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The Three Lies of the Habit Demon. Don’t Buy Into Them!

One of the things I am known for is telling it ‘straight’ even when straight isn’t always popular.

I’ve been a friend of Bill W. for over 40 years. Bill W. was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. (AA)  I guess it’s not too anonymous if I’m telling you J but as a teacher, mentor, and leader, I feel it’s important to tell the truth.

Before I was a ‘Graduate’ of AA, I was a ‘Sometimes’ member.  Sometimes I’d go to the meetings and stay ‘dry’ – sometimes I would miss the meetings because of certain ‘circumstances’.  What were the ‘circumstances’? I fell off the wagon!

For a while, until I learned new ways of coping, I fell into the clutches of three incredibly bad habits. The ‘Habit Demon’ would take over my mind and I’d get stuck in a loop of three self-destructive habits.

Gerry, what does this have to do with me – or my business?

Great question.  After failing for so many years (in life, business and staying sober) I finally felt the urge to succeed and I forced myself to study and IMPLEMENT the habits of people who were winners.

It took me a while but I was eventually able to determine what mindsets and behaviours were needed to overcome the obstacle and beat the ‘blahs’.  The first ten years of sobriety were not always easy as I was trying to re-invent myself on every level. I made so many mistakes AND I learned from so many lessons that the last 30 years have been amazing!

Here are the three bad habits to be mindful of whether you are trying to stop drinking, lose weight or be successful.  SIDE NOTE: because nature abhors a vacuum, I’ll also tell you the three habits that you need to install to replace the bad ones you are removing!

The Habit Demon – Bad Habit #1 – Saying, “I’ll only have one!”

I’ll only have one drink. I’ll only have one piece of cake. It'll only take one hour to ‘play’ on Facebook.  Lie. Lie. Lie.

Be honest…it can never be JUST ONE.

One is too many and 1,000 is never enough.

The Habit Demon – Bad Habit #2 – “Since I have broken my promise – I might as well screw it up really big and go ALL IN!” (And I’ll begin anew tomorrow)

Wrong and Wrong. Trust me I know.

“I’ll drink the whole bottle. I’ll eat the whole pie. I might as well spend the rest of the day on Facebook…I’ve screwed up already…I might as well feel good while I’m at it. Yeah, that’s it – no one understands what I’ve been through – I deserve to feel good. I’ll start again tomorrow.”

Wrong. As the saying goes, “Tomorrow never comes.”

The Habit Demon – Bad Habit #3 – “I might as well GIVE UP and QUIT!”

DON’T!  I beg you – DO NOT QUIT!

I QUIT…so many times. When I quit…I felt like a loser…actually, truthfully, back then, I was a loser. If life is a game…we play to win – yet – if we quit, we are automatically out of the game. We lose even before the game is over. I was so tired of losing.

Here are some NEW HABITS to replace the three from the Habit Demon:

#1 – When you want to say, “I’ll only have one” – CONGRATULATIONS! You have recognized the temptation. Admit it to yourself – “I WANT one – BUT – I do not NEED one!”  In this VERY MOMENT, I do not need one. Live in the moment.  Take a different action. Eat a piece of fruit, go for a walk, phone a friend – or a sponsor.

#2 – If you have had ONE – do not say, “I’ll start tomorrow”.  Acknowledge your slip-up and do not have the NEXT one. FORGIVE YOURSELF and go back to: “I WANT one – BUT – I do not NEED one!”  In this VERY MOMENT, I do not need one. Live in the moment.

#3 – When you feel like quitting simply repeat this mantra, “Winners never quit. Quitters never win!”  As long as I refuse to quit – I am still in the game. When I am still in the game – I AUTOMATICALLY WIN!

Winning is a HABIT. So is losing.

Change your habits – change your life – and I will see you in the winner’s circle!

Gerry

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