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Freedom in any form, as you’ve heard before, never comes easy; there’s always a price.

So what will it take for you to find freedom from your addiction? It’s not like you haven’t made real efforts before, right? Have you ever tried to rally yourself into stopping by saying, “Enough! No more!” attempting some kind of dramatic, night-and-day shift?

Most of us have. Like the Incredible Hulk, we think we can just clench our fists, gather our willpower, and suddenly change ourselves by sheer force. Most of the time, these efforts only make it worse. Like quicksand, sometimes the harder we struggle against something, the deeper we’re pulled into it. Instead of making progress, we can become easily frustrated and discouraged. In a similar way, those who run directly at a strong habit—trying to battle it back with sheer willpower and force—almost always become exhausted before long. For a day or two after a dramatic declaration of “No more!”, we pat ourselves on the back for being able to control ourselves as this “new person.” Then, when that new person isn’t looking, we’re often right back where we started.

Rather than simply “fighting more” or “fighting harder” - this is about fighting smarter. If you’re serious about getting to a new place, it’s going to call for a new and different way of fighting.  One that goes deeper than behavior alone, one that takes the full picture of your life serious - and one that strengthens your mind as heart as much as your muscles. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, here are three tips to get you started on your way to fighting smarter.

1. Fortify your home base

The environment immediately around us – our own home – is, in most cases, something we have influence over. What happens, though, when the places that are supposed to be our safe-havens have become compromised by the exact thing that we’re trying to battle? It’s not uncommon for people’s own home environment to be full of all kinds of triggers.

So what are we going to do about it?! This is where you might need to make some tough decisions. For example, one person who had a struggle with porn for many years finally realized that his all-access-digital home environment was like an “alcoholic living in a bar.”  So he decided to make some changes that made his home more of a safe zone. New barriers that made it harder to access porn acted as a “massive deterrent” for him, setting up a system that he said, “worked in [his] favor.” Whatever you do, the key is to make your environment work for you, not against you.

2. Mobilize your allies

Addiction feeds on secrecy and isolation – and that’s one of the patterns common to nearly everyone facing this problem. Let’s be honest, trying to overcome this problem all by ourselves may well be the fast track to keeping this around in our lives for many years to come.

For most of us, pornography has driven us apart (to some degree) from people who care about us, and it may have even created some tension or resentment. Is it time to counterbalance that force? To move back in the other direction, to see our friends and family as allies, not opponents?We’re talking about that courageous moment when you sit down with someone close to you in full honesty as a potentially huge turning point in this path we’re all on. Trust us! Being open and honest will help you tackle this harmful habit so that you don’t have to live with skeletons in your closet anymore.

3. Deepen your other connections

Think now of all the people in your life – and imagine every one of those relationships deepening, expanding and strengthening.  What would your life look like then?  Are you open to giving it a go?

Obviously, getting free from porn would make a difference in the connections you feel.  That’s a no-brainer, but what we’re talking about here is something a little different – strengthening relationships around you as a way to step towards freedom. You see, as long as you are isolated and distant from people, you are that much more vulnerable to turning to this stuff again – over and over again. This fight for freedom is tough enough on your own, so why go it alone?  For many people, loneliness can be a huge trigger to use. So, simply by focusing on the relationships in your life, you can avoid being in situations that can pull you back into old habits.

Let’s be honest, recovery is not easy. There are moments where we all feel exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged. Sometimes, we just run out of motivation, and we feel like we’ll never get through this. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t need to have strength like the Incredible Hulk to recover from a pornography addiction; instead, we just need to fight smarter. By avoiding the battles that you don’t need to fight, you can save your strength for the ones that you do. Recovery is hard enough as it is, so why make it harder?