What can I do to change a bad habit I've had for years?

Bad Habits

Bad Habits. We all have them and hate that we do them and don’t know how to stop. Habits are in your life for a reason whether they are good or bad. The good ones obviously benefit you, like working out, eating healthy, always being 10 minutes early etc. The bad ones are what we want to focus on and see how we can replace them with something better or get them out of our lives all together.  

Do you always have to finish every bite of food on your plate, causing you to over eat? Do you tend to indulge in things daily that are bad for you like alcohol or smoking? Do you bite your nails or are a social media addict? Whatever your bad habits are, we are here to help get you on the track to fixing them!

Why do we still have bad habits if we know they are not good for us? That is the question of the day and one that is hard to answer as to stop something cold turkey might be hard because there is a reason we do it! We want to go through a list of ways you can work on fixing your bad habits.  This isn’t something that will change overnight, but as you work daily on these bad habits and replace them with something better or eliminate them all together, you will end up being happier, healthier and proud of yourself and what you have accomplished.

First, you need to understand why you do this bad habit, what your triggers are, so you can get a plan going on how you are going to stop it or replace it with something better.  Every time you get the urge to indulge in this bad habit, remember one of the ways below to help get you through it. Not all of these ways will work for every person, you need to find what works best for you. You must get serious about fixing your bad habits and take responsibility or it will be harder to get rid of them.

Here are some ways to break these bad habits:

- Breathe/ Meditate/ Yoga. These things will help soothe your mind and get you to visualize your goals.


- Think differently. Think positive and you will have a positive outcome. Decide that you really want to change and tell yourself you can.


- Get rid of what you are constantly doing. If you smoke, throw out the cigarettes, if you eat too many sweets, throw them out. Make it easier on yourself by avoiding the things that cause your bad habits.


- Change up your routine. If every morning you stop at Starbucks to get your daily grande double shot espresso, then don’t stop. Bring your own coffee from home or change up what beverage you are drinking.


- Replace a bad habit with a good one. Instead of taking a 10 minute break at work to drink a soda and chips, then go for a walk instead. Or Replace your soda with unsweetened tea and an apple instead of chips. Find better alternatives to your current bad habits.


- Get a buddy (friend, spouse, coworker) and work on eliminating your bad habits together.  If you both have the same bad habit, great, even if you don’t then you can still hold each other accountable.  If you curse too much, or talk too loud on the phone or are a drama starter...whatever the case, friends/family can help hold you to it and get you through it. 


- You are who you hang out with. Make good choices and surround yourself with people that have similar goals as it will be easier to obtain yours. 


- Coach yourself on the negatives of your bad habit and why you should quit. Do some research on your bad habit (if possible) and it might make you think a little differently.


- Let go of your anxiety and fears, or any emotion that would trigger you to partake in your bad habit. Think about something else, put your mind somewhere else when you feel it coming on. 


- Make a pro/con list for you to see the positives and negatives written down about your bad habits.  Some people are visual and do better seeing it with their own two eyes.


We aren’t perfect, so we all know we might slip up a few times. Don’t beat yourself up, just get back on track the next day and continue to make positive changes. Set reasonable/ attainable goals for yourself and reward yourself when you reach those goals.

As we get closer to the end of 2017, it is a perfect time to replace our bad habits and go into 2018 feeling good.  Good luck working on breaking your bad habits!

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