Habits are hard to break, addictions even more so. I should know. I have quit smoking at least ten times, if not more than that.
My most recent attempt – the current one – started five years ago. I haven’t had a cigarette in five years.
How did I do it? Five minutes at a time. When I wanted a smoke, I told myself no for five minutes and waited it out. I found something else to keep myself busy. Once the physical addiction was gone, especially, if I waited long enough the urge would pass.
Basically, I broke my bad habits by procrastinating until the need to smoke went away each time. Procrastination for the win!
Now how I can harness that same technique to build new, good habits? It takes five minutes of willpower to pack a healthy lunch… five minutes to walk into the gym instead of driving away… five minutes to start writing the next chapter of a book instead of checking email. Because once I start those things, the only thing to do is follow through.
Something to think about, right? Something to work on. Five minutes of willpower to do the smart thing or the right thing, or at least get far enough that momentum gets me to the finish line.
My goal was to write a blog post a day for a week, and this is day four (disregard some of the dates lately! My time zone was off). So far, so good! And it’s all because I take that first five minutes to get a good start.