Episode 111: Think in Years

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2023


When quitting pornography, people tend to take a very short-term view. You might be thinking that if you can just get through this week without viewing porn, then you’re on the right track. But the truth is, we need to look at the long term, and this requires that you stop thinking in weeks or even months, and start thinking in years.

I love this concept of thinking in years, and if you can apply it to your relationship with pornography, it will help you quit easier, faster, and without so much drama. So, if you’ve made it weeks or months without viewing porn but, after a while, you keep going back to it, this episode is for you.

Tune in this week to discover how thinking in years totally transforms how you see your progress when it comes to quitting porn. I’m sharing why thinking in years makes for more sustainable action than only looking at the short term, and how to benefit from the compound effect of implementing a long-term strategy.


If you’re ready to do this work and start practicing unconditional commitment toward quitting your porn habit, sign up to work with me!


What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why people think in weeks or months when it comes to quitting porn.
  • What changes when you decide to start thinking in years in relation to quitting pornography.
  • Why we don’t see small changes week by week, but we see massive changes year by year.
  • How to see the value of thinking in years when you commit to any goal in your life.
  • What you can do to start thinking in years and set yourself up for long-term success in your journey to overcome pornography.



Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 111, Think In Years. 

Welcome to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, the show that will teach you how to stop viewing pornography and never go back to it. If you want to learn how to train your brain out of a pornography habit, completely shame-free, then this is the show for you. I’m your host Sara Brewer, a certified life and faith-based coach.

Hey, you guys, welcome to the podcast this week. It’s so fun that it’s episode 111. I am an angel number person. I don’t know if I’ve talked about this on the podcast, but I see angel numbers everywhere. Angel numbers are numbers in sequence or patterns: 111, 555, 1212, whatever. And the idea behind them is it means certain things if you keep seeing a certain number show up or, I don’t know. 

I don’t know how much I believe this is exactly what it means if you keep seeing fives, but I do see angel numbers everywhere. And I always take it as like a little bit of a sign from Spirit, or God, or the universe. Just a little sign that I’m being supported, and that I’m being helped, and that I’m being loved. And sometimes I’ll Google, what does the angel number, if I see fives a lot, like, what does angel number 555 mean? And I’ll see if any of that resonates with me. Just kind of take it with a gut instinct kind of thing. 

So 111 is a really fun one for me because ones are the numbers I see everywhere, literally everywhere. I have a little bit of a more public account where I talk more about my life and other things that I’m interested in, not just pornography. And that’s what I talk about all the time in my stories, is I’m always saying, “Oh, yep, here it is again. Here it is again. Here it is again.” 

For example, we just went out of town this last weekend, like literally, we got home yesterday. And the room number of the place we were staying in was 111. When we left the room, the clock was off like the digital clock wasn’t ever correct, it was just flashing random numbers the whole time. And as soon as we were leaving, it was flashing 11:11. And I just see like I see ones everywhere. 

In fact, I have the cutest story. So I’ve been seeing them everywhere ever since I was a teenager, honestly. I remember seeing 11:11 all the time as a teenager. And I would see it like every night and every morning whenever it was 11:11. And I wouldn’t set an alarm or anything for it, it’s just like I would randomly look at the clock and, oh, there it is. Or I’d randomly look at my phone and there it is. I would just see it everywhere. And I would always make a wish at 1111. You know, that’s what you do. You see 1111 and you make a wish. 

And so one night, I was hanging out with this really cute boy and I had a major crush on him. But he didn’t know it and I didn’t know if he liked me. And we were just kind of doing some math homework together. And we had finished up math homework and I went out to walk him out to his car before he left my house, and I saw on my phone it was 11:11. And I was like, wow! 

Okay, this is seriously so cheesy, but I swear on my life that this is true. I’m going to say this and you’re going to think I’m making it up, but I promise I’m not. So 11:11 hits and I’m like, “Oh, make a wish. I wish that this boy would kiss me.” And then I looked up because we were walking outside to his car. And the moment I looked up, I saw a shooting star. And I never see shooting stars and I saw a shooting star. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, make another wish. I wish this cute boy would kiss me.” 

And then guess what happened? He kissed me. And it was my first kiss and it was the sweetest thing in the whole world. And now I’m married to him. Yep, that was my husband that that happened with. 11:11, I’m telling you, it’s my number. I see it everywhere. So I’m excited that this episode is 111, that’s kind of fun for me. 

You want to hear another crazy fun fact? I don’t tell people this very often, but I’m going to just say it very publicly on my podcast because it’s crazy. But my husband is the only person I have ever kissed. Ever. I have not ever, I know, some of you are like, what? That’s crazy. What is wrong with you? Why didn’t you kiss more people? Like, whatever, you know, people have all sorts of reactions about this. 

And I would never recommend that to anyone, especially my siblings. I’m like, “Yeah, go kiss as many people as possible and just have fun.” But for me, it just never worked out that way. I just fell in love with him and I stayed in love with him. And I didn’t ever want to kiss anyone else. And he was my first kiss at 16 years old. And then the crazier part of that, I was his first kiss at 16 years old and he has never kissed anyone else either. Isn’t that crazy? 

So fun. Yeah, it’s a little crazy but, yeah, I just love him. And we make a really, really, really good team. I don’t necessarily believe in soulmates but I do believe in soulmates when it comes to me and my husband. I’m like, I don’t know if soulmates exist except for me and my husband. I really do, I love him. And we have a cute story and we are a great, great team. 

So, we did get married kind of young, we got married at 21 years old. And then we had our first baby at 23 or 24 years old. And we’re just taking on the world together. And I just, yeah, anyway, so that’s a fun fact about me, me and my husband. So, 111, here we go. 

Today, we’re going to talk about thinking in years. I love, love, love this concept. I’ve been thinking about it and talking about it for a long time so I’m excited to share it with you. This is a huge concept that if applied to pornography, will completely change everything. It will help you quit easier. It will help you quit faster. It’ll help you quit without so much drama. 

And if you apply it to all other areas of your life, you will be amazed at how much success you’re able to develop in an easier way. That sounds a little, does that sound a little pitchy? Like everything’s going to be easy and you’re going to have all the success you want. I’m not trying to make it sound like that but, truly, this is a really wonderful concept that I’m excited to share with you. And this is one of those concepts that very successful people really apply and they do a lot of studies on it. 

Okay, so the main idea is that we want to think in terms of years, instead of thinking in terms of weeks or months. A lot of us think in terms of weeks or months, instead of thinking in terms of years. For example, I always use a workout example but it just tends to apply really well. 

So if you’re working out and you’re trying to build muscle, you go a few weeks and you don’t see any changes. A lot of people tend to give up, or they try something different, or they try a new program and they’re like this one isn’t working. I’ve tried for a few weeks and nothing has happened yet. But if that person would just commit and stick to it for a year or two years, they would see crazy, crazy changes. 

This is how you build muscle and a great physique that is easy to sustain, is that you’re not looking for something that’s going to change your body drastically within just a few weeks. You think in terms of years. What can I sustain for years? And am I willing to keep going even if the change that I’m seeing is so small that I don’t see anything week by week, but I can see massive changes year by year? 

Okay, with pornography, we try for a few weeks and the urges are still there after a few weeks. And a few months, maybe we’re still struggling a little bit with porn and we give up. We give up and we don’t try anymore and we don’t work through the tools. And we tell ourselves, we’re never going to be able to do it and we’re never going to be able to quit. But if you can think in terms of years, so within the next two years I want to quit and things are going to be easier. 

It makes it so much easier to continue to keep going and to stay committed to your goals if you’re thinking of seeing progress in terms of years, instead of seeing progress in terms of weeks. This is going to help you be much more sustainable and take more sustainable action. And it’s going to help you develop that compound effect of little tiny changes over time creating massive results. 

It’s very hard to stay committed to that compound effect when you’re just looking week by week by week or even month by month by month. There’s a concept called delay discounting that really applies to this. And you can go and look up all the research done around delay discounting, but the basic idea here is that our brains tend to discount things when there’s a delay in receiving them. So when the perceived value of a future reward is less valuable than an immediate reward. 

For example, if we were given the choice, you can have $50 today or $100 in a month, many of us would probably choose $100 in a month. But if we were given the choice of $50 today or $100 in a year, many of us would probably choose the $50 now. 

Brooke Castillo has a great podcast on this that I just studied for a recertification thing, you can look it up if you want to hear more about it. But the main idea here is that when an outcome is delayed, we tend to discount it and we tend to think it’s not as valuable. 

An interesting study that they did around this is they looked at drug addicts, an average person, and an entrepreneur. And they asked them how long do they think ahead into their future. And the average answer for a drug addict was four days. So they think four days into their future. The average time for an average person was five years. And then the entrepreneur, the average answer was 10 years. 

I think it’s just an interesting study, it shows this idea that if we can develop this delayed gratification, these skills of delayed gratification, it will really serve us, serve us so, so much. So when you’re in the middle of the river of misery, which is we’re just starting this process or maybe we’ve been in this process for a few months, and the original excitement around it is wearing down. And our brains are getting used to not having all this concentrated dopamine from porn. 

It’s a miserable spot to be in, but you have to go through it in order to really quit porn. When you’re wanting the porn, wanting it, wanting it, wanting it, but not giving into it, into the urges. And you’re processing and learning all the skills, even though it’s miserable and hard. You have to go through that. When you’re in the middle of that, you’re going to be much more willing to stick it out if you’re thinking in terms of years, and not weeks. 

So, I don’t know, it’s been a few weeks and I’m still in this river of misery. I don’t know if I can do it. I’m going to go back to my old patterns, my old way of living, my old porn use. Instead, I’m doing this because in three years I want a completely different life because it doesn’t matter how long it takes for me, this is what I want in my life and I’m willing to go years through this to create it. 

Now, it’s not going to take years of a river of misery, it’s going to get easier. But the mindset of thinking in terms of years is going to help you so much not get caught up in that, like, oh, how much longer is this going to take? How much longer is this going to be hard? No, you’re going to learn how to manage it and do it long-term to have the life you want in years. 

One question I love to ask people is if this was to take five years, would you still do it? If quitting porn was to take five years and you weren’t going to see the progress you wanted to for five years, would you still sit down and do the work every day? It’s an interesting question that can kind of test your delay discounting that you have in your brain. 

If it’s like, oh, five years, I don’t know. That’s too far out. I don’t know if it’s worth that much to quit porn if it’s going to take five years. That’s just something to look at. That’s just interesting. If the answer is yes, that’s going to serve you really well if you’re trying to quit porn. 

When you can do this delayed gratification, you can focus on gaining the skills instead of just will powering. When you’re focused on weeks and not years, right, well, I’m not going to look at porn and so I’m just going to focus on willpower and not look at it so I can go a few weeks without viewing porn. That’s great, but it only works for a few weeks or a few months and then you’re pretty exhausted. 

So if we’re thinking in terms of years, I want a porn-free life that is easy, that I’ve really done the work and I’m a different person. And all these skills that we talk about in the program and in the podcast: changing our identity, learning emotional management, and emotional resiliency. I want to become this person. I’m not just trying not to look at porn, but I’m really wanting to become someone that it’s not even an issue with anymore. 

That’s yearly thinking, that’s thinking in terms of years. Guess what? That doesn’t happen overnight. That doesn’t happen in a few weeks or even a few months. That takes time. Are we willing to think in terms of years? Delay that gratification, and really be working towards that instead of just the short-term reward of being porn-free for two weeks? Right, we’re focusing on those skills, instead of just willpower. 

Another thing that this will do for you, this skill of delayed gratification is it’ll help you with your investments. So what will this investment get me in years? Instead of, oh, if I invest in this I’m not going to have this money in two months. 

So I have so many examples of this in my life, but I love investing in coaching and it’s served me so well. I love investing in my brain. My brain is so valuable to me. I know if I work my brain and put that first, I can make money, I can have happiness, I can have really beautiful, healthy things if I’m investing in my brain.

Have I told the story about when I invested $18,000 on my first coach training? And I went into that knowing like, I am in love with life coaching and I want to be successful at this. And it doesn’t matter if it takes me 10 years, I’m going to do it and this is going to give me the tools to do it. And so I’m willing to pay $18,000, even if I don’t see that reward for 10 whole years. And I saw that reward much more quickly. 

But I wouldn’t have been able to make that decision if I was thinking in terms of months or weeks, right? If I have to see this return on my investment within months, oh, that would have been a lot of pressure. That’s a lot of pressure for a brand-new business, to see rewards within a few months. 

And since then, and as I’ve been making more money, and choosing where to invest that money, in marketing or in training, or wherever, I really prioritize investing my brain. That big 18k investment was like the big one and since then I take it very, very seriously. It’s a little bit easier for me to invest more money because I’m making more money. 

But, for example, just in the last two years I’ve spent an additional $37,000, in just training, in coach training for me and my team to increase our skills, because I know the better coach I am, the more people I can help. 

And the more people I help, the more money I can make in my business, it relates very well. I’ve spent over $12,000 in trauma healings and certifications around trauma. And yearly I spend between seven to $15,000 on different therapies. When I say I invest in my brain, I mean I invest in my brain. And it has paid off so well for me. 

And this same approach might not work for everyone else, or call to everyone else, but for me, when I think of what I’m going to get in years of these investments, it’s invaluable. The healing, the emotional stability, the skills, the success skills, the happiness skills, the ability to live calmly and to live in my own authentic power. And that doesn’t happen within a few weeks, that happens within the years. Within years. 

And thinking in terms of years has been, honestly, and I do this in all areas too, like business, buffering, workout goals, family goals. Thinking in terms of years and not weeks or months has been totally life-changing and it’s helped me really focus my individual daily efforts on the things that matter the most. 

My husband and I, I’m talking about him a lot, but he’s also an entrepreneur. And so he owns, he actually owns Axial Knives, if any of you are way into the knife, manly knife space, it’s an OTF knife. And he owns that. 

And we started that one together a number of years ago, and we spent so much money investing in that business because we believe in it and because we’re thinking in terms of years. And so even though we’re not seeing the payouts, but like going into that, we look at it in terms of years, it’s very smart, it’s very calculated. And if we were looking at that, in terms of what am I going to get in a month or in a week out of this, it would have been a really hard decision, we probably wouldn’t have made it. 

And not just investments with money, but you can think of investments in time. What am I willing to spend my time in? And if I’m making decisions based off of years, instead of based off of weeks or months, what am I really going to spend my time on? 

So maybe you want to write a book, okay? I’m not sure, it’s probably going to take a while to write that book. It might not be done in a few weeks or a few months. But am I willing to put, like how badly do I want that? And am I willing to write a little bit every single day with this idea of years in mind, of what I’m going to be able to accomplish in a few years? Like, think of a beautiful book you can write in a few years. Think of the opportunities you can have with that book if you just stick with it for a few years. 

You can think of this, like I said, with working out. Instead of looking for a quick 12-week transformation, what if we were looking at a 10-year transformation? How would that change what you’re doing? And not only how would that change what you’re doing, but how would that increase your vision of what you can do? 

So that’s a whole other side of this, that we haven’t even touched on. But thinking in terms of years doesn’t just make it more likely for you to do things, but it helps increase your vision, right? I’ve said this before on the podcast, we overestimate what we can do in the short term and we underestimate what we can do in the long term. 

If we’re thinking in terms of years, our vision is going to be much, much higher than if we’re thinking in terms of weeks or months. So application, I want you to go to yourself in 10 years. I want you to imagine yourself in 10 years. What do they look like? What are they doing? Where are they at? 

Think of yourself in 10 years, everything that you want to be in 10 years. Like your most wise version of yourself, your most compassionate version of yourself. This person in 10 years, okay, what is the most valuable thing that you could do today for that person in 10 years? 

I love thinking of this because when I, like right now when I think about myself right now and I think about myself 10 years ago, there are so many things I’m so grateful for that she did 10 years ago. And so what is the most valuable thing that you could do for your person in 10 years? For some of you, that might be taking the jump and joining the program and really getting serious about quitting porn. 

For some of you that might be investing in a new skill set, a new certification, or a new job, or someone to help you find a new job. I have a lot of contacts that their specialty is focused on helping people find their perfect corporate career. 

Some people might look at that and be like, I don’t know if I want to pay money for that. And if you’re thinking in terms of weeks or months, yeah, you might not want to. But if you’re thinking in terms of years, where do you want to be in years? What kind of job do you want in years? It’s absolutely worth it. 

And for some of you, it might just be making that decision of being willing to give up the current pleasure of porn for the future that you want in 10 years. Are you willing to give up that dopamine hit, that current pleasure for who you want to be and what you want to say about yourself in 10 years? 

Years, not weeks, you guys. Years, not weeks, it’s going to change everything for you. All right, have a great week. We’ll talk to you next week. Bye bye.

I want to invite you to come and listen to my free class, How To Overcome Pornography For Good Without Using Willpower. We talk about how to stop giving in to urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography. 

We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn't to have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent. We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn't to have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent. 

If you’re trying to quit porn, this class is a game changer. So you can go and sign up at Sarabrewer.com/masterclass, and it is totally free.

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