How To Overcome Bad Habits That Are Holding You Back

Bad habits are something that nearly everyone has. They vary, of course, but the bottom line is that when you’re defining something as being a “bad” habit, it means that it’s something that you’re fed up with or want to change. That’s a good thing because the first part of overcoming bad habits is to be able to realize that they’re things that you no longer want to do. Maybe your habit is harmful to your health. Maybe you have a habit that bothers people around you. Maybe your habit is one you do in secret. None of the details really matter. The only thing that matters is that you recognize the behaviour and that you want to begin to put a stop to it.

Understand Your Behavior

Why do you smoke? Why do you overeat? Why do you spend more money than you should? These questions aren’t easy to answer, but no matter what your bad habits, start by figuring out why you do them, even though these things aren’t making you happy or healthy. When you understand the why, fixing the problem is easier. For example, maybe you drink too much because you’re around friends who like to drink. An easy solution is to hang out with these friends less often or in non-drinking situations.


Overcoming a bad habit isn’t something that is going to happen overnight, and it’s definitely hard for those of us who prefer instant gratification. When you undertake a life change, you want to see results right away. Unfortunately for most people, quitting a habit is something that requires time and effort, as well as suffering through some pitfalls. Be patient and loving with yourself and don’t let small setbacks discourage you from continuing and making progress.

Set Goals

In any lifestyle change, one of the most useful tools you can use comes with making a set of goals to achieve. Setting small goals is one of the best ways that you will give yourself the confidence that you so desperately need in this time of vulnerability. As you begin to pass some of these milestones, you will see your progress towards your bigger goals of better habits and step away from the reliance that you may have had on your old habits.

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Replace Your Bad Habits

If you’re busy doing other stuff, the bad habits you have might not be as tempting. Living life without these negative habits is not easy at first, but it can be easier when you replace your habitual behaviours with healthy and useful ones. When you start to feel yourself slipping into your zone of justifiability,  reroute your thought process by busying yourself elsewhere. Try going for a walk or doing dishes at first, followed by real hobbies which can begin to consume the time you may have otherwise spent performing those habits you wish to break. Consider a dance or pottery class, starting to jog every day with a friend, going back to school for a master’s degree, or taking up a fun water activity like boating. Choose hobbies that fit your new life goals so you can get addicted to positive things.

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