Breaking Bad Habits

breaking bad habitsBad habits are probably something we all have.  You might be totally aware of what they are, or you might be doing them on total auto-pilot without much thought.  Whether it’s something like eating when you’re stressed, procrastinating, or just wasting time on mindless activities, there are all things that we probably want to work on not doing anymore.  This past weekend I was reading The Compound Effect  by Darren Hardy, and he had an entire section dedicated to talking about breaking bad habits.  So I wanted to share his tips for  breaking bad habits.

1. Identify The Root Cause

Our bad habits likely all have a root cause or something that triggers them.  It’s different for everyone.  It could be a time of day, when you’re around someone in particular, a mood you’re in, etc.  It’s something that causes you to react and fall into your bad habit.  When it comes to nutrition, for a lot of people that may be boredom or stress.  Or it can even be social pressure, if you’re with other people and don’t want to feel weird only eating healthy things so you indulge on bad foods.  The key here is to identify what triggers your bad habit.  The first step is understanding what causes it.  If you don’t know the cause, it will be a lot harder to get rid of.

2. Clean House

For me this is an absolute must.  You’ve got to get rid of the temptation or triggers.  I like to think of this when it comes to food.  Do you have a problem snacking on chips or ice cream late at night?  Then throw that junk out!  Don’t keep it around!  If you don’t have that stuff in your pantry or fridge, then you won’t be able to eat it.  And guess what, the other people in your family don’t really need it either.  I take this one to heart.  If we have junk food around I will eat it, so I do my best to make sure it’s not in our house.  I just know that’s how I am and like to stop myself before I even get the chance to start.

3. Replace It

If you just threw everything out or avoided everything that would be no fun and wouldn’t really work.  Once you get rid of the bad habit, you need to replace it with something else!  So if you have a habit of sitting on the couch and watching tv for hours and want to stop, then you can replace that with a number of different things.  Pick a book you want to read.  Go on a walk.  Get together with friends and catch up on life.  The key here is replacing it with something better.  If you like to snack at certain times, replace the chips for a healthy option like fruit, vegetables, greek yogurt, etc.  Find something positive to fill that void with.

4. Take it Easy

There are really two options for breaking the bad habit.  The first on is to take it easy.  Don’t go cold turkey if that’s going to be too stressful.  The example Darren gives in the book is when he and his wife decided to switch to decaf coffee.  They didn’t just go all in and make the switch.  They gradually changed from regular to decaf.  Each week, they would keep changing their coffee to a higher percentage of decaf until they were strictly drinking decaf.  They avoided any withdrawals that people normally talk about and enjoyed the fact that they didn’t get those bad headaches.  So for you, easing in might be the way to go.

5. Go All In

On the other hand, you might need to make that drastic change and go cold turkey.  This seems to work better if smoking or drinking is your issue.  Instead of easing in, sometimes things just need to be totally gone.  It’s a mentality that can be difficult for some, but for others work perfectly.  You might just need to draw a line in the sand and say you’re done with your bad habit.  That’s a great way to go if you’re that type of person.

So those are 5 great tips for breaking bad habits from Darren Hardy.  I know I’ve used these effectively and still think about them in my daily life.  One thing that has helped me a lot is to have people that can support me and cheer me on as I make the changes too.  If you’re trying to do this solo, that can be tough.  Join me team for free and we will be more than happy to help you make the change!



  1. […] popular post I wrote was about Breaking Bad Habits.  Do you have bad habits that you’d like to get rid of?  I think we all probably do if […]

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