How To Break A Bad Habit And Improve Your Life

how to break a bad habit and improve your life

Our everyday life is controlled by our habits​. Throughout your life you managed to develop quite a lot of habits and now your everyday actions are based on those habits. Sadly, but not all of those habits are healthy. Everyone has or at least had bad habits before. And some of those habits could have a huge negative impact on your life. It’s no wonder that you might have question like “How to break a bad habit and improve the quality of your life”.

Swearing, spiting, bragging, poor posture, smoking, drinking, eating junk food, using devices at night, spending too much time on the internet, feeling negative about everything, doing drugs and various other bad habits. I’m pretty sure you have or had some experiences with at least one of these bad habits. I had most of them…

After you decide to stop your bad habits you might start thinking that it’s really hard to stop doing something that you’ve been doing for quite a while now. The first thing you should do when trying to break a bad habit, is start replacing it with a good habit.

Bad habits give us some psychological benefits for a short amount of time, for example, smoking a cigarette might relieve stress for you. It makes you feel good but the stress still remains there. To replace a bad habit you should observe what benefit you are getting from it. If it relieves stress, find a healthy way to relieve your stress without smoking a cigarette and it will become much easier to quit smoking.

How To Break A Bad Habit And Never Have It Again

There are quite few strategies and tips for breaking your habits but you must remember that it all starts with you. If you don’t take action, you’ll never be able to do it.

1. Find Out What Triggers Them

It’s really important to realize that all of your habits get triggered by someone or something. Sometimes you get used to your bad habit so much that you won’t even realize you’re doing it. Are you consuming more cigarettes when you’re around people who smoke ? Do you have cravings to drink alcohol when you’re at a party but feel no need to drink when you’re alone ?

The point is, if you start observing yourself and try to find the reason that’s causing your bad habit to trigger, only then will you be able to take action and get rid of the habit for good. But observing is not as easy as it sounds. You have to maintain focused all the time. It’s hard to understand your emotions at first but as your self-observation skills improve, by time you’ll be able to take control of your emotions and resist doing actions that trigger your habit. By observing you can start taking more control of your life.

2. Always Focus On One Bad Habit At A Time

You’d be quite surprised how many people make this mistake. One day after getting all motivational and pumped, Johnny decides to change his lifestyle for the better. He decides that he should ditch all his bad habits at once because he realized that all those habits have massive unwanted outcomes in his life. He starts searching the internet with phrases like “How to break a bad habit and never have one again”, “how to forget all your bad habits forever” and so on.

Johnny then starts to feel even better about himself because now he has a strategy to quit all of his unhealthy habits. But after a few days (or 20 minutes) of trying to forget his habits, Johnny starts to get huge urges to do all the stuff he just quit. After a few more days it started feeling like endless torture, so Johnny chose the easy way out because he couldn’t control him self anymore.

But little did he know that it would’ve been much easier to control his urges if it came only from one source. The more you are trying to accomplish at once, the harder it will be to accomplish your goals. Try to do one thing at a time until you’re satisfied with the results. It’s much easier this way. So don’t make the same mistake as Johnny did!

3. Finding An Alternative

When trying to break a bad habit it’s much easier to do it when you have an alternative to replace it with. For example, if you never smoke but after having a few drinks you start chain-smoking, then stop drinking or reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.

If you eat a lot of junk food when you have it in your fridge, then stop buying junk food and keeping it in your house. I find it really easy to resist junk food when I don’t have any at all. But if there’re some sweets in my house, I’ll keep thinking about it until I decide that I deserve a little snack and then I’ll eat everything the fridge throws at me.

Another great way to overcome junk food addiction is to simply eat low calorie snacks when you’re having cravings. Eat some fruits or veggies. Get used to healthy food and you won’t need as much junk food as before.

There’s always alternatives that will reduce or banish your cravings.

Break your smoking habit

4. Visualization Is An Important Factor

If you can’t see yourself as able to quit your bad habit, then you will fail in the end. You must visualize your success​, feel like you’ve already quit. Imagine getting rid of all the junk food in your fridge. Visualize crushing all your cigarettes.

Imagine having all the benefits of breaking the bad habit you’re looking to break. Keep telling yourself that you’ve already done it. It takes time to master your visualizations but as long as you keep repeating to your brain that you successfully replaced your bad habits with good ones, by time it will become a reality.

5. Look For All The Negative Effects Of The Bad Habit

When trying to break a bad habit, it really helped me a lot when started reading or watching a lot of videos about the bad sides of the habit I wanted to get rid of. I started realizing that it’s doing so much bad for my health and for my whole lifestyle. Sometimes you even hear some horrible side effects that you never thought it’s effecting you.

This on it’s own might not be enough to finally quit your unhealthy behaviors but it’s a great start that leads to your first actions. And even when you know all the unhealthy effects, whenever you feel urges just watch a video or read an article to remind yourself about the consequences to get extra motivation to keep going.

Take Control

Just keep tracking your goals and results. You might not succeed on your first try. In fact, you most likely won’t. Keep track of everything and take it slow. One step at a time and take full control of your cravings. Remember, focus on one habit at a time.

It requires lots of patience and willpower to successfully brake all bad habits but it’s really important to to lose these habits if you want to have a healthier and happier lifestyle!

If you have more tips and strategies on how to break a bad habit and improve the quality of your life​, then feel free to share them in the comments.

18 thoughts on “How To Break A Bad Habit And Improve Your Life”

  1. Simon says:

    My bad habit was smoking. Although I enjoyed puffing away I found myself forced into finding a way to quit due to social pressure to be honest, I felt like an outcast.

    Trying to quit after 30 years is no easy task unlike the media seems to promote. Personally I turned to vaping due to being priced out of my enjoyment.

    6 months down the line I have moved from 18 mg of nicotine down to 3 mg which is one mighty step for me. Next year I would like to wean myself off nicotine altogether. Here’s hoping.
    Did you used to be a smoker?

    1. Donny says:

      Yes, it’s very hard to quit smoking especially if you’ve been smoking for a very long time. It’s rooted deep into your subconscious mind and that’s the reason it’s so hard to get rid of this bad habit.

      I’ve used to smoke but I quit, because I felt like it was doing me a lot of harm!

  2. Hollie Rose says:

    My worst bad habits are probably being negative and losing patience with my kids. Probably being negative is connected to losing patience. I really don’t know what triggers it- its just a way of life- in fact the way I’ve always been and probably part of my DNA. I know its something I have to work on but its something I have a really hard time with. I like your tip on visualisation. I think I’m going to give that a go! If you have any other tips please let me know:))

    1. Donny says:

      A lot of people suffer from being negative all the time. It’s a really big problem that brings you down. You should start observing your thoughts and once you catch yourself thinking something negative, shift your thoughts to something positive. Tell yourself that you are positive all the time.

      It won’t happen overnight but the more you do it, the more positive you will become and this will feel very natural to you. 

      If you want to improve, you have to beat all your obstacles. I know it’s hard, most things in life are hard, but only with constant action you can improve your lifestyle!

  3. Eliane says:

    I’ve been researching a bit about habits (good and bad ones) for a while now and I thought this article is very interesting with effective tips.

    I actually like breaking bad habits because whenever that happens it means I have the situation under control.

    One method that helps me is turning “simple” bad habits into complex actions. I’ll explain: let’s say I love watching TV and I have the bad habit of getting home from work and going directly to the couch, spending hours in front of the television instead of going to the gym or spending time with my family.

    It’s a “simple” habit, right? All I have to do is walk to the couch, get the remote and sit down for long hours.

    But what if I turn this into a much complex action? Instead of leaving the remote on the couch waiting for me, I could take the batteries out of the remote, place them in my bedroom and the remote on top of the TV set.

    This way, when I get home and try to turn the TV on I’ll remember that the batteries are all the way in the bedroom. This will give me time to think about the situation, remember all the consequences of this bad habit and make the right decision of going to the gym instead of watching TV.

    Based on your idea, this would be a good time to read an article or watch a video on the cell phone about those bad consequences. 😀

    Thanks for the article. I really enjoyed it.

    1. Donny says:

      I think you’ve got yourself a great way to break simple habits! I never thought about doing that. I used to watch TV all the time as well but I took other kinds of actions than you did!

  4. Jordan says:

    This is a great and informative post. I have a nasty habit of drinking too much pop. I really need to stop drinking it and eat a lot healthier. Part of the reason may be to a traumatic experience I had last year, which trigged comfort eating. I gained 40 pounds.

    1. Donny says:

      Take your time and take one step at a time. Breaking your habits might take some time, just focus on one habit at a time.

  5. james says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your post on this. Really useful post on this tricky topic. I have also fallen into that trap of trying to fix too many bad habits at once, rather than just focusing on one and putting a dedicated effort into it. Would you mind sharing some of your habits you’ve broken using this method?


    1. RichPersonality says:

      Most people have fallen into this trap. The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes which will allow you to be ready or the next time you attempt to lose your bad habits. 

      I’ve successfully quit smoking, lowered the amount of junk food I consume, became a morning person instead of a night owl, play less video games and many more things!

  6. Geno says:


    Great article! Self-awareness and visualization are two vitally important steps I’ve found to help me break most of my bad habits.

    I never thought about it until I read your article but your right about focusing on one habit at a time. Focusing on breaking more than one bad habit at a time led me to feeling overwhelmed and ultimately burn out.

    Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza is also a great book I’d recommend that has a lot to do with what you’re talking about here.

    Thanks for sharing this and keep up the great work!

    All the best,


    1. RichPersonality says:

      It’s the biggest mistake everyone does… Trying to brake all habits at once is nearly impossible. You must have incredible willpower to do so.

      Self-awareness and visualization are amazing “skills” to have because it helps with everything you’re doing in your life, not only braking bad habits!

  7. Robert says:

    Great Piece.

    Like everyone else I have had a few bad habits in my time. You hit it on the button for resolving the issue.

    Paying attention to what triggers them sure makes sense as I look back. Somewhere along the line that was the thing that really helped the process.

    Now, with my present habit I think that is the problem. I need to focus on just that one. Not perfect yet. Ha.

    Thank you so much for the heads up. Still got some work to do on myself.

    What is the most important lesson you have learned?

    1. RichPersonality says:

      The most important lesson I’ve learnt was to visualize myself that I’ve already broken the habit. Keep telling yourself that you don’t have the bad habit anymore and your mind will eventually attract this reality. 

  8. Stephen says:

    Great post! You cover all the points well and I think the most important thing is finding out what triggers the bad habit. If you can’t get to the root of the problem then you have no way of finding a solution.

    I also feel that seeing what a negative effect certain things have on our body is also a stimulating factor in breaking a habit.

    1. RichPersonality says:

      Self observation is a must if you want to get rid of your habits! And seeing the negative effects really helped me by increasing motivation a lot. 

  9. Joshua says:

    This is a great article! I was reading an excellent book a while back called “The Power Of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. He was talking about this concept called the habit loop…

    Apparently, with every habit, there’s always a Trigger > Routine > Reward – and it goes in a circle. Basically, if you’re able to change one of these things, you break the loop and can change the habit. It’s really fascinating!

    Loved your article! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. RichPersonality says:

      Yes, this book is really good. Lot’s of valuable information in there. It all comes down to observing yourself to identify all the triggers, routines and rewards to be able to brake your habits!

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