Beware of a Snow Day

Dealing with a destructive relationship to substances…and doing the huge work of changing that relationship… is a process of mastery. It requires focus, intensity, perseverance, commitment, and courage. It requires getting a deeper understanding of yourself, taking the plunge into some not so happy places of self-reflection, and bringing what you find down in those […]

No Pain, No Gain

People don’t use substances because they’re crazy. People don’t use substances because they’re bad people. People use substances because they get something they like, or want, or need out of it. As human animals, the things we do are motivated by what happens next: we repeat or increase our behavior if something good happens. These […]

Changing Behaviors with Honey

If you loved one is using substance in a way that is causing them problems and negatively impacting your family, you probably just want them to stop! You wish they would get their act together and cut it out. Or you are completely confused and scared by the choices they are making. Or nine million […]

Why Am I Doing This Again?

This is for everyone who has started down a new path toward a healthier weight, better conditioning, less procrastination, regular flossing, less alcohol, or no more cocaine (and all the other things you may want to change). You have the goal in your sites, and you’re ready to go! If it were only so easy. […]

Three Tips for Keeping your New Years Resolution

January 1st already feels like it’s a million years ago, and yet it’s only been two weeks. Remember that feeling when you woke up in a new year, excited and motivated to start your new routine because this year, you were going to keep those resolutions. This was the year you were going to work […]

Trying to Help Does not Make you an Enabler!

There are many ideas about substance use problems that are meant to help people understand things better but often have the unintended consequence of making people feel worse about themselves and more confused. The concept of “enabling” is most definitely in this camp. In the newly revised edition of the 20 Minute Guide, we added […]

Let Values Motivate You To Change

We are often motivated to make a behavioral change because we want a bad feeling or a negative behavior to go away. If someone is drinking too much and getting into fights with their friends that they regret, maybe they will want to drink less or stop altogether. If someone is having panic attacks or […]

How to Become a “Reinforcer”

If you are a partner, friend, spouse, parent, sibling, grandparent or any other person who is worried about a loved one’s use of substances, it is highly likely that you want to help them change. It may be that you have been reading or searching the internet about what you can do. Maybe you have […]

Are You Eating In The Dark?

Eating food isn’t as easy as it may seem. Sure, you’ve been doing it all your life, but how often are you really paying attention to what you eat? Do you have any idea how many calories you are consuming? Could you estimate your fiber intake? Or your sugar or caffeine intake? Maybe you are […]

Going off Autopilot to make Behavioral Changes

Do you ever start the day with good intentions to change a bad habit, “today is the day I quit smoking,” and by the end of the day feel frustrated because you found yourself with a cigarette in your hand without even realizing it? Does it mean you were not serious in the first place…that […]