How To Break Bad Habits & Replace Them With Better Ones!

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I once heard a story about a person who desperately wanted to quit a bad habit. After trying countless times with no success, he decided to try a different tactic – he told his relatives, friends, and acquaintances that he had quit the habit. After that, he had no choice but to live up to his word. It was either that or risk being labeled a liar when people would see that he hadn’t stopped the bad habit. The anecdote gave me a laugh, but of course, I wasn’t brave enough to implement the man’s tactic to break my personal bad habits.

Many of us don’t realize how hard it is to break bad habits until we try to break them. I’ve often wondered why it is that we persist certain habits even though we know they’re bad for us. You would think we’d know better, right? Apparently not. Then I realized that bad habits must provide us with some sort of benefit, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing them.

This realization meant that to break a bad habit we must…

Replace The Bad Habit With A Healthier Habit That Provides A Similar Benefit

Hands holding ripped cigarette.

Quit smoking.

A conversation with a friend opened my eyes to this idea.

After he stopped smoking, he told me that he never enjoyed smoking. “So why did you smoke?” I asked him. “Try breathing in and breathing out,” he said, “that’s what I enjoyed about smoking. It was relaxing. It gave me a break and the opportunity to socialize with other people doing the same thing. Then I realized that I could breathe in and breathe out without ingesting smoke, and I could socialize and take a break even if it wasn’t for a smoke.”

For him, the benefit of smoking was the relaxation that it offered. He was able to successfully quit smoking by replacing smoking with other activities that gave him the same benefits. At the same time, he also started a new job and adopted a change in routine, which brings us to the next tip for breaking bad habits.

Change In Routine

A change in routine also helps. Keeping yourself busy gives you less time to miss the bad habit or consider going back to it. I find that creating a full, exciting schedule for myself especially helps me to overcome procrastination which is one habit I’d prefer to get rid of. As the saying goes: If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it!

Eliminate Temptations To Return To The Habit

Dark chocolate with cocoa powder.

Dark chocolate.

If you have a weakness for chocolate (that’s me, guilty as charged!) don’t store ten bars of chocolate in your pantry. I know by now that it is dangerous for me to buy more than one or two bars at a time. It’s a lot harder to hold back from something when it’s readily available. If having my chocolate means a trip to the grocery and back, well that’s another story. Sometimes it pays to be lazy.

Pair Up With Someone

Two friends laughing with one blowing bubble gum.

Friends supporting each other.

Joining forces with another person or with a group can boost your motivation. There’s nothing like getting support from other people and having someone (or a squad!) cheering you on. You don’t have to tell the entire world that you are in the process of breaking a bad habit, but if you can share it with your close friends or relatives, you will probably have an easier time breaking the bad habit.

Trying to break a bad habit? Don’t keep it to yourself. Share your victories with other people – you deserve their compliments and admiration! And you will be a lot less likely to return to your bad habit.


So those are my recommendations for breaking bad habits. I shall now work to implement them in my own life (practice what you preach, eh?). Best of luck breaking your personal bad habits! It’s not easy but it is achievable, so don’t get discouraged. Luckily, we can now cheer each other on!