What does science have to do with self-discipline? As it turns out, a lot!

Self-discipline has long been a fascinating topic for mankind, with the benefits of a disciplined mind being touted by everyone from the ancient Greeks to the earliest writers of the Orient. It should come as no surprise that various studies over the years have been dedicated entirely to willpower and the effects of self-discipline.

Thankfully all this science has led to this article. Below find several tips, scientifically proven to improve your self-discipline today:

Begin on Monday
When starting any new behavior, studies have shown that the most significant success occurs when change begins on a Monday.

Make a List
What’s the long-range goal? Self-discipline thrives when it has something to work toward. What are you trying to accomplish?

Combine Tasks
When you pair the tasks you need to do with the ones you want to do, you’ll find you have a higher chance of success.

Sleep
You can’t be self-disciplined if you’re exhausted. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep every night. For bonus points, try going to bed at the same time every night to feel more rested.

Enlist Help
Having a hard time realizing when you’re falling off the wagon? Ask your friends and co-workers to let you know when you’re slipping. We don’t always see when our self-discipline is falling by the wayside.

Stop and Think
Self-discipline requires you take time when making decisions. School yourself to consider all the options. Decisions made impulsively have been proven to be the ones you regret the later.

Try a Snack
Willpower fades if you’re hungry. A drop in blood sugar can make it nearly impossible to think clearly. Having a snack, something that combines protein with carbs, will raise your sugar levels up to something more stable, quickly and without giving yourself those sugar highs that only crash later leaving you in a worse state than when you started.

Avoid Drugs or Alcohol
Self-discipline goes out of the window when you indulge in substances that reduce willpower.

Get Visual
Leaving yourself reminders, such as pictures, notes, or other items out to remind yourself of your goal will help you to stay more disciplined longer.

Choose Better Friends
If you’re hanging out with self-disciplined people, you’ll find your own self-discipline improving.

Make Sure this is Your Goal
Trying to be self-disciplined to change yourself to fit someone else’s idea of you is a sure recipe for disaster. Do it for you or not at all.

Remember: like with any muscle, you need to exercise regularly to see improvement. Keep in mind that these tips for practicing self-discipline are not one-time-only fixes. You’ll want to build this list into a series of habits for the optimal results. Above all, just keep at it. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you see results.