According to the Lucidity Institute, controlling one's dreams is not synonymous with lucid dreaming (the knowledge that one's self is dreaming), however lucidity often increases one's control over the content and course of dreams. A person can increase the potential that she may have a lucid dream by practicing dream recall, reality testing, checking for dream signs, napping and using a technique known as mnemonic induction of lucid dreams.
Dream recall is an integral part of controlling one's dreams, because without any memory of one's dreams knowledge of whether or not they are controllable isn't available. The Lucidity Institute recommends practicing dream recall by attempting to remember dreams immediately upon waking up. The idea is that if practiced often enough, dream recall becomes second-nature. The Lucidity Institute's second recommendation is performing reality testing. The recommended method of reality testing involves reading text or numerals in order to check for abnormal phenomena. Additionally, napping increases the frequency of dreams, so it is recommended that aspiring lucid dreamers nap often.
The Lucidity Institute also recommended that one focuses on the intent to dream lucidly, attempts to see oneself become lucid and repeat all of the activities set forth until the skill of lucid dreaming is attained. Once lucid dreams become common, it is easier to control what occurs within the dream.