The art of self-control is an art form that many would benefit from learning — even ourselves. So to help you and us, we researched some ways to bolster your innate ability to say no to temptation. We know you’ll thank us later for teaching you not to eat that last cookie. You won’t like us, but we’re sure you’ll thank us!

Start small.
Don’t eat that last cookie. Say no to that extra pen at the doctor’s office. Put that last file down at the end of the day. By starting with small things, it gets us used to saying no. So often, we’re so used to being conciliatory to our own sense of want that we forget that we don’t need to have or do something just because it’s out there. You have hundreds of clothes, okay? That last dress can stay on the rack.  Yes, Gucci neckties are awesome, but you have run up your credit card from the last 10 you purchased. You won’t miss anything by not having that item encrusted with all the diamonds.

Think about how badly you really want something.
You want to learn to speak French, but you haven’t spoken to anyone who speaks French. You are listening to Japanese language tapes which is a language you already know, not even ordering French Fries. You are not doing anything that precludes you learning French. If you really want to do something, you will expose yourself to things that get you closer to your goal. Get a pen pal that speaks the language. Introduce yourself to different types of art. By immersing yourself in things that are associated to your goal, you re-affirm what you want and are more likely to work toward that goal.

Glucose may be the culprit.
Replace your unhealthy snacks with things that are healthy and keep them close at hand. Your glucose level affects many brain functions and will help you to mentally keep your eye on the prize. So, when in doubt, grab some celery sticks or hard candy and work out the problem in your head.

If at first you don’t succeed….
Okay, so you didn’t get it the first time around or the fourth. Keep going. Re-group and figure out where you went wrong. Practice makes perfect. Each time you say no, you’ve won another victory. Just take it one day at a time. Trying to rush will make you crash and burn, then you feel guilty. Eventually, you will work out whatever magical formula you need to reach your goal.

Surround yourself with positive influences.
We cannot stress enough the need to remain positive. If you keep your head up and smile, you can get through any situation. There are days when it may seem hopeless, but if you keep going with that positive attitude, you’ll get there. So, by keeping your surrounding positive, it’ll be that much easier to reach your goal.

Distract yourself.
If you find yourself staring longingly at that unnecessary snowball filled with Ren and Stimpy playing in the snow, walk away and go somewhere else. Go grab a quick snack. Call a friend and tell them about your day. Anything it takes to get your mind off of that which you are trying to stay away from. Eventually you won’t need the distraction at all.

Everyone can benefit from a little more WILL POWER.
Everyone has goals they want to meet. With just a little perseverance, we can get there. With a little will power, we can get there even faster!