The power to change any behavior is in your hands, literally! There is no magic potion, no diet pill, no medication, and no crazy process that will do it for you. In fact, nothing with a price tag will work. What works is COMPLETELY free. It is consistency. You can apply it to anything. I have talked about moderation and consistency so much, but let me give you some specific examples today in case it is more helpful.
Do you want to quit smoking cigarettes? Smoke one less cigarette a day. Then another. Then another. Do you want to quit caffeine or alcohol? The same rule applies. Quitting cold turkey can be hugely beneficial for anything and sometimes essential because of the physically addictive and neurological impact of things like alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, but if quitting cold turkey is something you have tried many times and then gone back to the substance, you have never quit. Like my mother always said, she did not quit. She just took breaks.
To quit may require a different battle plan. Slow reduction. Take a small change and make it a big priority, as Jay Shetty said. So alcohol…commit to not drinking any alcohol one evening a week, or two, whatever would be a step forward for your personal situation. For caffeine, substitute with decaf. After a few days, you will not feel the physical effects. Allow yourself the “decaf treat” as long as you need to until you can then move away from that.
Do you want to quit sugar? What’s a small step in that direction? Commit to one meal a day that has no sugar in it. Do you want to lose weight? Switch one meal a day to a protein shake. Or one meal a day to only protein and vegetables. Or commit to not consuming any calories after 7pm three nights per week. Stick with that for one month and you will be amazed at the empowerment you feel to go the next level!
Do you want to get stronger? Get out of the house and run for ten minutes each weekday morning. Just ten minutes.
Do you want to improve your relationship with God? Read the Bible for five minutes EVERY morning. We can all spare five minutes or wake up five minutes sooner. This is the power of this method of behavior change. You make it so possible that there is no reason not to do it. You eliminate the validity of any excuse. Make the change, make it a priority, stay consistent, and watch your momentum climb over time!
Do you want to get out of debt or build up your savings? Commit to three days a week where you will not spend any money. Each of those days, transfer $10 from your checking to your savings account and watch it grow. If it is to pay off debt, at the end of the month, make the payment. That would be $360 a year and I guarantee you would not even notice the money missing from your checking account. That is how change is made!
Do you want to improve your outlook and attitude and level of motivation? As Jeff Olson recommends, read just ten pages of a good book a day (a personal development book). Why just ten? Same concept. We have the tendency to compulsively go overboard and attempt too much which is unsustainable with everything else going on in our life. Ten pages though? Ten pages I can do. The other benefit? Personal development books often give us ideas we want to implement in our lives which are AMAZING, but we can only make so much change at one time. So the more we read in a day, the less time we will have to really take that information and inspiration and apply it to our lives. Give it time. If you put in the small, consistent step forward, the growth and development will literally take care of itself.
With any behavior you want to change, consistency and moderation are just waiting for you to grab them by the horns and show them who’s boss!
Living like a boss,