Saturday, February 29

How to break bad habits


WITH the beginning of 2020 and a new decade, some of you may have decided to make a better change for yourselves.

This can involve breaking some bad habits – habits that prevent you from achieving your personal or professional success as they are detrimental to your physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing.

On the Internet, you can find countless of articles listing a number of bad habits to give up, but equally important is the effort you need to take to make it happen.

So how should you quit these habits? First off, you need to identify which habit you want to change and why.

Your reasons for breaking this habit should ideally be precise and personal that you can commit yourself to the change and reap the rewards in the long run.

Here are some other ways that can guide you in breaking your bad habits:

Study your habits

Before you can start changing yourself, you need to be more informed about your bad habits.

Observe and ask yourself the way you engage with them, like how, when, where and why they happen; is there any personal or situational trigger or routine that allow them to take place; who are you with when you do them; and many more.

By understanding the root cause of your bad habits, you’ll be able to come up with more effective means to tackle them.

Replace the bad with the good

Experts suggest that because bad habits usually satisfy certain individual needs, replacing them with healthier activities would help break them easier.

This is because simply restraining yourself by “not doing it” would backfire on your efforts, and you could end up engaging in your bad habits more often than before.

Thus, find healthier substitutes that give similar benefits, and then constantly practise them so that you won’t fall back to your old bad habits.

Do it with others

If you find it difficult breaking your bad habits by yourself, look for people who are trying to do the same.

You can work together with a strong support network to quit negative behaviours by setting challenges for each other, sharing plans and ensuring that each of you is accountable for your own progress.

Your network could be your family members, friends or people that you encounter within your local community or even online forums.


Always remember that should you fail to break your bad habits, nothing is stopping you from trying again until you succeed.

Quitting established bad habits is harder than forming new good ones, but once you’ve achieved it, you’ll find yourself more empowered than before to overcome challenges in your life.

So have patience and persevere towards becoming a better you in 2020 and beyond.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.