Making a plan to change gambling habits
It is hard to change without a plan. Many of us have tried to make a healthier adjustment in our lives without a plan, and found out that it often fails. How many of us have tried to eat healthier, or get more activity, but weren’t able to carry it out for any period of time? Often these setbacks occur because there weren’t enough supports in place for success. There wasn’t a solid plan.
Download and fill in the plan below. This can help you prepare for successful change. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Skipping this step is a common pitfall, so it may be helpful to know there are a few key ingredients that can help your plan take shape.
The more specific your plan is, the better your plan is!
To assess how much you’ve changed your gambling habits, your goals need to be clear. Example:
I want to play pokies only on Fridays, and spend no more than $50. I will put $50 in one pocket to play with, and when it is gone, I will either go out for dinner, grab a drink and watch a game, or leave the venue.
Tell someone your plan
Sharing your goal with someone can help you stick with your change.
This could be one trust person who can be a “mirror” to keep you on track.
Record your plan
Download the plan above to create your plan and print it somewhere for you to see.
Alternatively, you could record yourself a voice message to play back to remind yourself of your plan.
Pick a start date
Making change happens gradually, so prepare by knowing when you are going to begin and how long you are going to try out this new behaviour to know if it’s working.
Track your progress
If your goal is to spend only a certain amount of money, what are some steps you need to take to ensure you are successful?
Change can be hard, even when we look forward to it. Keeping track can help
For some people, gambling takes over as a primary activity. If this happens, it is easy to forget about other things you enjoyed.
Make a short list of things you used to like doing, and that you would like to take up again. Make it a list you can achieve! This is not a list about making the Olympics, but about everyday things you enjoyed in the past and might be useful for you to sustain your change process.