Even if you totally abstain from this so-called Halloween “pagan holiday,” it’s hard to escape the overabundance of candy this time of year. And if candy isn’t your main vice, you’re bound to be subject to your other cravings, anyway, whether they be for new shoes, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or [insert the name of your favorite vice here]. To help you do a better job avoiding your triggers, here are my top seven tips:
1. Physically remove yourself from your areas of temptation. Don’t buy candy until immediately before you “need” to pass it out so it doesn’t tempt you for long. Avoid the mall if you’re a shopper. Don’t hang out with your old drinking buddies if you’re alcoholic. You get the idea. Keep your triggers out of sight, because out of sight = out of mind.
2. If it’s relevant, establish a “treat budget.” Allow yourself one mini candy bar after each meal, or one a day. Or allow yourself $10 per week for frivolous purchases if you have a shopping problem. Obviously, in some cases, such as if you have a drug, alcohol, or tobacco problem, this doesn’t apply. You have to totally abstain.
3. If you can, indulge in ONLY your most favorite kinds of candy, or buy ONLY your most favorite frivolous item (if you can afford it!) Life is too short to waste your resources on “stuff” that you don’t thoroughly love.
4. If you tend to overeat, remember the “Apple Test,” which is explained in my book, The Eden Diet. Wait until you’re hungry enough to eat an apple (one that is not covered or dipped in caramel) before you eat your candy treat.
5. Take time to enjoy your budgeted self-indulgence (candy, a hot bath, or whatever). Be in the moment, rather than mentally elsewhere.
6. Anytime you’re triggered to partake of your vice, stop and analyze your emotions. For more help on this, read my book, Radical Well-being.
7. If you get distracted and stressed and deviate from your perfect path, don’t condemn yourself. Just resolve to do better and start over immediately. As I see it, God’s mercies are new every morning, but they’re also new every minute.