Why do you do what you do? He said that our behavior is motivated by the desire to gain pleasure or to avoid pain. And the greater motivator is to avoid pain.
Think about it. Why do you eat that piece of cake when you know that your slacks are tight and you want to lose a few pounds? Or why do you keep smoking when you've heard all the warnings about the danger to your health?
To gain pleasure!
How about avoiding pain? You have a deadline for a project and you procrastinate about completing it. The night before it's due you stay up late to finish it. Why? Because the pain of being unreliable or losing a job is more painful than the pleasure of a good night's sleep.
For real change to take place, we often have to get to the point of threshold. What's threshold? It's when you finally get to the point where not changing is more painful than the pain associated with changing.
You catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and can't believe it. How did this happen? Did you really buy those slacks last month when they fit like a glove? How can they now be so tight? Something's got to change.
Welcome to your threshold! It's actually a good place to be. To continue the same way is finally too painful.
I remember a patient once said to me that he wished he could have a tape of how painful it was after his heart bypass surgery. He would pull it out and watch it every time he was tempted to return to his old habits. The painful reminder of what he went through would be so painful and a reminder to keep up with the new changes.
Where are you at this point? Have you finally reached your threshold? Or are you still at the point of enjoying the pleasure your unhealthy habits bring? I'd love to hear from you.