Many people have a bad habit they want to change. Whether it’s nail-biting, knuckle-cracking, or nose-picking, there’s usually something we all want to stop doing.

That’s the problem. Habits can seem impossible to kick. They may appear that way, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way towards fixing your bad habits.

Listen to Sun Tzu, Know Yourself and Your Enemy

The first step to beating a vice is being aware of it when it happens. This may seem like common sense, but that’s not necessarily true.

Most bad habits are just something you just do without thinking about it. They are a natural reaction. With that in mind, if you aren’t aware of when you give in to your habit, it becomes very difficult to correct it.

What triggers you to bite your nails? Is it boredom, nervousness or something else? Knowing what causes the action allows you to get a better idea of how you can stop the habit.

Create a Strategy

Once you’re aware of your bad habit and what triggers it, you can start stopping it. Give yourself the best chance of success by starting small.

Instead of planning to break a habit cold turkey, focus on attainable steps. The trick is to give yourself smaller time frames so there is a finish line you can cross. It can take a month or two to form new habits or break old ones, depending on the individual, so give yourself time.

One tool you can use to beat these thoughts are “but statements.”

Habits become so because they scratch an itch in our brain. This makes it very tempting to give in when you try to quit. One tool you can use to beat these thoughts are “but statements.”

But statements are when you add a positive on the end of a tempting thought. When you find yourself thinking “I wish I could bite my nails,” add “But my nails look much better now that I’ve stopped.”

With a Little Help from My Friends

As with most things, your family and friends have your back. Sharing your quitting goal is a great idea. First, it holds you accountable. If your friends and family know you are trying to break a vice, they’ll push you to succeed. Plus, you’re more likely to hold yourself accountable. Who wants to let down their family?

There is no shame in getting help from your support system, either. This is especially true with chemical dependence habits like smoking cigarettes. Often, you’re far more likely to succeed in quitting if your friends and family are aware and supportive.

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Quitting a bad habit is one of the most searched for and requested pieces of advice online. Everyone has something they want to change about themselves. By following these tips, you will be well on your way to succeeding. Here’s one final tip, a freebie.

Patience and forgiveness are important traits to success. You may slide back sometimes, but that’s OK.

Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Patience and forgiveness are important traits to success. You may slide back sometimes, but that’s OK. What’s important is not getting so down on yourself that you give up. That’s when you’ve failed. Stick with it, follow these tips, and you’ll get there!

Further Reading

LifeHacker — 10 Ways to Break a Bad Habits