Think about taking a bad tire off your car. If you don't have a better tire to replace the bad tire, what would your choices be? Either put the bad tire back on the car or put the spare tire on, neither of which are good options.
When you try to get rid of a bad habit by simply eliminating it, you usually can't function well. All you're thinking about is not participating in that bad habit. But when the urge becomes too great, you would usually fall back into that habit. Why? Because you don't know what else to do! If you can't participate in your old habit, then what can you do as a replacement? If there is no replacement, then you'll be back to your old ways. Then when you revert back to your old self, you feel like you could function again. A car may have a bad tire, but at least it could drive. Not having a tire means that the car can't go anywhere.
Think about people going on diets. All diets usually require some kind of elimination, and the stuff that's eliminated is the stuff that makes us feel alive! We usually don't think about "replacement" when it comes to diets. We think that we just have to give up something, which is why we always fail at diets.
Think about a low-carb diet that requires you to severely limit sweets, baked goods, cereals, breads, pasta, etc. These high-carb meals make us feel good, but when we have to cut them out, we're left feeling depressed, moody, and empty. In no time, we'll go back to Dunkin Donuts.
But instead of simply cutting out these foods, we need to focus on replacing them with better options. Just recently, I replaced all the baked goods that I love with fruit. One day, I was in Walmart craving carbs. I was about to get my favorite, 50-cent pies and I usually get two of them. But instead, I went for fruit and spent less money. I've felt satisfied and healthier. Instead of engaging in baked goods, I went for nature's candy.
In your life, you need to think more about "replacement" rather than "elimination." Simply cutting something from your life and not replacing it with something else is like trying to drive a car with a missing tire.
If you decide to eliminate the television from your life, what will you replace that emptiness with? What, are you just going to sit around staring into the ceiling being bored? All you'd be thinking about is how you wished you had television. When you eliminated the T.V., you have to do something else. If you just played on Facebook instead of watching television, it's like replacing a bad tire with another bad tire.
Now, if you decide to start reading books or taking online courses, then it's like replacing a bad tire with a better tire.
Remember that whatever actions you've been participating in for a lengthy time has established a residence in your life. This activity has lived in your house and has been paying you rent. You just can't kick a tenant out of your house if he's been paying you rent, because you based your life on that income. Get rid of the tenant and you loose lots of money! But if you replace that tenant with a better tenant, not only could you continue getting rental income, but you could possibly get MORE rental income. Or in other words, switching one tenant to another tenant avoids putting any disruption in your life.
In the same way, you have based your life around this activity. It's all you know. You can't just kick it out. You need to find something else that is at least equally gratifying as your old activity. Otherwise, you would simply disrupt your life by eliminating one thing without replacing it with something else.
Now, is this to say to continue your old activity until you find a better replacement? Not at all. But once you kicked out the bad habit, you need to quickly find a replacement that gives you as much satisfaction as your bad habit did. Then the more you engage in your new habit, the less desire you'd have for your old habit.
Why is it that some people would gain their weight back after losing the weight? All they did was get rid of their weight, but the new body that they have doesn't look all that impressive. Maybe you're now super skinny and look sick. Maybe you have lots of saggy skin. Maybe you just don't look right. So being unimpressed with your new bod and being unimpressed with the diet and exercise regime that got you that body, you revert back to your old ways.
But what if after losing the weight, you started lifting weights and getting more toned and muscular? You'd be less likely to revert back to your old ways, because you have replaced an overweight body with a muscular body. Instead of just dropping weight, you replaced a poor body image with a very nice body image. Instead of looking like you just starved yourself, now you look like you actually work out. When other people start admiring your new image, it would be hard to go back to looking like your old self.
Don't eliminate. Replace! Do a switch. Change what you do. Get on a different road instead of driving off the road. Change your focus instead of putting blinders on. If you spend your energy trying to avoid something, you will be worn out. But if you simply redirect yourself, you won't be so concerned about eliminating an activity. The activity will, in essence, eliminate itself as long as you are spending your energy doing other things.