Does this sound familiar?

  • You say, “This is it. I’m sick of it. I’m absolutely quitting this time.”
  • You swear to yourself that you’ll never do it ever again.
  • You tell all your friends that you’re turning over a new leaf.

  • You even create a contract with yourself and post it on Facebook!

  • But then you’re suddenly slapped in the face with overwhelming temptation.

  • You try with all your might to escape the temptation pulling at you.

  • You whisper to yourself internally, “No! I cannot do this again!”

  • But the temptation overwhelms you and before you know it, you’ve done it again.

  • You feel guilty, unworthy, useless and depressed.

  • You say to yourself, “Well, I fell already so might as well do it some more times.”

  • You give up hope and relapse back into your old bad habit.

I can tell you, that scenario has played out for me in my life many many times.


The neural pathways that create the bad habit are so thick and strong that they seem like steel cords that will never let you go.

These bad (unhealthy) habits could be…

1. Smoking or drinking alcohol

2. Eating fast food

3. Going to bed too late

4. Eating ice cream every night

5. Eating bread

6. Snacking after 8pm

7. Sleeping past your alarm clock

8. Drinking too much coffee

9. Stressing out too easily

10. Emotional eating

11. etc. etc. 

Well, I’m going to reveal to…


In my experience, there’s only three methods to get rid of bad habits.

METHOD #1. Sheer Willpower + Willpower Systems

You can use all the willpower you have to avoid or stop doing the bad habit, but most people don’t have enough sheer willpower and self-discipline to power themselves to quitting.

BUT, you CAN have success quitting a habit by combining your willpower with Willpower Systems.

For instance, when I was a teenager I used to curse like crazy.

Once I turned my life around decided to become a Christian, one of the first things I promised myself is that I would quit cursing.

So I started to count how many times I cursed every day.

Quickly, I began to curse less and less. It took about a month of counting my curse words every day to quit cursing.

The simple act of tracking my slip ups helped me overcome my bad habit because I became hyper aware of something I used to do unconsciously.

METHOD #2. Squeeze Out the Bad Habit by Instituting New Habits

When you start instituting good habits in your life, such as eating healthy, your old habit of eating unhealthy foods get squeezed out of your daily routine.

I used to eat all kinds of processed foods, pastas and breads, fast foods and sweets. 

At one point while in college, I would buy a medium pizza and an extra large Dr. Pepper and eat it all up while laying out by the pool.

I also remember before going to bed I would eat a bowl of Cinnamon Life Cereal every night. 

Then I would get up at 2am in the morning and eating another HUGE bowl of Cinnamon Life Cereal.

Then when I woke up in the morning, I’d eat, yet another HUGE bowl of Cinnamon Life Cereal.

But once I decided to start eating only whole foods and especially salads with lots of dark green leaves, my desire to eat sugary sweet cereal and all processed food, slowly started to go away. 

I started sleeping better so I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night and in the morning, I would have a green protein smoothie.

Today, I have no desire to eat processed foods or fast foods. I still get a little tug every now and then to eat some bread or a sweet treat, but 90% of the time, I’m able to walk away from it.

METHOD #3. Replacing the Bad Habit with a Good Habit

You can often replace or substitute a bad habit with a good habit, especially when it comes to eating healthy.

I hate going to bed hungry so, as I mentioned, before I went to bed I’d eat Cinnamon Life cereal, which is a terribly sugary cereal. 

I replaced that meal with a bowl of HEALTHY Plain Greek Yogurt, mixed in with protein powder, stevia powder to sweeten it up and sliced strawberries.

Now, every night I have my bowl of yogurt “pudding.” 

I love it! It calms my sweet tooth. I look forward to it every night. 

So I substituted a very unhealthy sugary food with a healthy, protein packed, delicious treat every night.

These are just three ways to get rid of bad habits.


There are many other ways to get rid of bad, unhealthy habits. Here’s just five more quick ideas…

1. Make a bad, unhealthy habit painful by attaching a punishment to it. For instance, you might attach a fine to each time you repeat the bad habit.

2. Remove any triggers that are cuasing the bad, unhealthy habit. For instance, if you have sweets hanging around your home, that visual might trigger you to repeat your bad habit.

3. Write a letter from your future self, assuming you have continued the bad habit to your current self. Tell yourself about all the negative consequences that you’ve experienced as a result of continuing the bad, unhealthy habit.

4. Repeat affirmations in the morning to help you avoid doing the bad, unhealthy habit later in the day.

5. Create an “IF-THEN” plan that contains a plan of action for what you’re going to do if you are confronted with a trigger. Having an advance, plan-of-action will help you overcome the impulse to repeat the bad, unhealthy habit.

As you can see, there’s many ways to quit, avoid, or overcome a bad, unhealthy habit. You CAN DO IT! Never quit trying!

David Frey

Author and Creator of the Willpower Secret Sustainable Habits Program.