self-control. The Iceberg Model explained in the course will help you develop the ability to identify and overcome limiting beliefs. This is the first step towards learning how to develop self-control.

Explore blogs on topics such as patience vs self-controlhow to be patient, the importance of patience, and the importance of self-control in our Harappa Diaries section to go on a path of self-development.

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