Set yourself up to succeed by setting one easily achievable goal at a time. Example: You love coffee but want or need to reduce caffeine intake. Your goal might be to reduce your coffee intake by 2 or 3 cups in 7 days. Pick a goal you KNOW you can achieve, even if only 1 cup in 7 days. If you meet that goal on the first day, then you have not only achieved that goal but you can continue the next day; at that point, you have not only accomplished, but EXCEEDED your original goal for the week. Continue in this way for the rest of the week, and you will have a feeling of accomplishment and success. At that point, you can give yourself a break on the weekend or continue the momentum. In either case, be sure to set a new easily achievable goal for the following week, maybe increasing to 2 cups for the second week. Baby steps lead to feelings of accomplishment and ultimate success.
Other suggestions: Start with the easiest time of day to reduce or substitute. If you love your coffee first thing in the morning, reduce or substitute your second cup of the day. If you drink more coffee on the weekend, start on Monday. Substitute water or find another beverage you enjoy. Experiment with herbal teas that are naturally decaffeinated; that is how I found that I really love hibiscus juice and tea – when I was eliminating soft drinks. Hibiscus is an herb that is a natural refrigerant, great for hot summer months – and naturally decaffeinated.
This method works for New Year resolutions, as well. Selecting a large, unachievable goal sets us up for failure and many people give up our yearly goals within a month, some within a week. Break the large goal down into easily achievable goals: Example: I will exercise/go to the gym/whatever one time the first week. Increase to two times the second week, three times the third or fourth week, but make sure to select small goals that you know you can achieve for 30 days. After 30 days, the goal has become a habit, and you are more likely to continue after the 30 days. An ultimate goal of 5 days per week is more realistic than 7 days; there will be times when your body needs rest or a break.