Written by in BlogJanuary 3rd, 2012

As we head into the new year, many of you have made an agreement with someone, either yourself or someone else, that you would stop, or at a minimum, slow down your marijuana intake. We have become accustomed to setting and then quickly forgetting goals or aspirations we set for ourselves at the turn of each new year. Why is that?

Are our habits so ingrained into our brains that we merely operate on automatic pilot in many cases? Absolutely! Most people attack their New Years resolutions with so much enthusiasm and eagerness for the first few weeks, and then slowly begin to trickle away as they find themselves reverting back to their old ways.

It makes total sense why we fail. We spend so much time becoming the people we are today that a feeble attempt over a month or two WILL NOT be able to change habits or behaviors that have been firmly implanted into our brains. As I mention in The Secret Addition, the idea that habits can be broken in a mere 21 days doesn’t make any sense. Created, yes. Absolved, no.

The bottom line is that it takes time to establish new patterns. It also takes work on your part. I deal with people every day that say they want one thing, such as better health or to lose weight, but their lack of effort and poor planning many times leads down a common path; failure. And when dealing with marijuana addiction, a plan is essential and someone that is willing to put some effort into working the plan is imperative.

If you have made the decision to kick the cannabis habit once and for all, there are four basic ingredients to your success. Obviously, there are many more, but four sounded like a good number for this blog!

Think Long Term – I know they say “live one day at a time” when it comes to addiction, but I am someone who prefers to peek into the future to see what it might hold for me as I continue to improve as a human being. This is so important when it comes to marijuana addiction. You have made the decision to let go of the cannabis habit, now get on with it. Do you really want to put the energy and effort into quitting only to find yourself back into the same patterns after only one month?

Have a plan – It seems silly for me to have to list this. Too many people wake-up and allow “life” to revolve as they simply react to it. In the same respect, I hear too many people thinking they will make the decision to quit smoking marijuana after 10 years and somehow believe they will merely “walk away” from it. However, in most cases, once the emotional resolve begins to diminish, the habits you have created begin to reappear. It happens to most everyone, but those with a plan always do the best. It just makes sense to have a plan.

Stay Consistent – What would your life look like today if you had stayed consistent with many of the goals and aspirations you have had in the past? This is where the “one day at a time” makes sense. Staying consistent every day, over time, will almost always guarantee phenomenal results. Staying consistent, such as not smoking, will create and help new patterns of behavior. It is possible to associate yourself as a “non-smoker”, as much as it is to associate yourself as a “smoker” today. Don’t wake up 10 years from now wishing you would have stayed consistent with your plan of becoming a “non-smoker.” Many people do.

Be aware – In order to stay consistent and continue to work your plan, you have to be aware of your thoughts and actions, especially in the beginning. Remember, thoughts precede actions. So taking the time to stop and observe your thoughts throughout the day will help defend you from your subconscious telling you to smoke “just one more time.” In fact, becoming really aware of your thoughts and actions may help you understand why you began smoking so heavily in the first place. Most importantly, you have to be just as aware six months from now as you are on Day One.

One Response to “Habits, Habits, Habits”

  1. April 28th, 2012

    admin

    First, thank you for posting. The debate about the addictive properties of marijuana will continue. It is true that many people smoke marijuana periodically and it has no interference in their life whatsoever. I completely agree with you about marijuana as a gateway drug. I mention this in my book. People willing to try marijuana are usually willing to try other drugs as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean cannabis was the culprit.

    I do, however, believe you are loosely defining “addiction.” The most common defining characteristic of addiction is “continued use in spite of negative consequences.” Even your inability to resist chocolate or marijuana, which shows “loss of control,” doesn’t mean you are addicted (although that is usually another characteristic).

    Your analogy of Michael Bay simply reveals that people have choices in life and an addict will always use their drug of choice. There are millions of people around the world trying marijuana for the first time each month. The statistics show that a small percentage of those people will become abusers and/or addicted. Unlike crack/cocaine in which many people say they were addicted before they even exhaled, marijuana takes a more gradual approach. It takes many people five or more years to realize they a have a problem with pot.

    The advice to an addict or an abuser to just be “responsible” is on par with Nancy Reagan’s slogan of “just say no.” It is much more complicated than that. I hope this makes sense.

    Dr. Tony

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