Every journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Often times, we have tried to make changes in ourselves, but have failed. Setting lofty goals is a gremlin to throwing your progress off track. Long term goals require more willpower than most can muster over a month or more. A nearly foolproof strategy is to set very shortterm goals that you know you can achieve.
If you desire to kick cigarette smoking or other strong habit, begin with very small steps. When feeling the urge to light up, work towards your goal by delaying your gratification. For example, delay lighting up for the longest time you believe you can handle. For some, this may be 10 seconds, for others one minute. Over the course of the next couple months, slowly stretch delays to longer times. However, if you find yourself regressing, then your goals have become too lofty. The solution is to reduce the delay so you can reach your goal. As your ability increases with practice, you may notice some changes. Achieving your small goals brings about satisfaction and happiness. To increase emotional intensity and duration, celebration is necessary. Be grateful and thank yourself for your effort, not just your successes. Also, accept the fact that you will have setbacks and failures. Keep failures in perspective, do not expect to be perfect or fast in changing. Be grateful that you have put effort into it. Every little step forward is still one step closer to your destination; sometimes the load you carry prevents fast progress.
by Jim Troyer