It seems as though you’ve tried everything in the world to walk away from your bad habit. You’ve gone to meetings, spoken with professionals, and attempted quitting cold turkey. Still, your habit seems to stick (especially when stress seems hard to get rid of).
Have you ever thought about your habit or addiction in terms of sacrifice? If you have people in your life who love and care about you, sacrifice can be an incredibly potent method to help you walk away from your vices. Learn more about making sacrifices through Psychology Today.
These five steps will get you started.
- Visualize Your New Future
You’ve probably done this dozens of times before, but this time is different. Close your eyes and imagine a future in which your bad habit is gone. Think about how this will change the lives of the people you love. How will it help your children, your significant other, your parents, and your friends? Now, imagine a future in which your bad habit has continued to grow. Picturing these two parallel futures can be daunting – but it can also show you the possibilities at stake. In order to better the lives of yourself and the people you love, you need to fight for a brighter future.
- Think About Your Loved Ones
This is an extension of visualization. However, it involves a more in-depth process. Think carefully (and individually) about your loved ones. Think about how your bad habit has already affected them. Think about how your relationship with them has been altered or could be altered. Finally, picture their futures. What do they look like if your habit continues? Slowly, you’ll begin to realize that you hold the future of other people in your hands.
- Decide To Make Sacrifices
When this realization hits, you need to make a decision. Are you going to make sacrifices for the people you love? Are you going to improve your life for them? If so, write down this decision. Write it down multiple times, if it helps. Do whatever will help you say, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to make this right.” Talk to your loved ones about your intentions. This will help push you to follow through with your promises. However, you should also talk to your loved ones when you have a rough day, when you slip, or when you need help. The beautiful part about trying to change for the sake of those you love? They will help you.
- Hold Yourself Accountable
While your loved ones will hold you accountable for following through with your promise, you must also hold yourself accountable. After all, your future is involved too. Write a journal to keep track of your progress, and don’t be afraid to reward yourself when you’ve met a milestone. The Huffington Post offers useful information about holding yourself accountable that could help you through the process.
- Meet With Counselors
If you know you’ll be fighting an uphill battle, meet with a counselor beforehand to establish the support you need to keep going. Your counselor will affirm your faith and motivation. Often, the key to breaking a bad habit is a weekly meeting with someone who cares. These meetings will also help you with resentment issues. Many times, individuals using the method of sacrifice will begin to feel frustrated and resentful of their loved ones. Meeting with a counselor can help eliminate this problem. Learn more about counseling through Psych Central.
These steps will help you break your bad habit by making sacrifices for the people you love. If you can’t make sacrifices for them, make sacrifices for yourself. This is your future. You deserve to live it.
Article contributed by Jane Moore