Bad habits may be hard to change, but it can be done. "The more you do it, the more difficult it is to get rid of it, but every single bad habit can be broken," says Patricia A. Farrell, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Englewood, N.J. and author of How to Be your Own Therapist.
- Avoid temptations. Get help. You don't need to fight your temptations alone.
- Replace unhealthy with healthy behaviors. If you don’t replace your bad habit with something else, you’re bound to go right back to the old behavior.
- Prepare mentally. Keep a journal. Make a note of your feelings and how difficult it was to skip the bad habit and perform the new one. Studies show when you measure behavior and keep accountability of your progress, you are more likely to follow through and succeed.
- Enlist support. Create your own emergency plan for situations. How can you use positive self-talk, support from friends and family, and other positive means of coping to get through difficult times without resorting to your old ways?
- Live a Healthy Lifestyle. When you live a balanced, healthy life, breaking a bad habit becomes that much easier.