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Can you relate to this?  There is a change you want to make, like you want to cut out junk food or use social media less.  You are good for a day or two, but soon you are back to those things you are wanting to avoid.

You are not alone. The problem is we often just think we need a little more will-power. But will-power alone won’t cut it.  If you want to make a change, there are some self-control strategies you can implement.

  1. Change up your environment. For example, if you want to cut down on eating junk food, remove it from your house and/or take a different route to work where you won’t pass your favorite fast food restaurants.
  2. Get a little help from your friends … or an app. Ask a friend to check in with you and keep you accountable. And for many changes you are looking to make, you can also find apps where communities of people can support one another.

And while these strategies are helpful, I’d encourage you to explore why you go to these things.  Because often time “the thing is not the thing.” Why do you compulsively go to social media and your phone?  When are you really craving junk food?  Sometimes we go to these to cope with a bigger problem or thing – am I lonely, depressed, stressed, feeling bad about myself, etc.

If you can tackle those problems, you may find it easier to break the habits you seem to struggle with.


**When not on the radio, Eric works as a private practice counselor**


Photo Credit: Getty Images/stanciuc