2016: The Porn Free Year

Welcome to another year.

Depending on how 2015 went for you and how you feel about your future, the simple idea of 365 unknown days ahead of you could be terrifying or exciting. Few moments have the power to evoke so many different emotions like standing smack dab between your past and future. Looking in both directions at the same time seeing vast, empty horizons one way, and a cluttered collection of memories in the other. We often have the rather annoying habit of looking back on our past and using it as a measuring stick for our future. If you are lucky enough you have a past full of many good days and few disappointments, this can be good and motivating. However, if you, like so many of us, have a hard time finding anything behind you that proves you will have a bright and shining future, looking back is not all that useful. So look ahead instead.

This New Year is opportunity, potential and unwritten days. If we free ourselves from coloring it with our past, 2016 can be a blank slate. We can use each day to build and grow and move forward. But like an architect we need a plan, we need blueprints to this future. This is what our resolutions are for.

Resolutions Are Not A Wish

A kiss at midnight will not change anything, and there is no magic in counting backwards from ten to one. If your resolution is an idle passing thought of what you hope will come to pass, it will have little or no effect on the days ahead. If you want to make a difference this year it will come from your choices and actions. So plan ahead.

A good New Years resolution is written down and contains SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely) goals and real steps. Take your time with it and think hard about what you want to accomplish and how you're going to get there. Do you want to have a porn free year? Of course you do. So how are you going to have a porn free day, week, and month? Break down your resolution to simple attainable goals that you can measure every day.

Resolutions must be resolved and strong. Remember, you cannot make real change on willpower alone. Recovery is about patience and practice so your 2016 goals should reflect that.

Looking Back To Learn

Remember how we said you should look forward, not back? Well, we lied. Kinda.

This last year was a good one. For two simple reasons: if you are reading this article you are still here and you are still trying. So no matter what happened in 2015 and before, there were good parts, really good parts. When you are making your plans and goals for your future, the experiences from your past can be very useful. They are not necessarily an indicator of what you can do or are capable of, but can be a learning tool.

Look back on your experiences and examine them like a scientist. Try not to put pressure on yourself or any type of guilt or shame. If this is a little too hard for you focus on the positive. Find good experiences and victories and look at what you did to make theme happen.

When examining your setbacks and mistakes, just let them be. The past is a record and it is useful but it is also dead and gone. The year 2015 no longer exists but we can study it’s bones and learn it’s secrets. If you can handle it, look at things that lead up to bad days and use the information to build an even better resolution. Look back through your Battle Tracker trends and find things that can help you make goals and strategies.

For example, if you notice that the majority of your setbacks occur on a specific device, make a plan accordingly. You could try filtration software or even getting rid of it for a while. When making these plans and strategies it can be very, very useful to include your accountability partner. They are a part of your past and can help you create a better future too.

So go ahead, look back, but only if you use it to build a better future.

365 Days To Mess Up

Ok, Porn Free in 2016. Can you do it?

What if you mess up?

What if you already have?

Well, our friend Brad messaged us and we think his story might help answer some of these questions.

"This was going to be my year.

On my way home from the parties on New Year's Eve, friends and I discussed our resolutions. “Get in better shape”, “Do better in school”, and “Travel more” were all pretty common answers. I nodded my head in agreement and listed the cities and countries I wanted to visit this year with the others but I knew there was only one goal I really cared about.

I was learning, and growing. I was doing the Fortify Program and really seeing some progress. I wasn’t perfect yet but my streaks were getting longer and my setbacks were getting shorter. I had good battle strategies and I was finally going to get an accountability partner. Being porn free was my very first goal for 2016. On top of it all, I had a plan. A pretty good one I thought. I had broken my life down into categories that were important to me and made simple daily and weekly goals for each one. Even things like daily exercise and more socializing, less video-games. I was committed to recording my progress in my battle tracker every day, and I was sure it was going to full of victories.

I made it to January 2.

I felt so stupid.

That’s it. It’s over, I thought. New Year's Resolution done. But then I realized that I had been looking at this thing all wrong.

Porn Free in 2016 sounds like a great goal. It’s catchy and motivating but it misses the point. It’s missing a why.

I knew that I had two options, the same two options I always had: give up or keep fighting. So yeah, I couldn’t give myself a sticker that says “Porn Free in 2016” but I still had 363 days left. My new year's resolution wasn’t just about being able to check all those days off as victories. It was and is about become a better version of myself. It’s about learning to be in control of my life and learning how to be happy. Learning how to love and grow and change the way that I want to and know I can. I still have 363 days that I can make good days, and I am not going to waste them."

Porn Free in 2016 is a great goal but if you don’t have a why behind it, it can be fragile. When you make your resolutions and plan out your future, don’t be afraid to aim high. Just remember what you are really fighting for, write it down and make it a real part of your goals. Make a list if you have lots of reasons, the more the merrier. The reasons why you fight can carry you when you fall. They can turn a resolution from a nice idea, into an immortal mindset.

Always remember why you fight.