I’m addicted to buying books.
Every time I finish training in the gym (3-4 days/week), I’ll get an idea to buy some book I’ve been meaning to read. I try to resist this because I already have about 20+ books open + 20+ more I’ve bought but haven’t read. But I’ll rationalize that somehow I really need this book. Then I’ll drive by the bookstore and buy it anyway.
I notice this has been happening every single time I finish training. For the last 5 months!
Gym -> Buying impulse -> Can’t resist and buys
I’ve been trying and failing to stop for 4 months!!
Like any addiction, this is a bad habit. A pattern I need to break.
Lately I’ve been doing a pattern-braking technique that’s given me a bit of success. Haven’t bought a book in… 2 weeks? That’s a 6-streak win!
Here’s how I broke my book-buying addiction:
Every time I get an impulse to visit the bookstore (always after training at the gym), I
1. Slap myself in the face (literally. ouch!)
Then I’d laugh out loud. It breaks the intense book-craving pattern. Then when I successfully drive away from the bookstore…
2. Pat myself in the head, say “good girl” and make a big goofy grin as reward.
Sounds and looks silly but it works!
Now it’s your turn to break your self-sabotaging patterns
Step 1: Notice when you get the impulse.
Do you automatically buy popcorn before you watch a movie? Head straight home after work, even though you really want to go to the gym? Get really pent up and frustrated when someone disagrees with you?
Step 2: Before you fulfill the pattern… Break it!
Slap yourself. Clap your hands loudly. Do 5 jumping jacks. Make funny faces.
Whatever it is, just try and break the pattern.
Step 3: Celebrate by patting yourself on the head and making a really big grin.
You’ll feel proud of yourself and more importantly, more motivated and likely to follow through with what you actually want to do: Ignore the popcorn, go to the gym, and talk calmly and peacefully.
Do this enough times, like 2-3x, and the impulse will become easier and easier to resist.
Sounds funny? Try it! You’ll be surprised.
But before you go, leave a comment on what habit you want to break and what pattern-interrupt you’re going to try.