It is not easy to kick a bad habit, but it can be done

In the past, I drank a lot of alcohol. Currently, I am writing this essay at 9:00 pm on a Friday night, and if you had met me a decade ago, I would have been nine drinks deep with an eight-ball of coke in my pocket. At that time, I felt pretty powerless over drinking and couldn’t imagine going long without the relief and excitement it provided. Drinking isn’t much of an interest to me these days. Some months ago, I woke up with a wicked headache after drinking a few sips of wine. It never even occurs to me to drink the liquor I keep in my house for friends. Alcohol no longer holds any power over me.

The first step is to identify the problem

Identifying the issue we want to shift is the first step. It takes awareness to understand how this thing is getting in our way, and it takes tangible fuel to change it.

Make a list of all the ways the habit gets in the way and how that makes you feel. This will help you gain further awareness around the issue. Write down how your life would change if you took back control over this thing instead of feeling powerless over it? Now that we’re cooking, things are looking a little clearer.

Step 2: Stop the behavior

If you are trying to change a less-than-helpful habit, the second step is to create a period during which you won’t engage in that behavior. Whether it takes a few hours, a day, or a month, it must occur. If we don’t have this lived experience of not engaging in the habit, then we’ll just be mentally masturbating. It’s not helpful.

It is insanity to be aware without taking action. The possibilities are endless when you try something new. Until I stopped drinking, I had no idea how it felt. At first, I committed to a month. After that, a year. After that, four years passed. My time off allowed me to experience living without engaging in a behavior I thought I couldn’t live without. That was so empowering! It’s like: “”Hey, I can do this!”” It’s possible! Wow! ” Is there anything else I haven’t tried?

Step 3: Be a team player

With the same mindset that got us into this mess, we can’t change a habit. Perspectives need to be changed. Fresh ideas need to be brought to the table by new people. It may be helpful for some men to start working with a therapist, coach, or men’s group – the key is finding a place where you can be accountable and encouraged to keep going.

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