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Science Says This Simple Hack Can Help You Stop Smoking Weed

Science Says This Simple Hack Can Help You Stop Smoking Weed

What if I told you there’s a hack, that’s backed up with academic research, that can teach you how to stop smoking weed (or cigarettes) for good? That’s right, for good!

This simple technique was first used to teach people how to manage their money more effectively, but inadvertently helped reduce drinking, consumption of of junk food, save and earn more money, and improve work and academic performance.

It’s so effective that I instructed all of my clients and even close friends who are trying to stop smoking weed to use this technique.

Almost all of them informed me how they were either able to completely stop smoking for weed within a month or two or they were able to effortlessly decrease the amount of weed that they were smoking.

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It’s not an instant fix, but its definitely effective over the long run.

The Backstory

In the book The Power of Habit, author Charles Duhigg explains how researchers Ken Cheng and Megan Oaten conducted a four-month experiment in order to improve spending habits. The participants were instructed to write on a piece of paper every penny they spent within the four-month period.

The only issue they had was making tracking their expenses a consistent habit, but once that was ingrained in their system, they experienced incredible results!

After the study concluded, participants reported smoking less, drinking less, and increased productivity at work and school. Oh, and an increase in their bank accounts (obviously).

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Charles Duhigg attempted to explain why the participants experienced so many benefits from tracking their expenses:

“As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives — in the gym, or a money management program — that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.”

Not only does tracking your daily expenses increase your willpower to stop smoking weed, but it also helps the brain associate pain with smoking and pleasure with not smoking.

The Pain Pleasure Principle

If you’re trying to change a behavior, rather than using willpower, find a way to associate pain with the unwanted behavior and pleasure with the new and empowering alternative.

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Through The Weed Tracking Technique, you’re going to train your brain to focus on the pain that you normally supress and use that to help you quit smoking weed. You’re going to have to face the reality of how much you spend on weed (I know, it hurts).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7XCR8ZUQWA&feature=youtu.be

How to apply The Weed Tracking Technique

The first thing you have to do is commit yourself to this technique for a one- or two-week trial period. Research shows that if you start off with low expectations, it increases the likelihood that the habit will stick.

In addition, we want to use a pen and paper to record your expenses because research shows that writing helps your brain learn faster and encode experiences at a deeper level.

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And, in this case, we’re helping the brain encode the association of pain with smoking and pleasure with not smoking. Makes sense?

One more thing, if you don’t want to track all of your spending, just track the expenses of the habit you’re trying to change. I prefer tracking everything, but something’s better than nothing, right?

The four steps to The Weed Tracking Technique:

  1. Carry around a pen and paper everywhere you go so that you can jot down every time you spend money on weed, cigarettes, or any surrounding expense resulting from smoking (i.e. rolling papers, bongs, food for munchies, or even travel expenses).
  2. At the end of your trial period, add up how much you spent.
  3. Answer this question: What could I have done with this extra money? Make a list of all the things that money could have been used for. Not only write it down, but imagine what you’re writing down vividly. You need to feel the pain of loss.
  4. Write down how your life could have been positively impacted if you actually did those things instead of spending it on weed or cigarettes. It doesn’t matter how big or small the impact is, as long as it’s some form of improvement.

One last bit of advice: when writing down how your life could have been positively impacted by using the money you already spent on something that would positively impact your life, don’t  limit yourself to the direct benefits.

For example, yes, you could’ve used that money to go to a concert and have fun. But during that concert, you could have deepened the relationships you have with your friends or you could have met your future boyfriend or girlfriend.

So, what are you waiting for? Get that sheet of paper and start tracking your spending!

Featured photo credit: female smoking/ By Thong Von via unsplash.com

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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