Habits – we all have them. In fact, they say it takes about it only takes about 3 weeks, just 21 days, for something to become a habit.
Think about that – just drinking a few beers every day for 21 days could cause you to develop a habit of drinking. Just using drugs for 21 days could cause you to develop a lifelong habit of drug abuse.
In the scheme of an entire year – 365 days – or even in the scheme of your entire life, 21 days is equal to merely a few seconds.
And, it is when we develop these habits that things get dangerous…
As you develop a habit of something, it becomes much harder to quit. So, once you develop a habit of drinking, it is much harder to stop. Once you develop a habit of doing drugs, it is much harder to stop. A habit simply becomes a normal part of your everyday life.
So, when it comes time for recovery, rather from drugs or alcohol, the first step to changing is breaking your habits and developing new and healthy habits.
But, how do you break a habit that has seemingly become a normal part of your everyday life?
Well, it is not easy, but it is possible.
And, it starts with change.
To break a habit, you have to make a change – you have to stop doing it, you have to find something else to do instead, you have to learn to resist the temptation to go back to that old habit.
But, with change comes hard work…
To change, you have to become self-aware:
How can you avoid a temptation if you don’t even realize there is something tempting you?
Get off autopilot and become aware of:
- What you are doing.
- Who you are with.
- How you feel physically.
- How you feel emotionally.
- Where you are.
- What you are thinking.
By becoming completely aware of these things, you can learn what to avoid and what to do more of.
For example, maybe you haven’t been able to see your child very often because of your addiction…
So, at your next visit, rather than just going on autopilot and sitting there watching them play like you always do, you engage with them, have more conversations, and most importantly…
You notice how you are feeling in that very moment.
Do you feel happy? Do you feel relieved?
This can also be the first step to gaining the motivation for change.
Notice the things around you – notice what makes you want to change and how you can change.
You can always break a habit, but you can always pick it right back up.