Replace vices with their opposite virtues, replace the search for sensual pleasure with the search for pain to offer up to God for merit and penance. Love God more, fear Hell more, and beware of idleness and worldly entertainment.
Pray more and more, with the aim for always and with full attention, and choose also among prayers with promises from God because He fulfills His promises.
The more you do things you do not want to do for the sake of God, the more progress you will make. Seriously. You will perceive it.
Just take the above principles and do them all in practical, real ways and you will make progress.
Yes, Christianity -is- an ascetic religion. The sooner one realizes and starts to live this the better for one’s soul.
‘Know for a certainty that if men understood how terrible is even one solitary sin, they would rather be cast into a heated furnace, and there remain, living both in soul and body, than to support such a sight. And if the sea were all fire they would cast themselves therein and never leave it, if they were certain of meeting the sin on doing so.’
St. Catherine of Genoa
‘If we are very determined to mortify ourselves and not to be too much occupied with our corporal health, we will soon, by the grace of God, become masters of our bodies.’
St. Teresa of Jesus
‘Idleness is the enemy of the soul; and therefore the brethren ought to be employed in manual labor at certain times, at others, in devout reading.’