Posted by Maria Gola | For Men, How to, Prevention, Recovery

The long-running jokes about failing on New Year’s resolutions are getting a bit old, don’t you think?

  

According to studies, only nine percent of resolutioners actually succeed in their goals, and a third have given up by the end of January. In the face of all the negativity surrounding these sneaky wintertime wishes, why do people still make them?

Well, because there’s that nine percent that actually succeeds. 

The hope that our desires for self-improvement will be realized are stronger than the naysayers. And when your goal is quitting porn, the stakes are high. You want to regain trust that may have been lost, or do something more with the time you’ve been wasting. It’s not just you that stands to benefit from your resolution, but your relationship with your family and loved ones in your life.

We’’ve seen and heard the stories of those who’ve unshackled themselves from pornography and think, “Why can’t that be me?” “

“”What’’s their secret?””

It can be you, and we’ve compiled a list of the best tips and tricks to ensure that on the other side of the year, you can look back and say ““I accomplished something.””

And hey, if it’’s already a few days into the new year and you feel like you’ve missed the boat? Nonsense. There’s still plenty of time left for you to become the person you want to be. Stop worrying and just get to work!

The Two Questions You Should Ask

Before you start any resolution, you need to ask yourself two very important questions:

Why do I want to do this?

Starting with the “”why“” is essential to future success. Why do you want to quit porn? Focusing on the answer to that question may reveal how serious you are about making this commitment, and ultimately how successful you will be.

Perhaps you want to quit porn to improve your relationship with your wife and a better father to your family. Maybe you’re sick of wasting time on negative images and are ready to focus your energy on creating something positive. There are countless reasons, but take a moment to pinpoint which one is at the heart of your desire to quit.

Regardless of your “why,” a person who understands the motivation behind their decisions, whether it be for relationships or improve mental health and brain function, can keep those benefits in mind as they begin crafting their goal.

What do I want to accomplish?

Understand the specifics of your goals, and tailor it to fit your individual needs. If you watch porn on the daily, your goal may be slightly different than someone who only views when they are away from a spouse. Remember that making your goal as specific as possible is a much better strategy than a vague, “I want to quit porn.”

You could replace porn viewing with a different activity once a week, and bump that number up every month. Or maybe your goal involves seeing how many days you can go without pornography, and slowly work on making those intervals longer. Take some time to plan this out, and you’re already a step ahead.

Start Small

No one can change overnight. Well, unless you’re Ebenezer Scrooge, I guess, but unless you plan on being visited by a parade of benevolent ghosts this New Year’s Eve, plan on making your goals small, manageable, and plan on building from that small start.

Going from a daily ritual of visiting pornography sites to a year of cold turkey is a recipe for failure. Start with something you can manage easily, as mentioned above, like replacing it with another activity once a week, then build up from there.

We want to focus on long-term change, and that takes time, patience, and incremental growth.

Accountability

One of the most important keys to a successful resolution is involving others in your progress. When you have the support of others, your journey becomes easier and less intimidating. A support group gives you the freedom to talk about your goals and ease the burden of trying to struggle through things alone.

If your actions have cost you the trust of your closest loved ones, involving them in your recovery is one of the best ways to start rebuilding that trust. They have a stake in your progress and want to help you succeed.

Accountability software is a big help in this regard. Trusting someone to be a part of your self-improvement goals takes courage, but will benefit you in more ways than just recovery. Take another look at your “why.” If it involves healing or strengthening relationships with loved ones, then accountability is a twofer. You get the support and the relationship boost.

Have a Relapse and Recovery Plan

Understand from the get-go that setbacks will happen. But also understand that these setbacks do not mean that your resolution is over. Remember, we are working on incremental growth here.

Make a plan for what to do when setbacks occur. Use these as motivation to get up, dust yourself off, and try again.

You are human, and hey, we all stumble from time to time. Having a plan in place for what to do when and if this happens will prevent you from ditching a goal that you know is important to you.

Make sure you write down where and how you will start back up with your goals, recognizing all the progress you’ve made so far, and that one mistake doesn’t negate the improvements you’ve made. Do what you need to do, to get back on track.

Track your Progress

Want to know the secret to keeping up with a long-term goal like this?

Write. Stuff. Down.

Seriously, it’’s ridiculously effective. The way you organize your information and track your progress can be done in a variety of ways. There isn’t necessarily one right way to do it. You can keep a journal, use a variety of goal-tracking apps on your phone, make a note of your progress in your gratitude practice, heck, you can even make yourself a sticker chart. (No really, don’t knock the sticker chart. That thing helped me lose 10 pounds last summer).

Keep it somewhere visible, so you can see it every day. As the weeks and months go by you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.

Revise as Needed

As you go through the year, be open to tweaking things as needed. If a particular strategy has proved to be less than effective, be okay with reassessing your plans to fit what you need. Maybe you started out with a “go big or go home” plan to quit cold turkey, but a week in, get hit with a bout of late-night insomnia and gave in to the temptation. It’’s a setback, for sure, but it’’s not a failure, just an opportunity to set some more realistic goals.

Likewise, if the original goal you set is too easy, don’t be afraid to crank it up a notch and challenge yourself. You’ve conquered avoiding porn at work and your productivity has gone up? Nice! Now see what can happen when you focus your energy on positive things after work.

Stop Thinking, Start Doing

Making big life changes requires a bit a planning and thought, of course, but there comes a point where you need to just do it. There’s no perfect time, ideal conditions, or optimal mental state you must be in to start. Even if things are a bit rocky in the beginning, you just get in there and persevere. Not to get all Shia Labeouf on you, but, “JUST DO IT!”

 

A new year holds all kinds of hope and promises for things to come. Make the decision to take control of your actions and habits this year. Do it for yourself, for your family, for your kids. You’ve got this. Bring it on, 2018.