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Is It Possible to Change Your Habits?

February 28, 2021

Everyone has habits. Sometimes habits can be difficult to stop. Contrary to what some might say, it is entirely possible to change your habits. You can stop doing things you don’t want to do, and start building new, positive habits that help you be happier and more productive. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in the struggle of learning how to replace old habits with new ones – nearly everyone has habits that they wish that they could break. If you apply yourself to changing your habits, you will be able to emerge from the process as a fresh person with beneficial habits.

Recognizing the Habits You Wish to Stop

When attempting to break a habit, it is crucial to be completely honest with yourself about your behavior. For example, if you want to stop eating junk food, be highly specific about when it is that you are most vulnerable to engaging in this habit. Rather than just vaguely deciding to eat healthier, pinpoint exactly what behavior it is that you would like to curb. By knowing exactly what it is that you’re trying to change, you will likely be better equipped to break the habit.

It can be helpful to make a written statement about the habit that you wish to stop engaging in. By writing it down, you will be forced to specifically address the habit that you wish to break, which will help you internalize your desire to create change. Refer to your statement often, especially when you are experiencing a lack of motivation and willpower. Being specific in your goal and writing it down will maximize your potential for breaking a habit successfully.

Knowing Where to Start 

If you have held a habit for a long time, it can feel overwhelming to try to break it off all at once. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling like you’re facing an insurmountable task. Overcoming an ingrained habit can be daunting, and you may be better off if you begin with minor changes. For example, if you want to stop watching television, start with one to two days a week without it. It is important to stay steadfast in your commitment to breaking your habit and hold yourself accountable for your actions.

By sticking to your self-imposed rule, you will gradually build both the self-confidence and willpower required to break a habit. Making these seemingly modest changes will have a large impact on the likelihood of your future success. After making minor changes, make sure to celebrate your victories. As time goes on, gradually increase the changes. By breaking your habit gradually, you are making yourself more likely to stick to your plan and ultimately break your habit without going back. 

Logging Your Progress

Visual representations have been proven to help our minds fully understand and internalize the progress that we’ve been making. Make sure to log your successes and failures as you go along on your journey of self-improvement. You can buy a notebook or even a poster board and use it as a log to track your progress. After a month, you will be able to visually perceive your momentum towards your goal. Knowing that you are making progress can provide you with a large boost in motivation and self-confidence. 

Having a physical representation of how capable you are will aid you in keeping your willpower strong and healthy. Keeping track of your habit changing is also a great way to keep it fresh in your mind at all times, helping you keep your eyes on the prize. By logging your habit-changing progress, you put yourself in a better position to achieve your goals. 

Don’t Let Setbacks Deter You

If you go through periods of stagnation, regression, or even full-on reimmersion in your old ways, don’t let that deter you from wanting to ultimately change your habits. Everyone experiences times of waning willpower and motivation. Your setbacks don’t define your potential to succeed; rather, how you react to your setbacks will define your ability to keep moving forward. Know that it is ok to fail sometimes, just make sure that you don’t let your failures stop you from getting back on the horse.

Changing habits can be difficult, especially if they’ve been in place for a long time, and no one can be expected to change a habit in a single day. If you stay committed to making a difference in your ways, setbacks will be nothing more than minor bumps in the road. By making the decision to not let failure stop you, you’re setting yourself up to achieve your goals and change your habits. 


Though it may seem like a daunting challenge, you can change your habits if you put in the effort. It is beneficial to begin by recognizing the specific habit that you wish to break, then start making minor changes to your habits and work your way up. By gradually changing your habits, you can tackle your goal in more manageable chunks. Logging your progress can be a helpful tool for keeping you accountable and motivated. Finally, It is important not to let your setbacks define how you feel; recovery and self-improvement are a process, and the only thing that matters is not giving up. For more information about mental wellness and addiction therapy, reach out to True Recovery located in beautiful Orange County, California. We provide personalized guidance and resources for mental health, addiction, sobriety, and self-improvement of many kinds. You don’t have to make it harder on yourself by going it alone. Call us now at (866) 399-6528.