Cleansing Your Thought Life
Our imagination can create a work of art or a horror movie. When our thought life is negative, we live the horror movie. Philippians 4:4 states, …whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent of praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you. During the fast, fill your imagination with thoughts of being thin, happy and energetic. See yourself eating healthy, and enjoy the feeling of being healthy. Dwell on the desire you have to be healthy. See the unhealthy foods damaging your body and hate them. Do these mental exercises repetitively like you are going to the gym. There is no set pattern or timing, but the more you think good thoughts the better you will feel and self-discipline will come naturally. Do it driving to work or during laundry. Do it till it becomes a lifestyle.
In observing people, looking for clues as to how to develop self-discipline, I was struck by a common denominator. Disciplined people create structure in their lives. A healthy, structured lifestyle, whether coming naturally or through resolute work, assuredly makes a tremendous difference in how you will feel both mentally and physically.
Nothing is built without a proper blueprint. The new structure of your life must also have a blueprint and a plan. It is time for you to draw the blueprint for your health. The structure needed to have victory over addiction should have healthy activities, be balanced and allow time for being at peace, enjoying creative pursuits and reading encouraging literature.
Focus On The Plan
Moving forward with a blurry image of your goals is like driving down a dark, winding, country road with your lights covered in mud. Eventually, you lose your direction. The key to self-discipline is in maintaining a focused state of mind toward a goal. Reading, thinking and talking about your goals gets the mind focused. Create charts to visualize your progress. After waking up, take a few moments to dwell on the things you wish to attain throughout the day. Think of the commitments you have made to yourself and strengthen them by thinking of all the positive improvements that are now visible in your life. Before sleeping, create in your mind pictures of yourself marching through the day accomplishing the goals you have set before you.
If you are trying to quit coffee, don’t hang around coffee shops. If you are trying not to eat junk, don’t leave it in the house. If you have to drive to the store for chocolate, it becomes more difficult to satisfy the desire. Put as much distance as you can between you and the addiction.
Examining Addictions Misconceptions
Addiction holds its position in our life through misconceptions. To quit any addiction, you have to strip away the misconception and weigh the good and the bad. Draw up a list and look seriously at what you consider the benefits of the habit.
You may drink coffee to stay awake. In reality, your body is so use to running on caffeine; it needs it to be normal. You may think cigarettes are an enjoyable activity. In reality, the enjoyment comes from satisfying an addiction. You may feel the need to smoke when under pressure. In reality, your nerves are so affected by nicotine that any pressure sets them off. You may believe that you will gain weight if you quit smoking. In reality, when you quit smoking food will taste better which is a good thing. You may believe that if you quit smoking you will turn into a raving maniac for two days. In reality, it only takes two days to get through the worst part of this addiction. You may believe that you have more fun after a few drinks. In reality, your fun with alcohol is destroying the body, costing money and making you feel bad in the morning. You may believe that cocaine is exciting. In reality, you are so desperate for a thrill that you are willing to make dangerous alterations to the chemistry of your body. You may believe that chocolate is one of your few pleasures in life. In reality, if chocolate is your only pleasure, it is time to be adventurous.
Anger As A Tool
A man once bought a very expensive suit for a formal occasion. On the way to the event, an ash fell from his burning cigarette onto his lap. Before he noticed it, the ash burned a hole through both the suit coat and the pants. In a rage, the man crumpled the pack of cigarettes, threw it out the window and never smoked again. Previously he had smoked three packs a day.
Anger is a powerful weapon against addictions and habits. If you can see clearly what destruction it is causing and get angry at it, you will build the determination to quit. If your decision is unshakable and resolute, you will not fail due to temptation! Make a list of all the harmful effects of your addiction and get angry.