A friend of mine once lost over 100 pounds primarily, she said, by simply controlling her portion sizes. If we take smaller bites rather than wolfing down our food while watching TV, our minds help us feel full and we don't eat as much. It's a great way to gradually alter a habit.
I'm beginning to see this "small bites" approach as a way to attack other areas.
One thing I've struggled with for years is going to bed on time. I'm naturally a night owl, but have to get up for sessions with an opposite coast or international client as early as 2:00a local time. So, going to bed at midnight is generally a bad idea.
Staying up late has been a difficult habit to break, so I've begun the task by simply taking one small bite: I go to bed on time. Once I'm in bed, I won't let myself feel guilty for playing games on the iPad or bingewatching my favorite show, even though I should be sleeping. For now, I'm only focusing on being in bed at the right time. One small bite.
And you know what? It's working. I still don't hit the mark for being asleep on time, but I've been putting down the devices and drifting off to slumber earlier and earlier. We wean ourselves off certain habits, it just makes sense we can "wean" ourselves onto good ones.