Guys come to me all the time worried that they aren't progressing:
If you are here reading this, progress is probably important to you.
Most of us know how to choose a specific, measurable goal at this point.
Example Goal: Learn to not look at porn for (X amount of time).
If you feel like part of you wants this goal and part of you doesn't, that means your brain is working perfectly.
Even if there is only part of you that wants this goal, it is still coming from you.
It's one thing to have a goal. It's another to have a system.
A system is the process you are using to reach that goal.
Choose one that can get you incremental changes over time.
A coach I like says:
“Radical change is possible, but it’s usually not radically quick! Expecting radical change to look like radical change on a day-to-day basis is a recipe for giving up before you’ve even begun... Most people vastly overestimate the amount of change they can accomplish in one day or one week, and they vastly underestimate the radical change they can see in their lives in six months or a year.” -Kara Lowentheil
Focus on a system that will allow you consistent 1% improvements in 20 small ways instead of going for 90% improvement in one way with a big, short burst.
Make sure the choice is coming from the best parts of you.
Note: the fight-urges-with-willpower system does not work, and even makes it harder to stop.
If you've already used your best resources available to choose a system, then let's see if it really works. To do this requires trusting your the system you've chosen.
You can sabotage the best systems by not trusting in it as you experiment with it.
If you don't trust your system as you go, you don't give yourself the full opportunity to see if it works.
You can also make a less effective system go a long way if you trust in it as you use it.
Trust the one you have chosen long enough to fail several (and even more) times.
One failure doesn’t mean something doesn’t work.
Choose a system that allows you to turn failures into valuable learning opportunities and into a step forward.
At the same time, maybe you have failed again and again using the same system for an extended period of time. In this case, it's time for a new system if you want new results (or at least a tweak).
Pre-decide at what point you will adjust your approach. Until then, go all in with your current approach.
Maybe you've tried approaches that are very near and dear to their heart.
Maybe you've given the very best of yourself to this effort, even if part of you doubts that.
I want you to know that it's okay if your near-and-dear approaches haven't gotten you all the way to where you want to be.
You don't have to panic. You don't have to completely throw out the "old" systems.
It's okay to add other/new approaches to your system.
Choose what you want to measure, how you will measure it, and how and when you will evaluate your results.
James Clear says that (paraphrasing) "Just because something can be measured doesn't mean it is worth measuring."
Example: in the beginning, it is better if your main measurement is something besides just how many days you've gone without porn.
Going all in on a system and learning that it doesn't work is actually a huge success. You're now one step closer to your goal.
It is essential to celebrate the small successes along the way. Many of you probably overlook these with an all-or-nothing mentality. But where's the fun in that?!
This is just a skill, like serving a tennis ball, that you haven't learned yet. And you totally can.
And you've got time.
Another way to sabotage your current system is to be in a hurry.
Wanting instant results with little to know effort is part of what keeps leading you back to porn. Instant dopamine - hardly any effort.
Using the same approach that leads you to porn is not going to help you learn the skill of not looking at porn.
As long as it takes. As many times as it takes.
You'll get there when you get there.
The only real failure is if you quit altogether.
Until then, stay in the game.
Do you have a clear system for yourself right now?
Are you vacillating between approaches?
Do you trust yourself to follow through?
If you want a system that works, let's talk.
If you are not sure how to approach each one of these steps, I can walk you through it.
I can show you not only why you aren't following through but also how to start trusting yourself to follow through.