How To Be A Quitter

I’m a quitter. I’ve quit drinking soda, smoking, eating foods with gluten, dairy, soy, or nuts, smoking (again and this time for real), eating most processed foods, drinking hard liquor, quit spending money that I don’t have, and have reached a point in my life where if I see that a job is not good for my health & sanity, I’ll quit that as well.

This is what works for me

1) You need to be serious about the goal and realistic about how much it’s going to suck at first.  Do you want to cut out the habit completely or just reduce

2) You need to believe that the overall result will positively impact your life. If you are not sure that it will, look for inspiration from others who have accomplished the goal that you are trying to reach. People like to talk about their accomplishments, don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with them.

3) You need to be OK with failing and trying again. Temporary setbacks are a stepping stone to greater things. With each stepback, you learn a new thing. If you’re not failing occasionally in life, then maybe you need to set bigger goals.

4) You need a new (preferably positive) habit that can replace the old one. Many of the habits listed above where a poor reaction to a work stress. First was smoking. When I quit that I began to drink much more frequently. I replaced a bad habit with another bad habit. Because of this it was harder for me to be productive in the mornings at work….which led to further stress….which led to more dependency on alcohol.  It was a cycle. My solution was 1) to leave the job I worked at and work in a less stressful position for a different company and 2) rely on exercise during the week when I am stressed out. I reduced the amount of stress in my life by making a big change in my life and this made it much easier to replace a bad habit with a good one

5) Avoid temptation if possible. I have cut out hard liquor completely, therefore you will not see it in my house. This made it much easier to make the change. I do still drink wine but limit it mostly to weekends at this point. I used to stock up order wine bottles by the case but now I mainly buy a bottle wine on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to split between myself and my wife. This may seem like a lot to some but this is down from 9 or 10 bottles a week that we used to drink prior to me limiting this amount.

6) If you’re married, try to get your spouse on board. When I cut back on many of the foods that were making me sick, in the course of a year I lost 100 pounds and looked and felt 10 years younger. I didn’t have to convince my wife to follow my diet, she decided to on her own. I am not a doctor so I am not suggesting that you follow my specific diet. I am just pointing out that following the steps above when trying to make a big lifestyle change is much easier with support.

Hope this is helpful. Have a Happy New Year and good luck with your resolutions!

 

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