5 Keys To Overcome Your Porn Addiction In 2017

It’s that time of year when many of us take an honest assessment of our lives – the good, the bad and the ugly – with the intention of becoming a better and happier version of ourselves.

For many of our readers at PurifyYourGaze.com, one of their top resolutions of 2017 is “This will be the year I am going to be sexually clean and break free from unwanted sexual behaviors.”

Making a resolution to be clean sexually because you are pumped up right now can feel good but without a specific execution plan, this resolution like most resolutions made will result in failure.

In this post, I’m going to break down 5 keys you need to make this the year you break free from unwanted sexual habits and keep that freedom long term! 🙂

So let’s dive right in…

1. Start With A Clear Why

Each time you are sexually tempted you are faced with two choices: to indulge or not indulge.

If you indulge you may feel angry that another promise of many promises has been broken.

Sure it weighs on your mood for a day or a few days.

But it’s not noticeable (at least to anybody on the outside)!

There are no long-term marks left on your body or face that would make it visually obvious to you or someone else that you’ve indulged.

To those around you, they may see you as being in a mood or upset but they cannot say it’s because of your sexual lust or habits that you are in a bad mood.

A few days can go by and then you are able to bounce back into the “normal” grind and let this misery be temporarily forgotten.

You know that the slip is going to be painful, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not THAT bad, so what do you decide?

You decide to indulge in the heedless pleasure.

And this cycle easily can repeat itself on and on until you wake up and realize it’s been going on for multiple decades of your life.

Yes, you very much like the possibility of being clean from pornography and other lustful behaviors this next year.

You like the possibility of being able to stay away from this habit that’s taken so much away from you in wasted time, energy, and happiness.

You like the possibility of having your life and your destiny in your control where you are showing up as your best self at work or at home…

…AND…

There’s also a part of you that enjoys having that escape into fantasy and being able to get lost in lustful pleasures.

Simply put, quitting is an internal struggle between wanting to quit and wanting to indulge. You’ve got to start with honesty and asking yourself – which side is stronger?

The side of me that wants to be free, not just for today but for the long-haul or the side of me that wants to stay addicted?

And if you honestly assess your life for evidence, you can build a compelling personal case as to why it is you want to not just be free in the long-term but in those moments of temptation why you’ll continue fighting for freedom rather than just shrugging and giving in.

2. Clear The Pantry Of Temptations

One of the most common dieting tips out there is “clear your pantry of junk food and stock your fridge and pantry with healthy options”.

The reasoning behind this is that it is easier to make healthier eating choices when the temptations are out of sight and out of mind.

Similarly when it comes to staying clear of unwanted sexual habits long term you’ve got to take inventory of your lifestyle and honestly identify what are the things that I do or are present in my life that will support my long-term sobriety goal.

And what are the things present in my life that support my long-term addiction?

For example for some people, weekends are their big triggers for them.

That unstructured and unaccountable time with no purpose makes it easy to justify blowing off a couple of hours online and acting out.

If that pattern or lifestyle choice that enables choices that support the addiction is not identified, how can one expect long term change?

Similarly, there are things that one may do that enable long-term sobriety!

For example, a person can notice that on the days that they spend journaling for 15 minutes each night really sets their next day for an outstanding experience.

Taking account of this positive habit is important because you will soon aggregate what a “long-term sober lifestyle” looks like!

You cannot do the same things you have always done and expect to experience long term freedom. It simply does not work that way.

3. Be Prepared To Do The Soul Work

Spending a lot of time with my clients over the years, I can tell you that there’s something dramatically different being around the clients who are active in their addiction versus those clients who are doing well and making progress.

The ones who are making progress understand that the journey is not simply about mustering up as much strength and willpower as possible to physically abstain from their unwanted habits.

They understand that their choice to act out sexually stems from shortcomings in their character and their stunted emotional intelligence and therefore make a solid commitment to also change their inside.

Making a commitment to doing this type of soul work deepens the quality of one’s sobriety. At Purify Your Gaze we call this achieving emotional sobriety.

Making a commitment to physical abstinence while ignoring the inner work and transformation journey is a recipe for relapses to come at some point or another.

This is what a past client realized he had to change within to realize long-term abstinence, “I learned that I resort to porn when I don’t live a balanced life. When I am unhappy with myself, I can’t deal with it, so I need an escape, which was porn. I did not know how to deal with my emotion, so I ran away from them via porn.”

Being sober and clean long-term does not mean that life will be happily ever after.

You still will have problems and challenges, but so long as you like the person you are as you face those challenges you won’t turn to porn and other degrading forms of behavior that abuse yourself.

Having a clear idea of what soul work you have to do to become a person of freedom is one of the singlemost important things you can do as part of your resolution.

4. Have A Solid Execution Plan

Now that you have decided that being free from pornography and unwanted sexual habits is a top priority and you’ve assessed your life honestly, how do you do go about changing?

That’s where having a solid execution plan comes into play.

It could be tempting to just decide to quit cold turkey and say “I’ll never go back again”, but the reality is that’s not enough.

It’s hard to tangibly be committed or be motivated if you are missing any evidence that what you are set out to do is going to be any different from last time.

That changes when you have a solid, measurable, and reasonable plan of action!

By putting this plan together your hope in what is possible is only strengthening and your desire to go to any lengths despite whatever challenges, obstacles, time, resources, it will take, you are willing to go the distance in sha Allah.

This plan is your breakthrough strategy regarding what needs to be done both short­‐term and long­‐term to help you achieve the following three outcomes:

1. To help you abstain from your unwanted sexual behaviors.

2. To help you prioritize the concrete lifestyle changes you must make that will support your goal of long-term sobriety.

3. To address how you will improve your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being so that you no longer need the escape of lust or pornography.

Planning properly builds up the desire inside of you, that part of you that says YES I’m going to do this in sha Allah.

Most importantly, the mere practice of planning will help best prepare you on an emotional, spiritual and psychological level for the rigors of change.

5. Plan For When Things Don’t Go The Way You Want Them To

A big mistake people often make when creating their execution plan is they don’t stop to imagine anything going wrong that could prevent them from reaching their destination.

The thought of being derailed or there being challenges along the path are so frightening or painful to think about is that they may avoid thinking about this possibility happening.

The reality is that this is not how life really works! It’s not a matter of if things not going the way you anticipated but WHEN they don’t go the way you anticipate.

It’s easy to envision yourself sticking to your resolution of being “porn free” when your life is the way you want it to be, and the sun is bright outside and shining. But what about those days when your life isn’t coming together in the way you want it to, or you experience a personal or professional setback?

Speaking from experience working with our members, it is often these sticky or challenging situations that are the hardest to navigate through.

Forecasting possible challenges that may arise on your personal path to change be they from your personal weaknesses or challenges in your environment allows you identify and put in a Plan B.

Remember again the purpose of planning is not to guarantee success but to as much as possible have you prepared.

Putting It All Together

So will 2017 be the year that you finally break free from long-time addiction to unwanted sexual behaviors?

The simple answer is IT DEPENDS.

The difference between this being a wish and a reality comes down to what you do to PREPARE to God-willing allow this year to be a transformative one for you.

If you have gone from occasion to occasion saying that this will be the time that it happens, except you have not realized that intention, then CHOOSE a different way to do it.

CHOOSE not to brush the issue under the rug…

CHOOSE not to pretend like the problem will solve itself over time…

CHOOSE to make necessary preparations and get strategic…

Your sober year awaits, my friend!

About the author

Zeyad Ramadan

Zeyad Ramadan is the founder of Purify Your Gaze. Through his leadership, Purify Your Gaze has served as the personal recovery guide for thousands of Muslims coming from over 35 different countries around the world in the various stages of their healing journey and has provided support to its members through its addiction recovery tools, its workshops, and personal 1-1 coaching. Zeyad has successfully lead workshops and delivered talks dealing with sexual intimacy, addiction recovery, embracing true gender roles, and spirituality. He currently lives with his wife and four kids in Orange County, California. Connect with Zeyad on Facebook and Twitter.