Is there something you strive to do more on a regular basis? Go to the gym? Eat healthy? Wake up earlier? Kick a bad habit? No matter what your goals are, it takes a great deal of self-discipline, control and knowing how to avoid temptation. By fine tuning the skill, you can not only improve your personal life, but also your work life. Here are ten tips so you can start paving your way to success.

1. Set a Date

Research shows that setting a start date to begin a change in your life can be an effective means of sticking to your plan. Try choosing a day that’s the first of the month, a Monday or an anniversary date of some sort. A goal without a date is just a dream, so make sure that every goal also ends with a by when date.

2. Write Down Your Reasons Why You Want to Achieve More Self-Discipline

Despite what many may think, self discipline is a learned behavior. It requires practice and repetition in your day-to-day life. Affirmations can help strengthen self-control by focusing on higher values rather than immediate results. Write positive notes to yourself everyday and leave them in rooms that you visit regularly.

3. Visualize the End Result of Your Efforts

Studies show that your willpower lasts longer if you motivate yourself with the positive effects of your self-control. By wanting something and then visualizing yourself reaching that goal, you’re setting yourself up to succeed.

4. What Will You Do When Temptation Arises?

Removing all temptations and distractions from your environment is a crucial first step when working to improve your self discipline. Either way, it’s inevitable that you will face temptation at some point along your journey. A proven power technique is to prepare a plan of what you’ll say and do when feeling temptation. This is known as a self-regulation strategy.

5. Make it Fun by Combining Something You Want to Do With Something You Need to Do

Studies show that forming good habits can start by pairing something you have to do with something you like to do. This includes treating yourself. While practicing self control, schedule specific breaks, treats, and rewards for yourself. If you’re dieting, designate Saturday as a cheat day. Trying to exercise more? Treat yourself to a massage after a month of gym trips.

6. Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep deprivation can impair the way your prefrontal cortex works, which is the part of the brain where self-regulation takes place. When we don’t get enough sleep, it affects our mood, ability to focus, our judgement and our overall health. It’s important to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night, no matter what. Try to stop drinking caffeine at least four hours before bedtime so that you don’t interrupt your natural sleep cycle.

7. Ask For Help

Have your friends look out for you when you feel like giving into temptation. Studies show that repeated reminders will help you succeed. In addition, some friends may have insight on what worked for them when it comes to self-discipline.

8. Weigh All Your Options

Making an impulsive decision can be a bad choice, so be sure to weigh your options before you make a choice. How far will it set you back from your goal? Will you be disappointed in yourself?

9. Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol can compromise self-discipline by reducing your ability to effectively reflect on the potential outcome of any given action. If alcohol is being served around you, try to drink a glass of water instead.

10. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

Studies show that undisciplined people wishing to improve tend to gravitate towards people with more self-control. Together, they can be each other’s support system.

By learning how to achieve self-discipline, you can begin making the changes you want to make. There are certainly many ways to make this a habit, but the best way is to have a clear reason on why you want the things in life that you do. When our reasons are strong enough, we can achieve almost anything.