1. Failing once doesn’t mean that you’re meant to give up on your goal. Bad habits are hard to break. You probably aren’t going to succeed on your first attempt. You’re probably going to have to try again and again. You can’t give up hope after making one or two mistakes. You have to have faith in yourself. You have to believe you can succeed if you stick to it.
2. You can stop at any time. Sure, you might have broken your success streak and engaged in your bad habit again, but doing it once doesn’t mean you should give yourself permission to do it again and again. Don’t think of your screwup as the end of the road. Think of it as a bump in the road.
3. No one is perfect. You’re bound to make mistakes. No matter how hard you try to do the right thing, you’re going to screw up from time to time. And that’s okay. When you engage in your bad habit, you shouldn’t torture yourself over it. You should treat yourself with kindness, even when you’re pissed at yourself.
4. Making one mistake doesn’t mean you’re back at square one. When you fall back into your bad habits, it might feel like all of the progress you’ve made doesn’t matter anymore, but that’s not true. The hard work you put in still matters. How long you went without engaging in your habit still matters. You should still be proud of yourself.
5. Your bad habits don’t define you. They don’t make you a bad person. They don’t make you unlovable. They don’t make you undeserving of happiness.
6. It takes time to break a bad habit. You probably aren’t going to reach your ultimate goal overnight. It’s okay to take baby steps. It’s okay to take things one day at a time. You can slowly wean yourself off your bad habit. You don’t have to quit cold turkey.
7. You’re not alone. There might not be anyone in your personal life who understands what you’re going through right now, but there are plenty of other people in this world who do understand exactly how you feel.
8. You can’t give up on yourself. If you’re having a hard time breaking your bad habit, you shouldn’t throw up your hands and say, “What’s the point?” You shouldn’t assume you’re going to fail. You shouldn’t doubt yourself. All that negativity is only going to stress you out more.
9. You’re not a weak person. Engaging in your bad habit doesn’t mean you have absolutely no self-control and are never going to be able to accomplish your goal. You can control your impulses. You can break this bad habit. You just have to keep trying. You can’t give up yet.
10. You’re doing better than you think. You’ve recognized there’s a problem and you have your heart set on doing something about that problem. That means you’re motivated to better yourself. That means you’re trying to do the right thing. You’re on the right track. You should be proud of yourself already.