Change Your Bad Habits

by Taylor Smith, CHOP5 Wellness Blogger

Have you ever desired to change your actions or the way you live your life, but didn’t know how to begin? I guarantee that most people can relate to this! Breaking a bad habit is difficult, but it’s worth it in the end on so many levels. So, I will give insight into how to break your bad habits!


Step 1:  Recognize your bad habit

Oftentimes, you realize on your own that you have a bad habit you need to break. It usually is not recognized in the beginning, as time exemplifies the results of it. We may finally recognize it when we feel uncomfortable, when things aren’t working out, or when we are not proud of our actions. I understand how difficult a bad habit can be to break as it’s a regular tendency. Changing routine can be scary but being honest and admitting to yourself that you need to make a positive change in your life is the first step!

Example: Recognize your bad habit (Eating unhealthily)

  • You may feel uncomfortable in your body.
  • Your performance levels may have decreased. 
  • You may have gained weight.

Step 2:  Formulate an action plan

The second step tends to be where most people get stuck and quit. But that’s why I’m here to guide you through it! Formulating an action plan is critical as it allows you to have tangible tactics to fall back on and follow. To begin devising a plan, I suggest having a brainstorm session with a trusted person or two. List any possible methods you may think of, small or big. Narrow down the list and pick 1-3 realistic tactics to focus on so you are not overwhelmed. As a physical reminder, I urge you to write down your tactics so you can see them every single day.


  • Think about how often you want to eat healthy? how many times a week?
  • What foods are considered healthy to you? 
  • Brainstorm possible meal ideas you can make at home or places you can eat out on the go (like CHOP5 Salad Kitchen).
  • Plan out meals for each day or make a general schedule with possible ideas.

Step 3: Find someone/something to hold you accountable 

The next step after formulating action plan is to find someone or something that can hold you accountable. I highly suggest asking a loved one or trusted person in your life to help you stay on track. Another method of accountability is to download an app where you must track your goals and report your daily progress. Whatever the method may be, it is critical to have a reliable someone or something to keep you in check as it’s easy to not follow through when it only involves yourself.


  • Ask your mom/dad/friend/roommate/mentor/etc. to hold you accountable.
  • Explain to them your situation.
  • Ask for feedback as needed.
  • Give a progress report so you are forced to analyze your progress.


  • Download a health app, set your goals, track your progress, set daily reminders.

Step 4:  Implement the action plan

Maybe you need to write a schedule out or maybe you just need to look at the reminder every single day. I understand that actually implementing your action plan may be tough, but that’s where you need to start small and focus on one day at a time and your “why”. Why do you want to break your bad habit? How will you feel after? How do you feel now? Etc. 

Make a list of what you want to accomplish for the week.

Celebrate the wins!

Set clear/specific goals – meal prep for the week.

Buy healthy foods.


  • Buy healthy ingredients to keep in your kitchen.
  • Meal prep your food for the week.
  • Look up healthy food places near you.

Step 5:  Track your progress & reflect frequently

To stay consistent and follow through on your action plan to break your bad habit, you need to frequently track your progress. This may mean to write down your actions each day and compare them to your goals or it may mean to talk to your accountability partner. Maybe it means to reflect on how you feel physically and mentally compared to before you began the implementation process. I suggest reflecting each night before you go to bed on your daily actions as well as at the end of the week and monthly to see the bigger picture. 


  • Before you go to bed, be honest with yourself if you followed through on your goals for the day.
  • Are you proud of yourself?
  • How did I feel today after eating (blank) meal?
  • What do I need to improve upon?

Step 6:  Adjust as needed

If your action plan is not going as well as you hoped, you need to adjust your tactics. It may very well be that the tactics you chose are not realistic or not a good enough fit for your needs. If this is the case, take the time to alter anything as needed. It’s more than okay to adapt! Breaking a bad habit takes time, and building a new one does too. Always remember to have grace with yourself!


  • Is there anything that has been challenging for me to implement into my life & why?
  • What are ways I can do to remedy this?
  • Is there anything that has been challenging for me to implement into my life & why?
  • What are ways I can do to remedy this?

Step 7: Set new goals

If you are making good progress on your action plan and starting to break your bad habit, you may be ready to add a new tactic/positive action to implement. It’s the only way to grow! But before you do that, make sure to celebrate your wins and be proud of yourself!


  • Have I made consistent progress?
  • Do I feel ready to add a new tactic to my plan?
  • Maybe that looks like adding an extra day or meal a week I want to eat healthy.
  • Or maybe it looks like brainstorming a new meal idea to make.

I hope the steps to break a bad habit make you feel less overwhelmed & confident to begin the process! I believe in you!