The Power of a Single Step

We often dismiss the little things in our life.  We don’t put attention on them. We fail to see their value.  But, as you know, you can’t walk a mile without every step you take.  The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

When it comes to creating a new habit, every step that you take in the direction of your goals matters.  Every step, especially the first one, reinforces in your mind that you do, in fact, want to achieve your goal.  The more time and energy you put into reaching your goal, the more you’re going to find that you want it.

It takes a little bit of desire to take even a single step; but, when you take that step, it feels good.  You know on some level that you’re making progress.  Those good feelings reinforce the desire to take another, and then another.  The more steps you take, the more your desire builds and the more psychological momentum you gain.

Even the small simple step of doing affirmations every evening exercises, strengthens and focuses your desire.  The more your desire builds, the more you’re naturally going to take steps to make your dream a reality.

Often when it comes to achieving goals, the satisfaction of achievement is outweighed by the good feelings that come in pursuing our goals.  It feels good to pursue something and it feels good to get it.  And, every goal you reach proves to your mind that you are able to meet goals and builds your confidence in pursuit of the next one.

This is one of the big reasons that The Interview Technique is so powerful.  You’ve got to spend a fair bit of time and energy doing it.  It’s a concrete step that you are taking every day towards making your dream a reality.  It’s naturally going to build your desire each and every time you do it.  But then, it goes even further.  The Technique gives you time and energy to prove to yourself that you are committed and to prove to yourself that you are in the process of meeting your goal.  It takes the goal from being something distant, to something tangible in the present.

It gives you the feeling, the sure knowledge, that you are doing something and making progress and that feeling is crucial to going forward and meeting your goal.  It’s so easy for us to miss the value of little steps, to forget the progress we’ve made and just focus on how much is left ahead and The Interview Technique fights that tendency and brings the mind back to progress made.

Now, today I’ve included a sample of how to use The Interview Technique for smoking cessation.  The Technique itself will reinforce the desire to stop smoking and that every day is a step in the right direction.  I’m also going to include here two other small steps that you can take daily to build your willpower and your ability to stop smoking and to recondition yourself to think of yourself more and more as a non-smoker.

The first exercise is very simple.  Take your cigarettes out, place them on a table and stare at them.  Think about how much you would like to smoke and just see how long you can resist the urge.  If you go a minute, that’s fine.  That’s a start.  If you go 5 minutes or ten, that’s fantastic!

However long you go, do it again the next day and see how much longer you can go thinking about smoking and choosing not to act on the desire not to smoke.  If you went for a minute, see if you can go for a minute and 15 seconds.  If you went for 5, see if you can go for 6.  If you went for 10, go for 12.

This is simply training your mind to resist the desire to smoke.  This will build your willpower.  The longer you can go by bringing up the urge to smoke and not doing it, the better.  As a general rule, cravings only last for about 7 minutes.  If you can stare your cravings in the face for 15 minutes and not act on them, then there’s no reason that you can’t distract yourself until they pass.

The next exercise is even easier.  Set a time limit where you will not allow yourself to smoke.  Trust your intuition here, you can figure out how long is a reasonable goal to start with.  I suggest an hour; but, if you need to only go half an hour  or fifteen minutes, that’s fine.  If you know that you can make it two or three hours, that’s great too.

At the start of your time (I’ll say an hour for the example) write down on a piece of paper 10 times: For the next hour, I am a non-smoker.  Then, go about your day, go find something else to do.  Get absorbed in some activity.

If you have to go a couple of hours without smoking while you’re at work, that’s a great opportunity to practice this.  How many hours can you go as a non-smoker?

When you’re time is up, find a piece of paper and write 10 times: I just went an hour as a non-smoker and I know that that means that I can go even longer as I become better and better at being a non-smoker.  Through practice, I am becoming a non-smoker permanently.

The more time you spend identifying yourself as a non-smoker, the more a part of you being a non-smoker becomes.

These exercises are little steps that you can take each and every day; and, by taking even little steps you reinforce and build your desire to take the next step.  Given time, that desire will become stronger than the desire to keep smoking.  Eventually, that desire will grow so strong that you just get fed up with not having it yet and quit.  If you keep doing work to build your desire, then quitting becomes inevitable.  Every step you take towards your goal matters and takes you closer to making it a reality.

Interview – Smoking Cessation


Thank you for reading!
-Adam Coles-
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