The 5 Steps I Take to Break Bad Habits.

The 5 Steps I Take to Break Bad Habits.


We all have habits we wish we could get rid of. Those things we want to stop doing, but seemingly can’t.  Some of us want to stop eating junk food and live a healthier life. Others want to stop drinking or doing drugs.  For many men, it’s an addiction to porn they want to get over.  For women, well I’m not a woman so I don’t know.  Whatever your vice is stopping a bad habit (or starting a good one) can seem impossible.

I have my own habits that I had to overcome, and while some were easy, others were not.  Below I will give the steps I took to overcome many of my bad habits.

Acknowledge The Problem.

Acknowledging a bad habit can the hardest step in overcoming it.  Many are too prideful to admit that they have a problem and will thus make the choice to continue to live with it.  The shame that would come from acknowledging it may seem more painful than to continue it. For others, it’s just a sense of “I can do this on my own”.

For me, it was things that affected my spirituality.  Things that others thought ok, but my faith said otherwise. I struggled with this for a couple years and decided I had to stop living a life of always asking forgiveness for things I knew were wrong. I acknowledged the issue, I took responsibility for my lack of self-control. I said enough was enough and took the necessary steps to break my bad habits.

Stop Feeding the Beast.

Anything that lives needs to be fed. Animals, plants, they cannot live unless they feed.  The same is true for bad habits.  The more we feed a habit, the longer it lives and the harder it is to get rid of.

My diet was a big issue for me.  It was so easy to stop on the way home from work and grab a Whopper meal from Burger King, knowing that stuff is packed with calories and has the nutritional value of crack cocaine.  I had to force myself to eat healthier. I stopped eating fast food, stopped drinking sugary drinks like soda until eventually the taste for it died.  I don’t crave that stuff anymore.

I had a friend who told me he had a problem with lust and pornography.  He said he wanted to stop, but the urge was too strong. Anytime he saw an attractive woman, he would instantly have thoughts of sexually conquering her.  I told him that porn is no different than any drug.  The rush of chemicals to the brain is the same, and all he is doing is getting a “fix”.  Equating his habit to that of a drug addict made him want to stop immediately.

I advised that he wear a rubber band on his wrist and whenever he saw a beautiful woman and that urge came on, snap the band and make it hurt. When he got the urge to watch porn, snap the band and shut down the device or computer immediately. If a certain television show or song triggered his habit, turn it off immediately.  Go for a walk, read a book, play a video game, whatever you need to do to starve the beast.  Stop feeding the beast and eventually, it will die.

Stop Obsessing Over Things You Don’t Have Or Control.

Being a single middle-aged man isn’t easy.  I know I don’t want to be single forever and know one day I will meet the right woman.  However, at one point this want became somewhat of an obsession and it made me miserable.  I would get into bad relationships and make bad decisions based on emotions and it always made things worse.  Always back at square one.  So decided to stop obsessing over it.


I found that when I made a conscious effort to not think about it and focus my thoughts on other things, the obsession went away.  I filled my day with other positive things.  I joined the gym, volunteered, read more, started a blog, I kept myself busy so that I didn’t have time to obsess over negative things.  Now I can look back and I can’t believe that I had the obsession.  I no longer dwell on it because I stopped thinking about it.

When fighting bad habits find a way to occupy yourself with something positive.  The less you think about it, the less likely you are to do it.  I’m not saying it’ll happen overnight. However, every day that you practice doing things positive, the less you do the negative, and the positive things become a habit.

Related Post: Save Yourself From Heartbreak. The 8 Warning Signs That You Are Dangerously Infatuated.

Would You Be Embarrassed If What You Do In Private Became Public?

If the answer to this question is yes, maybe you need to stop doing it. As some of you may know I am a single father of two sons.  What if my boys caught me doing whatever it was I was doing behind closed doors or sneaking off to do.  Would I feel ashamed?  Are you are in a relationship or married? If what you were concealing from your spouse became public knowledge, would it ruin your relationship?

We see on the news almost every day the politician or celebrity caught up in some foolishness they could have easily avoided.  Marriages are broken up, careers ended, and lives destroyed because of bad habits.  Reports that take years to build can be ruined in a matter of minutes.

Below are the rules I live by when it comes to decisions I make in life.

  • Do I have to sneak to do it?
  • Will I be ashamed if found out?
  • Do I feel ashamed when engaging in this certain activity?
  • Do I feel bad when I’m doing whatever it is I was doing?
  • Would I want my children to do this?
  • Do I judge others negatively when they do this?

If the answer to any of these is yes, you don’t need to do it.


What You Don’t Control Will Control You.

I have to admit that I am kind of a prideful person.  The idea of anything “controlling” me sounds absurd.  Yet, when I allow anything or anyone to persuade make me do something I want to stop doing, I am a slave to whatever or whoever that is.  Whether it be lustful desires, a bad relationship, substance abuse, whatever.  If you don’t check it, it controls you.  Will you allow something, or someone, other than yourself control who you are?


We all have our vices. We all have things we want to change.  Just know that whatever you may be going through isn’t unique to you. I’m not saying this to belittle you, what I am saying is that other people struggled and have overcome exactly what you are struggling to overcome now.  That’s just a part of life.  Stop feeding the beast, stop obsessing over your faults, have a high moral compass, and take control.  Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Terrell Cotton PicI am a motivational blogger and a full-time single father of two sons who are his heart and soul. My blog is dedicated to helping people become better versions of themselves by telling my own life lessons and motivating them to become more and live a mentally and spiritually successful life.






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