Many things can tax our self-control: be it keeping in check the urge to devour tons of gingerbread, or trying hard to remain professional and to use all those rules of procedure, that diplomatic language, etc. etc.
Psychological research shows that our self-control is a bit like a muscle: use it a lot, and it’ll need to take a rest to replenish. While our self-control is ‘depleted’, we are prone to making pretty bad decisions, and giving in to those influences that require self-control to keep in check (for example, over-eating on Lebkuchen and Dominostein).
How can you give your self-control muscle a boost, to make it grow to the size of this owl’s (see below) self-control? Self-affirmation!
Self-affirmation is like a highly effective energy drink for your self-control: think about why you’re doing what you’re doing, why this re-affirms your personal values, and why it’s your goal to do as you are doing. That will help you to continue to exercise self-control, to make good decisions, and to continue to keep those influences that require self-control in check.