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Tutor Teacher Dante 's Column

How to Break a Bad Habit

Weekly Topic: Any Advice for students who will be Studying Abroad?

Jul 12, 2021

Bad habits can have a toxic effect on your life. They can hinder your relationships, cause physical and emotional health problems, and prevent you from performing at your highest efficiency-level. Even small, bad habits can wreak havoc in your life, particularly when you have multiple bad habits that block your progress or success.

Think about it...

Recognize Your Patterns

Is your habit something you do consciously? What feelings are associated with your habit? When does the habit tend to happen most often? Spend a day tracking your behavior. Identify your emotional, topic, location / environment, and your situational related triggers. Make note of the things that often happen together. When several occur at the same time, it may be more difficult to recognize the individual elements.

Follow the 21/90 Rule

The 21/90 rule is the idea that if you follow anything for 21 days, you will develop a habit, and then after 90 days of following that same habit, it will become permanent. You will no longer need your full concentration and determination to get it done. To be successful, you need to set up a system that ensures you follow the habit for 21 days straight. Phone alarms, schedules, or color charts are a great way to keep track.

Expect Setbacks

It’s a bad habit for a reason, and it will be hard to break. Expect moments of weakness and create strategies that get you back on your feet. While you will fail some days, you can prevent yourself from further setback by not dwelling on it. Acknowledge your setback, highlight ways to avoid it, or create a better habit to replace it with.

Highlight the Consequences of Your Bad Habit

If you don’t break your bad habit, what would be the outcome? Could you handle the disappointment and continue ten years from now? For example, if you continue to live a sedentary life, ultimately, you will reduce your life expectancy. When you understand your consequences, it can better motivate you to develop better habits.

Visualize it And Believe it

Visualize and imagine your success. Use a variety of methods to make your visualizations more realistic. Include details about when, where, and how you see yourself when you replace your bad habit with a good habit. Believe in your ability to break the habit. You can’t expect success if you don’t believe in yourself. Starting your journey off negatively will only lead to negative results.

Be Realistic

Give yourself time, and don’t expect perfection. Be sure the habits you want to change are unhealthy, and remember that it can be easy to replace a bad habit with another bad habit. Even exercise can become unhealthy if you take it too far.

Don’t let bad habits sneak up on you and prevent you from living a happy and successful life. Make it a point to change bad habits by replacing the habit with something that helps you live a full and happy life.


“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”- Warren Buffe

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”- Charles Duhigg

Questions for you

What kind of person am I? What am I interested in? What kind of strategies will set me up for success? Do you visualize yourself succeeding?What do you replace your bad habit with?

See you in class,


This column was published by the author in their personal capacity.
The opinions expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Cafetalk.

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