1. Know what you want
Smoking cigarettes example: To be healthy and fit; to be able to play at the park with my children or grandchildren one day; discover my power; want to know that I can achieve; attend my child’s wedding; to be really successful; take control over my life. After you have written down what you ultimately want, you must pick something that is going to take the place of the old habit immediately: What do I want to do instead of smoking? What do I want to do instead of overeating? What do I want to do instead of stressing? Whatever your habit is, make sure you choose one alternative to put in its place: ‘Instead of smoking I want to eat more greens’.
2. Know what’s stopping you
Normalise: To exclude yourself from a situation, for example, ‘I have a poor relationship’. That is only detachment so you may feel better in the short term. It is like you are a separate entity to your experience and have no control over it: ‘If the relationship is poor, it is out of my control and outside of my responsibility’. Instead you must: Denormalise : ‘I am relating poorly.’ Take ownership: ‘If it’s something that I’m doing, I can do it differently’. For the smoking example, the reply for ‘Know what’s stopping you’ would be ‘My choice to kill myself by smoking cigarettes’, rather than just ‘Cigarettes’. We must take ownership so that we are able to make lasting change. If I told you to sit there and hear that voice telling you that ‘you need a cigarette right now’, really feel the sensation of picking it up, and inhaling a puff, it would most probably bring on the feeling of wanting a cigarette. But the cigarette is nowhere in sight, so was it your mind that gave you the feeling, or the cigarette itself? It could not have been the physical cigarette. It’s how you think about the cigarette that gives you the sensation, not the cigarette itself . Someone else might see the same cigarette and want to vomit, because they think differently about it, right? This applies to anything. All sensation and desire emerge from the mind.