How to Break Bad Habits

How to break bad habits, whether good are bad, they make us the person we are. Good habits, such as never being late, studying without threats and staying on a healthy diet are engrained in us.

So too are bad habits engrained. Making the decision to change these habits and learning how to to do it is the first step in changing habits. This decision to improve your life and your lifestyle will take some work.

While some say it takes three weeks to form a habit, many will also tell you that it can longer than that to break a habit that may be pleasant to you, but is damaging to your life.

Some bad habits, such as smoking, are addictions. They are complex activities that soothe oral fixation, mood elevation and stress relievers. These will be harder to break.

There are many theories and many tips on how to break bad habits. Some of them are:

Give It One Month

Try a thirty-day trial. Choose your habit that is bothering you. It may be disorganization. By concentrating on completing chores to get your work organized. Perhaps you will limit your computer surfing to checking email only twice each day. Perhaps you will decide that you will do dishes immediately after a meal rather than waiting until “later”. These bad habits can be confined and singled out. They can become former habits that improve your life. Eventually it will become an automatic process. There is no trick to teach you how to break bad habits. It is a ritualistic type activity that will lead to self-improvement.

How Can Triggers Help

Triggers are also helpful. How to break bad habits that affect your life may need a trigger. A trigger can be anything from a rubber band on your wrist. Every time you want a smoke, snap the band instead. If you are habitually late for work, your trigger may be your alarm clock. Instead of pushing the snooze button, get out of bed at the first sound of the alarm.

Choose One Habit At A Time

How to break bad habits

Changing one habit at a time for thirty days is a logical approach. Trying to change several can possibly lead to failure and frustration. Changing habits means you are changing a part of your life that may have been there since childhood.

Keep one thing in mind. While you may be concentrating on breaking bad habits, you are also beginning to start a new good habit. Take the time to balance your feedback. Perhaps, you have decided to engage in a vigorous exercise plan. You may be a couch potato that considers a walk to the mailbox a chore.

On day thirty-one, you will want to quit and head for the couch again. If you choose to go for a lengthy walk with your dog or a friend twice each week, you are more likely to succeed in your quest. It will be a gradual, yet significant change. Use the “but” theory. When the going gets tough and you are ready to change habits, add a “but”. Follow that “but” with all of the positive reasons that you trying to learn to break bad habits. It could be for your health, your appearance or just because you know, it would be better to stop.


Affirmations will assist in learning to break bad habits. Write down your goal in one simple sentence. “I am not going to eat any foods that are fatty”. Tape that sentence to your bathroom mirror and to your refrigerator. You will be reminded that it is your goal every morning, noon and night. This is a promise that has been made to you. That promise may be easier to keep if you think of it in that term.

Keep It Simple

Create some simple rules. Do not complicate the process. Plan your improved exercise program gradually. Make a promise to your pooch to walk him every night after dinner. Connect with a friend to meet you every Wednesday for a longer walk. If you complicate the rules, you compromise your success.

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