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Succeeding At Self Control

Posted February 2, 2024

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Succeeding At Self Control

Self-control is an important characteristic to develop that can help us in all aspects of our lives from biting our tongue, to passing on the sweet treat, to accomplishing our New Year’s resolutions. But it isn’t easy! In fact, it can be downright painful, especially when trying to control some urge.

It’s Not About Willpower

Many people say what they need is more willpower and discipline, but that isn’t it. And thank goodness because we have a limited amount willpower that depletes quickly.

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, said, “The people with the best self-control are typically the ones who need to use it the least…the way to improve these qualities is not by wishing you were a more disciplined person, but by creating a more disciplined environment.”1(emphasis mine)

It’s About the Environment

When we engage in an activity that requires self-control, we should seek to create an environment that will lessen the need to use self-control. If we are seeking a healthier lifestyle it would be easier for us to accomplish if we spent more time (and money) in the produce section and less in the bakery section of the grocery store.

We cannot control all environments we find ourselves in, but we can adjust many of them to create an easier environment to behave the way we wish to behave.  Becoming, improving, and accomplishing is often just a product of our small daily decisions.

Your Investment Environment

The investment environment is one that investors can control pretty easily. Most investors prefer peace to anxiety, stability to volatility. The markets, which are uncertain and volatile by nature, will not provide that. But choosing not to tune in, not to look at every move and sensational news headline, produces an environment much more conducive to feel peace and stability.

No matter what you are seeking to accomplish, changing your environment can be much easier than exercising willpower to act in the way you hope and wish to act. And when it comes to investing and financial matters, I am here to help you reach your goals, and help you feel confidence and peace along the financial journey.

©The Behavioral Finance Network

  1. Clear, James. Atomic Habits. 2018

Thayer Financial, L.L.C. (“Thayer Financial”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the States of North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This website’s presence on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by Thayer Financial in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or according to an applicable state exemption.

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