From time to time each of us vows to shake off some inconvenient habit or other. For me this has happened on a number of occasions, including an unfortunate tendency to have just “one more” shot of espresso at work.
As the new year approaches, we may resolve to swear off one or more of these habits. The problem isn’t making the resolution, but rather sticking to it.
I have noticed that when trying to walk the virtuous path, I find myself in one of two mental states in the course of a day. Either I am (1) finding it easy, or (2) finding it really, really difficult.
So here’s the thing. When you’re in mental state (1) it’s easy. But when you’re in mental state (2), you’ve got to ask yourself: Isn’t that the problem right there? Anything you crave so desperately is sure to be bad for you.
I mean, who wants to turn into Gollum muttering about his “Precious”? He may have a high polygon count, but that guy is seriously nuts.
The trick is to turn your craving on its head. Use its very intensity as a clear reminder of why you ditched your annoying habit in the first place.
I’ve taken the liberty of creating a handy diagram that replicates my own internal mental process, which I call my “two step program”. For me it has worked like a charm: