I’m sure all of us wants to quit something at some point, it can be smoking, drinking soda, biting nails or anything that comes to your mind.
I can think of two ways that usually people (at least I know of) use for quitting: “cold turkey” (you basically say “No More!” and hope for the best) or a slow progress (you take step-by-step approach, which takes a lot longer and again hope for the best).
Understand your personality. I’ll suggest for you to understand what type of personality you have. I am either “all or nothing” type of person and the “cold turkey” way most of the time works for me. I remember few times that I made a huge decision to quit something, for example drinking soda or eliminating meat from my diet. Well, to this day you won’t see me sipping soda, or eating any type of meat.
Understand your approach. There are things that you need to quit “cold turkey” and there are things that you can take a slower approach. For example, I tried to be a vegan twice and I failed both times, because the lifestyle at that point in my life wasn’t suitable, so currently I use almond milk instead of cow’s milk, I don’t buy cheese and bring it to my house, I eat a vegetarian food outdoors, while vegan at home. So, I took a slower approach, even though as I mentioned I’m “all or nothing” type of person. I understood that sometimes that approach won’t work and that’s ok.
Ask yourself why you want to quit. I’ll take my example of drinking soda. It was part of my daily life, I was drinking this drink daily and I understood it isn’t healthy and I’m addicted to this drink in the most literal way. BUT it took me many years to finally decide to quit it altogether. Because I didn’t educate and convince myself that it isn’t healthy. I read many articles, I educated myself and I chose my health vs. my tastebuds.
Concentrate on one goal. I’m writing this more for myself actually. I like setting too many goals in front of me. Usually, I end up failing all or not doing them properly. So if you want to quit 3-4 bad habits of yours, take one bad habit and concentrate on that one. Once, you are sure you got rid of it then proceed to the next one.
It will take time. Forming a bad or good habit takes time. I’ve read that habits form around 21-90 days, so just keep that in mind and count every single day. And one day, you won’t even care.
“Patience is a virtue!”
Failing. I think failure is one of the reasons people think they can’t do something. Our brains are filled with “what if”s. We all fail at some point and that’s OK. Try as many times as you want, but always try. Maybe you should consider changing your approach or maybe you need to educate yourself more. Just try.
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely!”
Eliminate the triggers. Sometimes we do stuff, because our brain is triggered by something. For example, when I’m watching a show, my brain automatically sends “you are hungry” message and I think to myself “oh, I need to eat that bag of chips right this second!”. So understand what triggers you and eliminate it.
Make the world know about it. I’m sure you have some sort of social media. Let your friends know that you are quitting, make it public and tell your friends to shame you if they see you doing it. Plus, you will get lots of encouragement and maybe some of your friends are going through the same process, and once in a while you guys can share your progress and experience.
Celebrate. Let’s say you want to quit smoking. Whatever money you were wasting you can save and buy yourself something after few months. Save for three months and then waste that money on something meaningful.
Currently, I’m trying to work on my plant-based diet and that’s my goal for this year, to eat less animal products.
Good luck to all of us.