Maybe you’ve tried to force yourself to quit eating a donut every morning with your coffee, because you want to lose a few pounds. So you think about the donut all the way to the coffee house and tell yourself repeatedly that you won’t get one. What is your mind concentrating on? The donut!
As the saying goes, What you resist persists. When you keep putting attention on the habit you are trying to break, it becomes very hard to make any changes. You might be able to white-knuckle your way through a few days (or possibly weeks) of doing without that donut or whatever it is, but when you continue thinking (obsessing) about it and feel deprived, it’s inevitable that you’ll soon find yourself relenting and biting into a big donut. (Or lighting a cigarette, or picking up a drink when you vowed to quit, etc.)
Instead of making it such a battle, the simple way to shove a bad habit out of your life is to replace it with a healthier alternative! Get creative with ways you can do this for whatever habit you have resolved to break this year. Remember to focus on being positive and embracing a healthy new habit. As the days pass and you put your attention on the new habit… such as running or drinking herbal teas or eating fresh fruit… you will be feeling healthier and one day will realize that your new practice has simply pushed the old craving out of your mind. That way, when you do have a momentary thought of “Oh, gee, a big fresh donut sure would be tasty” you will recognize it as old thinking and be able to shrug it off and continue with your new healthier habits.