Most of us have bad habits we’d like to break, but it’s tough.

The majority of us have at least one habit that nags us because we know we shouldn’t do it, but it’s difficult to get out of the mental cycle that can surround that pattern and make a long-term change.

Bad habits can not just be mentally annoying to us, but they’re often bad for our health and in some cases they can drain our time, energy and even our money.

Below are some general tips that help you cut out bad habits from your life, and maybe even replace them with good ones.

Write Down When You’re Engaging In Your Habit

One of the first steps to truly breaking a habit is being cognizant and mindful not just that you’re doing it, but when you’re doing it. This can potentially also show you why you’re doing it, and knowing your motivation is a good way to cut it out.

Write down every time you engage in your bad habit, and maybe a few details about the situation you’re in when you do it. For example, if your bad habit is drinking too much wine at night, write down when you seem to do that most often and what leads up to it.

A lot of people don’t know what’s leading them to their bad habit and they don’t know what their triggers are to continue doing it, which is why awareness and mindfulness are so important. Once you’ve identified potential triggers by looking at patterns in your life, you can start cutting those triggers out.

Start with Incremental Steps

With some bad habits, such as smoking, it can be useful to move away from it incrementally, rather than trying to go cold turkey. For example, if you’re a smoker, consider using a vaporizer as a way to help you quit gradually.

If you spend too much money shopping, set a weekly limit for yourself, and try to reduce it over time.

Focus on What You’re Going to Do Instead

Rather than framing the cessation of a bad habit as what you need to stop doing, try to frame it in your mind as what you’re going to do instead. Choose a healthier, productive action you can engage in when you’re tempted to go back to your old bad habit.

This puts the concept of stopping the habit in a more positive light, and it also shifts your focus.

A lot of bad habits can simply be the result of boredom, so a replacement approach can help you combat this.

Commit To Someone Else

Finally, if you really want to eliminate a bad habit from your life, make a commitment to another person. This can be your spouse, your friend or anyone who’s close to you.

When someone else is holding you accountable, it can make it easier to cut out the bad behavior . We tend to be more likely to stick with things when someone else knows about them, versus only having a commitment to ourselves.

Author's Bio: 

Motivational speaker and writer