5 Ways to Break Bad Habits


I would like to share with you 5 ways to break bad habits. You are what you repeatedly do every day. If you allow bad habits to take over your life, they have the power to dramatically hinder your journey towards success.

In his book, The Habit Change Workbook: How To Break Bad Habits and Form Good Ones, James Claiborn describes a bad habit as, “Learned, almost automatic thoughts or behaviours that have become somehow problematic in our lives.”

Some of you may be wondering, “Why is it so difficult to break bad habits?” By nature, we are creatures of habit. Our brains work on a trigger and reward basis – the so-called “habit loop” – which means that it is easy to slip into a routine and difficult to fight back when the undesired behaviour occurs. Another words, it can take time for the brain to adapt to new ways of doing things.

In the words of Warren Buffett, “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” How are your bad habits holding you back in life? It's time to change your life for the better.

break bad habits

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Below are 5 ways to break bad habits:

1. Be aware that you have a bad habit

If you want to change a bad habit, you need to become aware that it actually exists. Start monitoring your bad habits and get to know the frequency and circumstances wherein which you tend to engage in these behaviours.

2. Understand what triggers your bad habit

Step back and take a look at the triggers that cause you to engage in a bad habit in the first place. When you are equipped with this information, it is easier to know what actions you need to take in order to change your life.

The best way to avoid encountering a bad habit in the future is to remove yourself from environments that trigger it from occurring. For example, if you smoke when you drink, don't go to a bar. In the words of Robert Kiyosaki, “One of the best ways to make changes in your life is to change your environment. This then changes you.”

3. Replace A Bad Habit with a Good Habit

Todd Herman, the Founder of The Peak Group, argues that when you’re breaking old habits, your cells get overwhelmed with new information that they aren't used to, and your body begins to resist the changes.

In order to lessen the blow when this occurs, choose a substitute for your bad habit. Plan ahead. For example, what will you do if you get the urge to smoke? Perhaps you could do pranayama breathing exercises instead. Focus on slowly building new habits into your daily routine.

4. Set Realistic Goals

Your bad habits have been in your life for a long time. Breaking them altogether won't happen overnight. Rather than dive in head first, set realistic goals and implement small changes to your daily routine.

When you do so, it will be easier for those good habits to stick, long-term. If you push yourself too hard, you will become overwhelmed. Start slow and make a plan.

5. Be Kind To Yourself

Change can be difficult, so don't get down on yourself if you revert back to your old habits now and then. As long as you don't stay there, that's all that matters. Don't ever be afraid of making mistakes.

They are merely proof that you are trying. Forgive yourself and keep moving forward. Steve Kamb said it best, “When you screw up, skip a workout, eat bad foods, or sleep in, it doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you human. Welcome to the club.”

Are you ready to break free of your bad habits and replace them with healthy habits? With belief, commitment, and discipline, anything is possible. Sometimes the greatest breakthroughs in life occur right when we are about to give up. You got this!

Do you want to learn how to create a morning ritual that will replace your bad habits with good ones? CLICK HERE to join my Morning Ritual Mastery course!

5 Ways to Break Bad Habits
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  • Dan Nguyen

    Great article, I struggle with the ‘be kind to yourself’ step but am consciously working on it.