so I'm in a self-control phase
that I sometimes get into in which I manage to get a hold on multiple things (e.g. diet, finances) at the same time. It's interesting that I find them linked this way, but more interestingly, I find it helps me to stay on track if I think of discipline as abstract forecasting rather than an internal impulse struggle→
That is to say, if I think of it less as denying myself 'wrong' food as an act of willpower ("just hang on until the impulse dies") than as just a cool-headed decision about the future: "do I want to have lost X pounds 2 months from now? well why derail it now?"
I think it really depends on your mental processes and there's not a one-size fits all solution to these things (not to mention we probably mix and match the different processes at various times) but interestingly as I was mulling this today I came across two things on the interwebz that pretty much echoed this 'forecasting' view:
this cheesy motivational poster
(includes slightly nsfw taut abdomen/thigh photo)
discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.
and this tweet
Discipline is remembering what you want. - David Campbell
I guess, upon rereading these quotes, the other characteristic of this type of thinking is that it's not just about cool-headed planning instead of willpower, but also about concretely choosing an alternate goal instead of just engaging in self-denial without clarifying the purpose to yourself.