Self-regulating individuals are able to control instinctive responses such as aggression and impulsivity, responding instead according to pre-conceived standards of behavior. This strength can apply both to resisting temptations, such as when a dieter avoids sugary foods, and to initiating actions, such as when someone gets up early to exercise.
Too much: inhibition
Too little: self-indulgence
The Queen (2006) – The Queen offers a window in the House of Windsor in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death. It depicts Queen Elizabeth II’s self-regulation, excessive at times, and how the it at times does allow her to express emotions freely.
Forest Gump (1994) – Forest Gump is a man of low intelligence but great heart who finds himself accidentally present for many of the historic events of the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Through it all he remains true to his own simple standards of human decency. The film follows this unassuming man’s travels through life in search of his childhood love, who follows a much different path than he does.
Set goals to improve your everyday living and make sure you complete the tasks. Ideas can include cleaning your room, doing your laundry, doing your dishes, cleaning your desk, and rearranging your furniture to maximize floor space.
Monitor and eliminate distractions such as phone, TV, and internet while focusing on a particular assignment. Allow yourself short breaks to avoid burnout.
Eliminate objects of temptation: when dieting, don’t keep junk food around; when abstaining from alcohol, don’t socialize in bars; when quitting smoking, replace cigarettes with chewing gum; when cutting back on shopping, leave credit cards or money at home.
Ask others that you interact with to respect the removal of tempting items and to encourage your positive lifestyle changes.
Start a regular workout routine and make sure you stick to it. Be realistic about the time and energy you can dedicate, and savor your increased energy and vitality.
Next time you get upset, try to control your emotions and focus on positive attributes of the situation. Become aware of the degree to which you can control your feelings and reactions.
Avoid talking about others in their absence. Don’t solicit gossip from friends or co-workers.
When you get upset, do a progressive relaxation. Allow your stream of thoughts to be interrupted momentarily so that it doesn’t go out of control.
Self-congratulate for self-regulation when you successfully resist an indulgence. Accept congratulations from friends who are aware of your lifestyle change.
Carefully create routines that you can follow thorough systematically. Make minor adjustments as needed but keep the core elements intact.
Establish a regular time and a place for most of your activities. Budget your time so that you aren’t rushed or stressed by trying to accomplish all your goals at once.
Identify your role models and examine them in detail. Let these details inspire and regulate your goals.
Pay close attention to your biological clock. Do your most important tasks when you are most alert.
Do partial or complete fasting or deliberately resist a comfort (e.g., chocolate, ice-cream, sex, TV) for a while. Reward yourself with it after accomplishing a challenging task.