The most exhilarating achievement is breaking a bad habit.
Habits take time to learn. We drift into habits and they become our behavior - who we are, from other people's point of view. But they do not define who we are: we can change our habits. As Stephen Covey says, "Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character."
To change your life, change your habits. It requires conscious effort and mindfulness, but you can do it. Three to four weeks of practicing a new desirable behavior every day is all the time you need to make a new good habit. If you can make it through this initial conditioning phase, it becomes easy to sustain thereafter. Indeed, good habits are just as addictive as bad habits but much more rewarding.
I have heard people say that they abuse alcohol and drugs to "dull the pain." In fact, many of these same individuals state that almost everyone they know has a need to "dull the pain" somehow. Question: doesn't life present all of us with pain? At the risk of sounding superficial, we need to stop our "paralysis by analysis," stop searching for "the secret to life," admit that we are all in some sort of pain, and start developing healthy, fulfilling, and productive actions, beliefs, and habits. Continues...
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