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The Right Resolutions to Quit Porn

Last Updated: January 19, 2022

Keith Rose
Keith Rose

Keith Rose holds a Master of Divinity degree and BA in Sacred Music. Keith worked with the Covenant Eyes Member Care Team for 15 years. During that time, he also served as a worship leader, Bible teacher, and pastoral assistant. He's now the editor of the Covenant Eyes blog and the author of Allied: Fighting Porn With Accountability, Faith, and Friends. He lives in Rexford, Montana with his wife Ruby and daughter Winslow.

It’s that time of year again. The time you get to start over fresh. A time when a lot of us make resolutions as to what we will or won’t do in the next chapter of life.

If you’re someone who’s serious about quitting porn, there’s no time like right now, as you wrap up the old year and start with the new. If that’s you, and quitting porn is your resolution, I support you 100%!

But I need to tell you: your resolutions aren’t enough. Your determination isn’t enough. Your willpower isn’t enough.

I’m not down on New Year resolutions—they’re great. But I am down on the idea that you can white-knuckle your way to a porn-free life because you’re extra determined on January 1. If you’ve been looking at porn for any amount of time, you’re going to need to look past your own strength and determination for the power to quit.

An effective resolution to quit porn is about more than willpower—it’s about having the right strategies to succeed. Here are some keys to keep in mind to ensure your success.

Resolving to Quit Porn Is About More Than Porn

When you make a resolution to improve your life, whether it’s quitting porn, exercising more, or keeping a budget, it’s a much bigger change than you might initially realize. That’s because a habit like watching porn is intertwined with a lot of different areas of life.

It’s not just a matter of stopping one thing. It also means changing the habits and patterns in your life that make you vulnerable to porn in the first place. This probably means changing a lot of small things to accomplish the larger goal of saying no to porn.

The small things that go along with quitting porn look different for everyone. But here are some examples of things you might need to do to make this happen:

  • Prioritize your time in prayer and Bible reading, to keep your mind where it should be.
  • Cut back on work overtime so you’re not so exhausted and vulnerable to porn triggers.
  • Rearrange your schedule so you’re not home alone at times when you’re most likely to act out with porn.
  • Get regular exercise and sleep more at night so your body is energized and focused on the things you need to do.
  • Meet regularly with a trusted friend to talk about the temptation to look at porn and get encouragement.

Feel overwhelmed? Part of a successful resolution is an accurate evaluation of what all needs to happen. That way, you won’t be caught off guard when the going gets tough. You may not be ready to make all the critical changes necessary yet, but even knowing this is an important step!

What other changes might you need to make? Share in the comments below! You can also check out our free ebook, Hobbies and Habits, which is jam-packed with great recommendations for establishing new routines that will set you up for long-term victory.

Resolving to Quit Porn Is About One Day at a Time

People who set grand abstract goals almost never succeed. And we just saw how quitting porn is a grand abstract goal with wide-reaching implications. Writing about resolutions to quit porn, author and speaker Luke Gilkerson describes the problem:

So, how do you turn “stop looking at porn” into smaller goals? Isn’t it an all-or-nothing kind of thing? Yes and no. Yes, one of our sub-goals should not be to merely “cut back” our porn viewing or reduce it to some manageable frequency. Merely drinking less deadly poison compared to yesterday is not an admirable goal.

What’s the solution? Focus on one day at a time. Don’t worry about how long it takes to recover from porn addiction or quitting porn for the rest of your life. Resolve to avoid porn for the next 24 hours.

This is biblical wisdom. Jesus said, “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).

Resolving to Quit Porn Is About Keeping Accountable

In any kind of goal setting, accountability is a game-changer. When it comes to quitting porn, accountability is essential. That’s because resolutions are weak in the face of powerful habits like porn. Accountability gives us a personal connection that reminds us of what’s really important.

The late Dr. Mark Laaser was an expert in the world of sex and porn addiction. He wrote, “To achieve true change, a person must be accountable to others to make that change.” Dr. Laaser recognized that willpower easily runs out in the face of temptation. That’s why he maintained accountability relationships throughout his life, long after he’d overcome his own struggles with addiction. He understood that the need for accountability isn’t something you outgrow with age and wisdom.

Dr. Laaser certainly wasn’t alone in recognizing the importance of accountability. One study found that having an accountability partner can make you 95% more likely to accomplish your goal.

Hebrews 3:13 instructs, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Resolving to Quit Porn Is About Breaking Free of Shame

Another reason accountability is such a crucial part of the process is that it helps you break free of shame. It brings other people—who love and care about you—into the dark corners of your life. It allows the light of truth to shine on your secret sins. Author Jen Ferguson writes:

Ask any runner and they will tell you that having people on the course cheering them on does wonders for their spirit and their speed. But people need to know what course you’re on—what goals you’re trying to achieve. It’s much easier to give up when you know no one is going to be checking in with you. Not only will you have a network of people to call when things get hard, but every single time you speak out your problems, you’re exposing them to light, which chips away at any shame you may harbor.

As long as you keep your porn use a secret, the shame of it is likely to keep you in bondage. When you open up about porn and the temptation to look at it, this can take away the powerful hold of shame. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.”

Resolving to Quit Porn Is About Restoring Relationships

Quitting porn means turning away from a fake relationship to your real relationships with God, family, and friends. It’s important to keep this goal in front of you at all times. If the only benefit of quitting porn was not seeing porn, it probably wouldn’t be worth it for most of us!

But quitting porn means so much more than that. More than taking things out of your life, removing porn is about putting back together what’s broken. It’s about restoring closeness to the people you love and escaping the burden of sin and guilt that keep us from God.

Colossians 3 is one of my favorite passages. The first two verses remind us to look to Jesus instead of all the distracting things around us:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Put your eyes on higher things and make 2022 the year that you resolve to quit porn. But make sure you have the right strategies in place to ensure your success!

  • Comments on: The Right Resolutions to Quit Porn
    1. Exhausted Anon

      I have CE on every device except my work computer because it doesn’t allow it. I’ve even asked for certain sites to be blocked on the work computer but there are just millions of porn websites. I cannot keep up. I have accountability on my home devices but just keep falling to temptation on the work laptop. Are there ANY suggestions to this?

      • Keith Rose

        Hello! Thanks for reaching out. I commend you on your desire to overcome porn, and the proactive steps you’re taking to protect your computers/devices. Following the advice of 12-step groups, I would recommend daily accountability check-ins with your ally. Explain the situation and the temptation you’re facing on your work computer, and then make a commitment to check in every day for the next few months. You should be the one to initiate these check-ins, not your ally. When you’re starting, I recommend a phone check-in–just a quick call to confirm how you did that day and any temptation you faced. Over time, you can change to text or email check-ins. But the human connection here is important, that’s why I recommend a phone call (or better yet, in person!). It’s a lot of effort, but it’s worth it.

        If you don’t have an ally with whom you can share these daily conversations, you might want to consider seeking out a local Sex Addicts Anonymous group where you can find some like-minded people to support you on your journey!

        Blessings,

        Keith

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