Breaking Bad Habits

Many traditional ‘habit breaking’ methods leave people despondent and in a cycle of failure.  With the Fogg Behaviour Design model, you’re given a clear process to follow to help break your bad habits.

The below is a three phase master-plan for behaviour change for habits that are ‘wired in’ which should be followed step by step. By doing so you’ll build the required skills and confidence required for long term success.

Here’s a scenario:

You get home from work and the first thing you do is open the door, go into the kitchen and reach for a nice glass of wine. It’s your ‘switch off’ after a tough day at work.

It’s enjoyable and, after a few months it becomes two, possibly three glasses per night. A few months down the line, you notice that you’re  feeling much tireder in the mornings. You reflect and then notice that it’s been a few months since you’ve had an evening off the wine. You gain awareness of the habit and start getting frustrated with yourself.

Step 1. Practice creating good habits.

Getting rid of old habits is tough. Here we’re looking to ‘crowd out’ the old habits with positive, new habits. By doing so we develop skills of behaviour change and, you’ll increase motivation as your fear of changing habits will reduce. Can we go for a 5 minute walk as soon as we step out the car? This is attaching a new small good habit to an existing prompt (getting out of the car).

Step 2. Untangling.

Using the Fogg behaviour design model where Behaviour = Motivation, Ability & Prompts, can you:

A. Remove the prompt – not have wine in the house?
B. Manipulate ability – put the wine in a different room?
C. Change level of motivation – can you listen to relaxing music on the drive home so you’re more relaxed when you get home and don’t feel like a drink?

3. Swap the habit.

If the above have failed can we swap our habit. Can we find an alcohol free alternative or soft drink that we enjoy? At first this may seem far out of reach but, by having the alternative there it will remind you of your intent.

In the book Tiny Habits, Fogg has  developed a thorough framework for not just breaking bad habits but also the different skill of developing great new habits.

I’m well into using the above process with may clients and enjoying great success.

Feel free to reach out to me at