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How to Break a Bad Habit: 10 Ways to Replace with Good Habits

Do you have a bad habit that you wish you could change? Don't let bad habits run the way you live your life. In order to break a bad habit, all that is required is a little due diligence when it comes to changing your lifestyle.

Break a bad habit

We all have certain bad habits that we know we should get rid of, yet we don't know how. Have you ever tried to quit, only to relapse in a few days? In order to diminish the power of habit, you have to do your research and be prepared for anything.
No matter how long you've had this habit, there are many ways you can break free. Bad habits such as overeating can turn dangerous to your health and should be addressed as quickly as possible. For less serious habits, consider using this guide as a way to practice better habits and live the way you deserve.


Ways to break a bad habit

1. Goals

2. Consistency

3. Reminders

4. Inspiration

5. Self-awareness

6. Focus

7. Perseverance

8. Support

9. Replacements

10. Commitment

How to Break a Bad Habit in Order to Practice Good Habits. Live a Life of Moderation and Not a Life of Excess

Need help breaking a bad habit? If you have been suffering from a habit that's been bothering you for a while, it's never too late to make a change.

1. Break Down Your Long-Term Goals into Short-Term Ones

The first step on how to break a bad habit: your habits should be the path to your goals. Break down your goals into healthy habits of self-sustainability. Instead of partying every weekend, find a nice relaxing hobby for some nights. Enjoy yourself in moderation and don't give in immediately to every desire you have. Making habits breaking habits takes time and effort, so you might as well strap in for the ride and enjoy yourself along the way. It also takes perseverance to kick a bad habit. You might end up failing a few times before you replace a bad habit with a good one.

2. Stay Consistent

running woman

When breaking an old habit, try getting into a consistent routine of doing things at the same time. If you follow the same pattern for a couple weeks, you keep your bad habits under control. If you are trying to become healthier, don't just exercise sporadically. Set aside a specific time in the morning to burn off some calories and do it every day, consistently.
Being in a routine will give yourself purpose and the dedication to keep pushing until the bad habit is fixed. When you are breaking habit, you need to constantly remind yourself of the undesirable behavior until your routine is changed. It is a long and sometimes difficult process to change your routine. But it is a necessary process.

3. Give Yourself Constant Reminders

stick notes woman

In order to break the habit, you have to remind yourself through various means. The most important reason people can't kick their bad habits is that they can't remember to. You have a busy schedule and things could slip your mind. If you have poor memory, make a good habit to write down your goals. Put up notes, write down the steps on our calendar, or do anything else that can give you affirmation of your improvement.
Writing down your goals is important because after the daily grind of the same routine our mind starts to wear down. We start losing focus of the reason we are doing the things we do. We lose sight of our most important goals because they are not in the forefront of our minds. You need to write down your goals and look at them regularly to inspire yourself and keep yourself motivated.

4. Gain Some Inspiration

friends talking

The fourth step on how to break a bad habit is to spend more time with people who you look up to. Take mental note of the things they say and the things they do. Be around people who live a life you admire. Ask as many questions as you can and try to find as many ways as you can to improve yourself. Role models are a great way to inspire you to get into good habits. Good role models are hard to find, so be thankful for those who you gain inspiration from in your life.
Always ask questions whenever you can for your own mental notes. Your role models should always be willing to share what they know with you given that you aren't bothersome. Just remember to thank them afterward.

5. Understand the Consequences

woman weighing options

If you don't break your bad habit, just be aware of the bad things that can happen as a result. Ultimately, it is you that has to make the decision to better yourself and it is you that has to make the effort for a life change. Understand the consequences beforehand so you don't end up doing anything that you will regret.

Don't Blame Others — If you don't change your bad ways, the blame should fall on nobody, but you. Don't constantly blame others because you are unable to quit a habit. Something that is bad for your health or well-being should be addressed early on at the source and treated as your top priority to eliminate it. Blaming others is a bad habit that can easily be corrected with mindfulness and willingness to put your ego aside and take blame occasionally.

Stop Making Excuses — Understanding the consequences of your bad habits means making no excuses. Excuses will only prolong your bad habits until you have no more excuses to make. Excuses only give yourself a reason to keep making the same mistakes in the future. If what you were doing were the right thing, then you would have no reason to make excuses. Have the willpower to kick the habit without involving anybody else.

6. Eliminate Distractions

Remove yourself from situations that can trigger the bad habit to return. If you are trying to live more frugally, carry a small amount of money with you at all times so that you will not be tempted to spend it. Avoid temptation by removing yourself from anything that can cause a craving or relapse. This step is the most important in how to break a bad habit.
Don't allow things to ever distract you from your goals. Don't allow people to distract you either. Be confident and focused on your goals.

7. Keep Trying

Determined woman

Rome wasn't built in a day. If at first you don't succeed to break your bad habit, keep trying and eventually you will make a breakthrough. The key to perseverance is to have the right support group that believes in you. Reward yourself along the way to keep yourself motivated. Always keep your goal in mind when you are struggling to practice good habits. Replacing bad habits with good habits takes perseverance and if you doubt yourself along the way then it becomes near impossible. Keep trying until you notice some improvement. Then once you see that this method works, you start gaining confidence to change all of your bad habits into good ones.

8. Tell Others

friends laughing

Let your friends and family know that you have a bad habit you are trying to eliminate from your life. You will be more likely to commit to the change until you are finally rid of the bad habit. It is a good idea to get as much support as possible. Others may be able to help you, or have the same bad habit that you can work on together to fix. Working with a partner to fix your habits is a lot quicker than by yourself. If you had the choice to allow someone in, why wouldn't you? If the bad habit is very difficult to quit, it will make it ten times easier to build a support group cheering you on.

9. Start Small and Find Replacements

woman thinking

In order to avoid bad withdrawals from certain bad habits, you should start eliminating the problem slowly but surely. If you go cold turkey on something you've been doing for your whole life, you might experience some adverse side effects. When you try to cut out processed foods from your diet: start by having it every other day, then once every week, once every month, etc. Likewise, when you are working to make a change in your life, you should fill the void by trying something different instead. Finding replacements for things is a piece of cake once you get the hang of it. There are many substitutions for the way we currently do things in our routines. You just have to keep tweaking until you find the right solution.

10. Commit to Your Goal No Matter What

Set a time limit in order to make a habit change permanent. If you are trying to change your bedtime to a more reasonable time for your new job, then give yourself a week to make that change. Needing more time might mean that you are using the wrong strategies and that you should use an alternative method to change the habit.
The answer to how to break a bad habit is to set a time limit, do research, and commit yourself to kick the habit in the timeframe set.
Backing down from changing bad habits hurts nobody but you. So stop talking about how you want to do this or that better and actually do it. It changes nothing to talk, but everything is changed when you make an active effort to do something about your bad habits.

By Kacia Nall

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