“We must give up things to which we are addicted, considering them to be good. Otherwise, courage will vanish, which should continually test itself. Greatness of soul will be lost, which can’t stand out unless it disdains as petty what the mob regards as most desirable.”
-Seneca, Moral Letters, 74.12b-13
One must always keep oneself in check. Take a hard look at the most consistent habits in your life. Write them down. Then ask yourself: out of all of these habits, which are bringing me closer to my goal, and which are holding me back from my goal? Become aware of your habits when you are doing them; what gets measured gets managed.
If you set goals for yourself and are aware you are being held back by certain habits and are unwilling to change them, compromise, and or give them up completely, then you really have no reason to complain. Knowing the causation of why you are being held back and then complaining about how you’re not getting anywhere in life is simply a waste of energy.
Get in the habit of shaking up your habits. Get uncomfortable.
If you’ve been drinking coffee every morning for five years take a month off. If you’ve had the luxury of taking a warm shower for a while now take a cold one (I typically enter the shower in warm water and leave in cold water). If you notice you’re drinking a fair bit of alcohol as of recently take a month off. If you’ve been smoking weed a lot take a month off!
When you get comfortable doing something consistently that is not in line with your goals it is time to break up the streak. Upon doing so something amazing happens. That tension will release and you can put forth that burst of energy to something positive and productive.
Go ahead, prove it to yourself, prove that you can deter from your usual means of living. Because resisting the temptation of doing what are most comfortable with doing is a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly. After strengthening that muscle a bit, you will then have the ability to use it more easily when you find yourself off-track again.
But remember, it is not enough to just stop cut a habit out of your life. You must fill that void with another activity to engage you. My suggestion would be to start reading every day, take a run, write, learn a new skill, or spend more time with loved ones. Really anything that interests you and will be positive for your life.
Do this because replacing habits that are holding you back from your goals with positive habits that are going to move you toward your goals and a more quality way of living just makes sense. O yeah, and it’s free.