4 Keys to Actually Quitting Porn in the New Year

So, here we are starting a new year, and many are shouting from the rooftops… “NO MORE PORN!”

That’s right, you’re done. This is the year that you are going to hang up that pesky porn habit and live a life of complete purity. However, this probably isn’t the first time you’ve made that promise. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary or a Monday morning, but you have probably made this decision before. And, you found yourself visiting those same sites and re-watching those favorite scenes again and again.

There is an old adage that reads like this, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.

This is so true, especially when it comes to our porn activity.

For many that are reading these words right now, porn has etched some incredibly wide superhighways in your brain. When you are frustrated or lonely or stressed—fill in your own emotion—you go right back to the behavior that numbs you and makes you feel “good,” at least for a moment.

But don’t be discouraged, because the opposite of that adage is true also. “If everything changes, everything changes.” Let me give you four main areas to address in order to have true freedom from porn this year.

1. Your Honesty

There is a good chance that this has been YOUR fight and you have been swinging for the fences, but you end up just looking like a guy who walked into a hornet’s nest. You are swinging and swinging at the air while still getting pummeled from every direction.

This is your secret, your battle, and your problem.

If you haven’t let anyone else into this struggle with you yet, there is a good chance that you will not be victorious this year. If the only person who knows about your struggle is the person who “caught you” acting out, there is a good chance that you will end up right back where you started.

It is so important to find someone whom you can be honest with who will stand and support you on this road of recovery. I want you to find the person who you can tell your deepest and darkest secrets to and their response is, “Is that it?!? Come on. You have to have something better than that!” I want your rawest truth to not visibly affect them at all.

This can be found in lots of different places. It might be a good friend, religious leader, purity coach, or therapist. You must seek this person out and ask their permission to share your truth with them. Some people may not be ready for that level of responsibility and ask not to be that person. That’s fine. Keep searching. But, make this your top priority this year.

Your first goal in the New Year is simple: find someone who you can be honest with about your struggle. 

2. Your Routines

Porn often becomes embedded in your routines. You know that no one is home from this time to that time, so you act out. You know that your spouse falls asleep before you, so you wait till they are sleeping and act out. You know that no one bothers you in the bathroom, so you take your cell phone behind a locked door and act out.

Whatever your current porn routine is, you can’t keep that same schedule or routine and be free in this upcoming year. You must figure out a way to radically change your routines.

The example that I often use is a record or CD (for the younger generation, that’s like an MP3 player, but it doesn’t have the same punch). The routine that you currently have plays smoothly and without a flaw. But I need you to scratch that record or CD so much that it will never play the same again.

If you know when no one will be home, join a club or make plans for those exact times so that you HAVE to leave the house. If your routine is at night after your spouse falls asleep, buy an alarm clock and leave your cell phone in the living room. If your routine is to go into the bathroom, make a commitment that you will never take your phone behind a closed door again. Scratch that routine so that it can’t play the same again.

3. Your Health

Porn is providing you a dopamine hit every time you view it and you must find some other ways to get that dopamine. There are natural ways to get a hit of dopamine that have the power to improve your life and propel you down the road of health. Here are a couple examples of things that could help your body release dopamine naturally:

  • Diet. In order to make dopamine, your body needs tyrosine, which can be found in almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, and chicken. Evaluate your current diet and add some of these items if they aren’t already included!
  • Exercise. This releases dopamine and improves your self-image and confidence. Add it to your routine, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day!
  • Sleep. Peek at your sleep schedule. Are you getting enough sleep? Adequate sleep is very important to the release of dopamine in your body.
  • Meditation and prayer. There are many studies that link the development of meditation and/or prayer in our lives with the production of dopamine.
  • Cultivate a healthy sexual relationship with your spouse. If you’re married, focus on developing a great sex life with your spouse. This may start with some counseling, reading books together or simply talking, but if you’re married, this is a great place to start.

Dopamine development could be a good study for you as you enter the New Year. Potentially, you can pull out 3-5 new habits to include in your life. If you decide to do this, I’d love to hear what habits you’re adding into your life. Feel free to tell me in the comment section. Your words just might encourage someone else to take a step towards freedom.

4. Your Fences

I heard a story once about a man who was living in the jungles of Africa. He spent nearly 50% of his net worth to construct a large, secure fence around his family’s property. One of his friends began to question him about his decision to spend so much on a fence. “You must have some valuable stuff you’re trying to keep in this fence.”

He responded quickly, “I built the fence not to keep valuable things in, but to keep valuable things safe.”

Covenant Eyes is a great example of a fence that many people use to keep valuable things safe. Your purity, your children, your relationships, etc. There are so many things that are at stake if your purity fails. The cost of not building fences is immeasurable and isn’t normally assessed until the damage is done and the house is destroyed.

If you currently have unfiltered access to the internet on one or more devices, it is going to be very hard for you to be victorious this year. A fence is not a 100% fix, and we can always find a way around it if we work hard enough, but for many, it is enough to deter behavior in the moment. It points an individual back to the decision that they have made for themselves to be porn free. It allows them a moment to breathe and refocus. The fence protects that which is most valuable to you. 

I want you to be victorious this year. I want this New Year to be a porn free year for you. I want your example to impact a generation. I want your testimony to encourage those who are stuck today. I want you to become a beacon of hope to the world.

Look at your life and close these back doors completely. I believe that you can do it and I believe that you have read this article for a reason. Now, take these words, live them out and begin walking in purity and hope and love. Make a difference on this earth and if you ever need any help along the way, I’m always here.


Greg HintzGreg Hintz  is a purity coach, author of Porn Again: Three Keys to Living Porn Free, and teacher of the class “How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography.” In addition to personal and family coaching, Greg regularly speaks in churches and schools about the dangers of pornography.