How to break a bad habit

Life is very cyclical and as such so are habits. We can form them to become a part of our ‘being’ and yet we forget that we can also release ourselves of a bad habit by ‘breaking’ the cycle.

Habits are a part and parcel of us, our Achilles heel in fact. I have noticed over the years that no matter what changes I made to my external world; my habits followed me around. Now this is not a problem if we are talking about biting one’s nails, I suffer myself and it is not detrimental to my life. However, it becomes difficult when allowing a habit, that is detrimental to your health, to continue to serve its purpose and to take over your live.

When I was younger trying to stop biting my nails was simpler and it worked well with a new routine and my mothers’ encouragement to reinforce that the habit was not needed. Learning how to break a bad habit was seen as easy by our parents – identify what we want to stop doing and to simply stop doing it. As an adult that’s easier said than done, especially with modern day life stresses. I have found myself in recent stressful years of my life, biting my nails. The once bad habit, has reared its ugly head again, almost something soothing, like a ‘comfort blanket’. As I bite my nails, in anxious times, I am aware of it being a default setting to my childhood. To give me relief and comfort at a subconscious level, as I will sense my mothers’ presence as she helped me to break the habit in the first place.

Now biting my nails and leaving washing up in the sink overnight will not affect my life per say, but other bad habits that can stop you from being happy and functioning in life will need help to change. I have read so many books and tried so many ways to stop basic annoying habits to more detrimental ones and I have established a few things that have worked for me. I would like to share with you what I find to be powerful and rather effective when breaking any bad habits that I have had in my life to date:

  • I start with choosing (identify your trigger and list them out) and implementing (write down a way to replace the bad habit) a small daily change, which over time becomes imbedded into my life.
  • I share my bad habit with a close friend, who I am then accountable to for the change. This accountability keeps me ‘on track’ when it feels too hard to maintain. They can encourage me and also stop me from indulging in my bad habit.
  • I stay focused by tracking my progress every day. I use a calendar and mark an ‘X’ through every day that I go without that guilty pleasure or bad habit. This way it is clear how far I have come, when I look back and reflect.

Achieving one’s goals in life is pivotal in keeping both mentally well and ‘balanced’. I know from personal experience that bad habits can be so detrimental to your life that they can cause you to fail, which is tragic. If you have any habits that are detrimental to your wellbeing and life, try my strategies above to try and break the cycle. If you are not having much joy please don’t suffer in silence. Bad habits can cause a great deal of self-loathing. It may feel an impossible task to ditch a bad habit, but I can help. With the right strategies, light can be seen at the end of the tunnel. An old habit can be kicked to the curb and replaced with a healthier habit.

I can help you to overcome bad habits. Make a positive step today and contact me for further help at




Scroll to Top