Donít Kick The Habit

I know you just made resolutions, but donít try to stop smoking. Donít give up booze. Donít throw out your pot. Donít ditch the donuts.

While youíre at it, donít join the gym. Donít try to meditate every day. Donít promise to get over your money issues. Donít resolve to lose 20 pounds.

Donít quit the job you hate. Donít leave your deadbeat boyfriend. Donít try to be a better mother/ daughter/ friend. Donít give up internet porn.

Donít finish that novel. Donít sign up for that art class. Donít declutter your house. Donít get out of debt.

When you make promises to yourself before youíre ready to make big change, you just prove to yourself what youíve suspected all along – that you donít have the willpower, youíre not trustworthy, and you never follow through on your word.

You pay big bucks to Jenny Craig, but you never follow the program. You sign up for the art class, but you donít start painting. You look at your computer, but you donít write your novel. You look up 12 step programs but then you never go. You sign up for that†green juice cleanse and then you never cleanse. You pay the $99 every month, but you donít actually go to the gym. You make a budget but then you donít follow it. You break up with your boyfriend and two days later, you sleep with him. You try to quit your job until they offer you a raise and you get sucked in again.

Every time you make a promise to yourself that you donít keep, you feel like shit. And when you feel like shit, what do you do? You smoke that cigarette/ eat that ice cream/ start jonesing for that drug or that sex or your couch potato lifestyle. When you make promises to yourself that you donít keep, you make the habit worse.

Instead, wait until youíve decided†itís really time.

Draw the line in the sand.

Refuse to accept anything less than 100 percent recovery.

Know that this time, itís for real. And mean it.

Trust that once you decide youíre really ready, it will be easy. Youíll break the habit in a blink. Youíll never look back.

But until youíre 1000 percent on board with your decision, donít kick the habit. Give yourself permission to buy that pack of cigarettes or that bottle of wine or that blunt. Love yourself as you smoke or drink or get high. Love yourself as you lounge on the sofa and binge on potato chips. Love yourself as you overspend, overindulge, oversex, overgive, overprocrastinate. Cancel the gym membership. Drop out of the art class. Close your computer. Get off the scale. Inhale all the way.

And love yourself just as you are, for every little flaw that makes you who you are, for better or for worse.

When you do, something magical will happen. At some point, when you least expect it, in the midst of this lovefest, a spark will catch fire. The flame will grow. The light will outshine the darkness. The darkness will no longer be able to resist the light.

When you love yourself so much, in spite of your imperfections, you will hit a point on some future day, and it will come when you least expect it. It wonít be a resolution or a promise or anything they make you do in rehab. It will come from within, and it will be easy, and it will be permanent.

One day, you will love yourself so much that you will decide youíre done with the habit, youíre ready to accomplish the goal, and the time is now.

It will happen effortlessly, and you will never look back.

If that time isnít here yet, you will never succeed in quitting, no matter how much you try to convince yourself you want to quit. Your failure will be guaranteed, and then you will prove to yourself – once again – what a loser you are.

But youíre not a loser, my love. You just havenít decided yet. And thatís okay. I forgive you, so please forgive yourself.

Until you decide the time is now, you might as well give yourself permission to enjoy that cigarette, to breathe it in, to breathe it out, and to throw your arms out as you doÖ

Is now the time?

Loving you just the way you are,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†,†Pink Medicine Revolutionary,†motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener6 years ago


Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe6 years ago

I love that phrase, "It will come from within, and it will be easy, and it will be permanent." I am still waiting. Hopefully, it will be some time soon.

Shadowwolf W.
Shadowwolf W.6 years ago

Thanks for helping mew meet my goals!

Amelia G.
Amelia Glancy6 years ago

thank you!

ANA MARIJA R6 years ago

Thank you for the article:))

Lindy B.
Lindy barone6 years ago

Great article! Thank you

William K.
William K6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Jane H.
Jane H6 years ago

I LOVE THIS! It is so true

Jane R.
Jane R6 years ago

And what if the day never comes that we decide we have to and want to quit whatever it is that is holding us hostage? We just die with the knowledge that if we had tried we might have succeded at stoping a bad habit and lived longer???

Laura M.
Past Member 6 years ago

I was confused at the beginning of this article, much like Ryder W. But I continued reading, and now I understand. I must agree, Lissa. I can proudly say I've followed through on my resolutions almost flawlessly for my entire life, and it was for exactly the reason explained in this article: I didn't aim too high.
This year my resolution is to ignore my hair (i just spent two years actively growing it and i'm finally satisfied with the length). I think I can handle this year's resolution. ^_^