This was one of my first articles that I wrote a few years ago.  I wanted to share it again, though, because the think the message is worth revisiting.  If you’ve ever struggled with trying to overcome a bad habit, this article is for you!

Previously published at Article Source:

As I near my fortieth birthday this month, I have been reflecting on my life. In some ways, it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was an ambitious, fresh, high-school graduate embarking on my adult adventure called “Real-Life.” I had a well-paying job, a hot, new sports car, a place of my own, and I had just shed fifty pounds! I felt as if I had the world in my hands! In so many other ways, though, reflecting on that teenager is akin to studying a stranger through a grimy looking glass. I recall some of the emotions but the details are hazy. That’s the funny thing about memories. Details become distorted or lost altogether.

Sometimes, long-term goals suffer the same fate as long-ago memories. Weight loss or physical fitness goals are especially difficult to keep in focus. The distraction of life can create a nearly indistinguishable haze over the most well thought-out plans. The haze of everyday distractions can become so thick that goals become indistinguishable.

I have experienced the haze myself. Before I was able to quit smoking permanently, I made at least a half-dozen failed attempts. I seemed to be on target for a few weeks, swiftly traveling the road to freedom from cigarettes. But as I trotted along, the haze began to descend. A car wreck that left me very stressed-out; a few drinks after work and someone offered me a smoke; extra pounds showed up on the scale.

Though the events came at separate times, they each came with their own cloud and eventually I couldn’t see my goal. The way to freedom had grown dark so I turned and ran back the way that I had come because I was familiar with the path even in the dark.

Eventually, on my last attempt, I stopped when the haze came and clouded the road. I peered ever so deeply into the haze and the end of the road came slightly into focus. I could barely see the freedom that was waiting for me if I only persevered through the fear of the unknown. As I cautiously made my way, focusing intently through the haze, my goal became clearer and the haze started to lift. With each new step, I gained confidence and the thought of running away and back into the arms of my previous habit of smoking became disgusting to me. Now, I cannot even imagine becoming a smoker again!

I finally made it to the end of the road and to the freedom that came with it, and you can make it to your freedom, too! Whatever habit you are trying to break, remember that the haze will come. Life happens and you must plan for it. All habits are hard to break, but you can do it if you will only persevere. Even if you fail, don’t give up! Sometimes you must make many attempts before you finally build enough willpower to endure the long journey!