Can You Pass on the Donut? What is Your Self-Control Strategy?

Self-control is becoming a topic that I want to spend more time with. Why? We can have the best intentions and information but can we personally execute? Do we have a personal system for discipline and self-control? Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, just published a great blog on this. His view is that self-control as a behavioral focus may be “something we can tap into to make sweeping improvements in life outcomes.”

Ariely goes on to note that research by people like Walter Mischel and others suggest that those of us who develop greater self-control capability are likely to get better results in a wide range of areas including work. There are many temptations to get distracted while working. The “donut shop” facing today’s worker may be Facebook or Angry Birds.

So what are some strategies for improvement in self-control?

  1. Try establishing a binding agreement with yourself by using the support system found in a web-site like
  2. Up the ante by applying “self imposed fees or fines” when temptation wins. Learn about fines to ante-charities.
  3. Get help from others, “For god’s sake don’t let me order dessert tonight!”


Character Move: let’s recognize that self-control, like most things, requires a system and purposeful practice. Will power alone will not work for most of us humans. Read the book We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess by Daniel Akst for more insight and tactics!

Passing on the donut in the Triangle,


  1. Anna says:


    So I saw your Character Hall of Fame page, and I was thinking, “what about published author, Anna Browne”? I’m just kidding haha 🙂 But I thought it was funny… and I like the part about Leo Rubis…. ordinary man living an extraordinary life…. 🙂 haha 😀

    • Lorne says:

      Thank you would have liked my dad :). Give your mom and dad a big hug for me. I’m looking forward to putting u in my hall of fame some day 🙂


  2. Lorne says:

    Hi Anna…try Thnx again for reading


  3. Anna says:

    I went to but the page wouldn’t show up. *shrugs* So I honestly don’t know haha… and no problem 🙂 Lol. X)

  4. Anna says:

    I find that self-control is not only a thing everyone needs, but something we desire more than we actually need. Does that make sense? If not, this is what I mean:

    For example. I need to work on eating healthier and turning away cheese and chocolate. I desire that self-control. I need to turn away something, but in order to do it I have to have the self-control. And in order to obtain that self-control, I need to desire it. Want it. So we get self-control once we say to ourselves that we really want it and will work hard to get it.

    So, yes, I can pass on that Donut. But mainly because I don’t like donuts. 😉

    • Lorne says:

      Insightful and interesting comment Anna…thank you. I need to think more about desire and control overall. What do you think of sites like to help get us there sometimes?

      Ps thnx for reading and commenting

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