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All of us have bad habits. We may smoke, bite nails, crack our knuckles, hit snooze so many times, have poor posture, stay up too late, use mobile phones obsessively, or procrastinate. All these nasty habits interrupt your life and become obstacles to achieving your goals. We all want to change, but we’re comfort-craving critters. Habits are not easy to break. Breaking these bad habits can be challenging, especially if you have been engaging in them for a prolonged time and find them enjoyable. But have no fear! With effort, focus, and planning, we can change our habits. Breaking bad habits can not only change your overall life but boost your confidence and self-esteem and form good habits. In this article, I’ll teach you 15 effective and simple tips on how to get rid of bad habits. Let’s jump into these tips!

Table of Contents

Tips How To Get Rid Of Bad Habits 

Check out these 15 tips to help you on your way. 

1. Identify your triggers and remove them.

Identifying your triggers is the first step to developing a habit. Every habit has a trigger that leads to that habit. Start tracking your habit and pay attention to your trigger. For example, you have identified that you tend to smoke when you’re with a particular friend or after lunch. Or you realize you get to bed later if you start watching Netflix. You have identified your triggers. 

After identifying, you can now cut out these triggers. You decide to talk to your friend and tell him you want to kick this smoking habit. In the other case, you stop watching Netflix at 9 pm. Removing the trigger will help you to get rid of these habits.

2. Identify why you want to change and get motivated.

To successfully break a bad habit, it is essential to know why you want to break or change the habit. Take a few minutes to find the answer to this question and write down the reasons. Write down the upsides of changing the habit and the downsides of continuing it. Listing these things will help you think of all the reasons. It is also best to keep the list with you or put it where you see it regularly in case you need motivation. 

3. Pair up with someone

It is much easier to break a habit when we have more than ourselves. Get your accountability partner and quit together. If you both want to quit smoking, do it together. Both of you can hold each other accountable, encourage each other and cheer each other’s success. 

4. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a valuable tool in the process of getting rid of a bad habit. This practice helps you focus on your thoughts, actions, triggers, and routine behaviors. As you become more aware of your actions and obstacles, it will be easier to block and fight these obstacles and work on changing your habits. 

5. Stick to breaking one habit at one time

Another important tip on how to get rid of bad habits is to stick to busting one pattern at a time. Trying to work on all of your bad habits can split up your focus and willpower. Therefore, it’s best to choose one bad habit and break it rather than rushing the process and ending up diminishing the chances of achieving goals and breaking none of your bad habits.

6. Replace the bad habit with a healthy one

You have a greater chance of breaking a habit if you replace the bad habit with a good one rather than trying to stop the bad habit. For example, if you bite your nails, try chewing gum instead. If you eat fast food late at night, try eating fruit instead. This way, you’re replacing the unwanted habit with one suitable for your health.

Also Read: 7 Ways On How To Stop Overthinking

7. Leave reminders where you will see them.

Sometimes, we keep up bad habits because we forget to stop them. Using sticky notes, stickers, phone alarms, or visual reminders wherever the bad habit happens will help you to rethink your action and not act on the bad habit. If you want to stop eating sweets or snacks, put a sticky note on the fridge. If you’re going to stop watching the TV at 9 pm, set the alarm with a motivating message such as Time to turn off the screen!

8. Prepare for setbacks

Getting rid of a bad habit is challenging. If you fall off into old patterns, don’t give up hope. Minor setbacks and lapses are normal. You need to prepare for them, get back on track and pretend nothing happened. Instead, learn from your failure and understand how to do things differently in the future.

9. Build a plan and track your progress

Build a plan, give yourself milestones, and track your progress along the way. Remember, even small progress matters. It means you’re moving towards your desired goals. Keep a journal and jot down little steps and accomplishments. Also, set a date as your goal when you want to break your bad habit completely. 

Also Read: 7 Tips For Time Management To Help You Be More Productive

10. Setup a punishment and reward system

It is a beneficial tip for changing your habits. Give your friend $100 and ask him to return it to you only when you kick back your habit. That way, if you fail, you’ll lose your money. On the other hand, reward yourself for working on your bad habit. Don’t wait till the end. You can choose economical or non–materialistic rewards. It’ll keep you motivated to work towards your goal.  

11. Change your surroundings

You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you’re trying to get to bed early, but your roommate keeps insisting you stay up late to finish another season of Stranger Things, or if you want to eat a healthy diet and your friends know nothing about kale from spinach, breaking these habits is going to be challenging.

 Therefore, change your surroundings and spend time with the people who have habits you want to adopt and who live the way you want to live. Your environment should be setting you up for success.

12. Visualize yourself succeeding

See yourself waking up early, quitting smoking, drinking plenty of water, or practicing breathing. Whatever the bad habit you’re trying to change, visualize yourself breaking it, smiling, and enjoying success. Visualize yourself building a new identity. 

13. Motivate yourself by scrutinizing the rewards of breaking the habit

Make a list of rewards you will get after breaking your habit. For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, you should look at its rewards. Your health will get better. You’ll have more life to spend time with your loved ones because smoking can cut your life by years. In addition, you’ll save money. This rewards list will boost your motivation and drive to keep trying.

14. Give it time

You can’t get rid of a habit overnight, as it requires time and effort. According to a study, it takes about 21 days to make or break a habit. So, give it time, and don’t rush through the process. The amount of time to break a habit depends on the nature of the habit, how long you have had that habit or whether you have support for breaking the habit. If you feel there is no progress after a few weeks, consider seeking help from a life coach.

15. Don’t go it alone; get support.

It is much easier to break a bad habit if you’ve someone to guide and support you. You might have succeeded in breaking little bad habits such as skipping the gym, eating dinner too late, and scrolling through Instagram with little effort and dedication. However, there are some deeper habits, such as addiction, alcohol misuse, compulsions, or emotional eating. 

To break these habits, you need the support of a life coach. Working through these issues and getting rid of them can be tough. The guidance and support of a life coach can make a huge difference in your habit-crushing process.


The Bottom Line

There you have it- 15 practical tips on how to get rid of bad habits. Breaking bad habits takes effort, dedication, and time. Tiny changes in habits can lead to remarkable results. Therefore, start today, pick one bad habit, follow these tips and try again & again to get rid of it. Don’t be ashamed if you fail. Take it as a learning opportunity and try again till you make it happen. Also, remember to celebrate when you’ve done it. 
Are you struggling with getting rid of any deeper bad habits? Want to change your life and make it better by breaking nasty habits? Feel free to reach out to me via a 60-min free-of-cost discovery session. As a life coach, I’ll help you identify the changes you want, explore things that are blocking you from change, and learn how to counter negative self-talk. Soon your new habits will be established in your daily routine, and they’ll feel like natural old habits. Breaking bad habits is a worthwhile process that lets you level up your personal and professional life.

Develop your confidence starting today with a FREE Discovery Call 
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Picture of Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero, an Elite Transformation and Executive Coach, specializes in high-performance coaching and personal transformation, guiding professionals to peak success and fulfillment. With decades of experience, Vivien empowers high achievers, executives, and entrepreneurs through mindset shifts and strategic development.
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