Breaking Bad Habits : A Step-By-Step Guide To Reach Your Habit Goals | Catrinel Girbovan | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Breaking Bad Habits : A Step-By-Step Guide To Reach Your Habit Goals

teacher avatar Catrinel Girbovan, Process Improvement Consultant PhD

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Understanding Bad Habits

    • 3. Breaking Bad Habits - Steps 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

    • 4. Breaking Bad Habits - Steps 6 - 7 - 8

    • 5. Breaking Bad Habits - Steps 9 - 10

    • 6. Class Review

    • 7. Conclusion & Class Project

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


We all have some bad habits we wish to rid ourselves of once and for all. In fact, most of us cannot even remember how these occasional behaviors turned into habits in the first place. Because the process is gradual and the behavior is performed without much deliberate thought, it isn't uncommon to find yourself struggling to eliminate it. The bottom line is that these bad habits are time consuming and prevent you from reaching your true potential. Anyone that has previously tried to eliminate a bad habit knows it is no easy task, in fact, it's a struggle.

This class will break down why it is so difficult to break bad habits before giving you concrete steps that you can implement right away to see the desired change. 

Who is this class for?

No prior knowledge on the topic is required to take this class, although a desire to better yourself is a definite asset!

What will you learn?

You will learn the main causes behind bad habits and how our environment plays a role in sustaining them. We will then dive into a 10-step process based on proven methods to eliminate bad habits once and for all.

See you in class!


*If you require further clarification regarding the content presented, feel free to reach out at


The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz


Creating Habits That Stick - A Step-By-Step Guide

Learn How to Motivate Yourself: Master Self-Discipline and Get Things Done

Turning Procrastination Into Productivity

Thank you for watching!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Catrinel Girbovan

Process Improvement Consultant PhD


Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to follow to stay up to date with new classes!

My Story 

I am a Performance and Process Consultant. Having first earned a PhD in Experimental Psychology, I rely on scientific evidence to bring you emerging trends, methods that work and resources that can help you create and live your dream life.

I currently help my clients create more balance in their lives by making positive changes and letting go of limiting beliefs in their personal lives and/or in their careers. I take a proactive approach by guiding people in tweaking their beliefs and habits in order to find joy and fulfillment in their everyday lives. 

 I believe every single person has something to offer and teach to the rest of th... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction : I have always been fascinated by compelling methods, Dr Behavior Change, and I'm under the belief that people can change and that anyone has the ability to better themselves and that it's never too late to start. Hi, everyone. My name is Catchall Gurban. I'm a lifestyle coach, and here on skills here I teach classes related the self development. To me, self development is a lifelong journey toward self awareness, a journey full of discovery, one that is fueled by curiosity about the world around us. Self development happens when we choose to push past their limits, our fears and their insecurities in order to reach your true potential. And best of all, this journey is accessible to anyone that is willing to show up and put in the work. We will begin this class by addressing some of the main causes behind bad habits and how our environment plays a role in sustaining these behaviors before diving into the 10 step process to help you eliminate these bad habits once and for all. So let's get started 2. Understanding Bad Habits: What is a bad habit? A bad habit is often defined as a pattern behavior acquired through frequent repetition that is regarded as detrimental to one's physical or mental health and is often linked to a lack of self control. Bad habits can range in the degree that they impact your life in a negative way. So it is up to you to determine which of these behaviors require your attention in order to change and which you can live with as the minimally impact your quality of life. Examples of bad habits can include things such as procrastinating, unhealthy eating over spending, spending too much time watching television, biting one's nails when stressed or bored, always being late to appointments, spending too much time on your phone and the list goes on indefinitely. Now most of you watching this class are doing so because you already know what your bad habits are. So let's find out what causes these behaviors to turn into bad habits in the first place. What causes bad habits? Bad habits can be a result of emotional factors, such as experiencing boredom or stress. Now this, in turn, could be the result of lacking appropriate coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. But they can also be the result of situational factors. Your with a certain group of people in a specific place, and you tend to engage in a certain kind of pattern behavior. Oftentimes, though, bad habits formed as a result of a combination of emotional and situational factors, why do they persist? Our bad habits, though we may not be fully aware of this, provide us with the psychological reward, some type of satisfaction. This occurs mostly on a subconscious level, but you can train yourself to notice how these habits make you feel. And eventually the goal will be to retrain yourself to no longer associate positive feelings with um, but rather negative ones and instead a different behavior or a good habit with positive feelings. Now, before we tackle how to eliminate a bad habit, I want to spend a bit of time addressing a few important points that I want you to keep in mind. As you move forward with this process first, always aim for small, incremental changes in this process. If your bad habit is eating unhealthy foods, you cannot expect to change that overnight, so start small eliminate sugar in your coffee, back an extra portion of vegetables in your lunch every day, break the behavior and have it down. The goal is to have you succeed, and that is not going to happen if you overwhelm yourself with too big of a goal right at the beginning, spend time before you even tackle the behavior. Change just thinking about the behaviour or the bad habit in question. You can give yourself about a month to track it, break it down, understand it and plan for the changes that come so that when you do make that decision to start acting, you are armored and ready for potential setbacks. Now you can do this by first determining what stage of behavior change or at the pre contemplation stage is the stage where you've had a fleeting idea about changing the habit . But you haven't gone further than that. The contemplation stage is this behavior is on your mind a lot. The desire to change is clearly there. That's when you take action. You're ready to take the steps necessary to make this change happen. Now the action stage is followed by the maintenance stage, and then there's relapse. Most people go through 4 to 7 cycles of this before making a definite change. So the take home message is to be patient with yourself and make this process one from which you can learn. Assuming that you're at the auction stage, let's proceed with the methods of breaking about habit. 3. Breaking Bad Habits - Steps 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5: Step one will be to identify the bad habit that you would like to eliminate or change, and then to write out your why. What is your motivation for wanting to change this behavior and going as much depth as you can? At this initial stage? This will be something that you come back to over and over again and will serve as your anchor during difficult times. Step number two. Become aware. Once you've identified it, we will begin the next stage awareness. Becoming aware of the triggers of this bad habit will help you in changing the pattern. We discovered that bad habits are in fact behaviors we often repeat to fill an emotional or situational void. In fact, when we go deeper, we can identify specific triggers for our behaviors. That means that we can identify what types accuse in our environment, help initiate this negative behavior. Oftentimes, these cues fall into five categories. Location, time, emotional, state, other people and immediately preceding action. Your homework, then, is to start tracking. I want you to go as deep as you can and analyzing this behavior. When do you perform this bad habit? How many times you do it each day or week. Where are you exactly as it occurs. Who are you with? How do you feel right before it occurs during and immediately after what immediately preceding action triggers it? Is there another behavior that is tightly tight to this one? Simply tracking these issues will make you more aware the behavior and give you dozens of ideas for stopping it. Step number three. Choosy. Substitute for your bad habit. Eliminating About Habit Cold turkey is incredibly harder than replacing about habit with a good one. Instead, that is going to be the trick. Here. You don't eliminate a bad habit. You also replace it with a good one. The key in finding out what new behavior to choose will largely depend on your answers to the previous questions. We now understand that our bad behavior fills a certain void to combat stress or boredom. For instance, identify which need the habit addresses and replace the bad behavior with a good one toe address. That same need. We don't want to just quit a behavior cold turkey at the risk of relapsing and moments when our willpower is way low, such as at the end of a long day or having gone through a stressful event. Ideally, you pick a habit that is important to you, not just a behavior to replace another, but towards which you have absolutely no emotional attachment, because attaching an emotional component to it will make it easier to implement. It'll feel less like a chore. You're doing this for you, not for anyone else. So pick a replacement habit that truly means something to you. Our time is precious, so do something with it that means something to you. That way you'll find ways to ensure that it gets done. Cut out as many triggers as possible, eliminating the triggers that you've identify and makes it easier to eliminate about habit . Remember that triggers are found in your environment. They are tied to your behavior, and when less of them are available, it is less likely that the behavior will be executed. This step is relatively simple if you spend the time and step to identifying what triggers are associated with your behavior Now, as an example, positive psychologist Shawn Ache or talks about eliminating his bad habit of watching too much television in the evening by eliminating triggers related to his habit. He went ahead and removed the batteries from his remote control, placed them in a harder to reach place, like at the bottom of a drawer in a separate room. And instead he placed a book next to the remote to instilling good habit alternative. He quickly realized that the whole thing required to many steps and too much time to be bothered to go through with it, and he found himself picking up the book instead. So get creative with your environment and set it up for your success. Step five. Build your tribe. This next step is optional, but if you struggled with eliminating negative behavior in the past, it may be a good one to try to implement. This step can be achieved one of two ways or in combination. I'll let you be the judge of it. Designate unaccountability Partner joined forces with somebody. An accountability partner is a great way to pick up healthy and good habits, but it can also be a great way out, eliminating bad ones. You can discuss in detail with your partner how they will help you maintain your commitment to yourself and avoiding a certain bad habit. But you can also share some of the struggles that you're encountering along this process with, um and perhaps even help them keep them accountable in breaking a bad habit as well. You can also become very selective with whom you spend your time with during the stage. If you've identified certain people or situations as your triggers, you will have to limit interactions with these people and surround yourself with people who live the way you want to live. Instead, Don means spending time with people that already have the good habit that you're chasing, incorporating into their lives. By khweis, you want to surround yourself with people that do not have the same bad habits that you do . 4. Breaking Bad Habits - Steps 6 - 7 - 8 : Step six visualization. Visualize yourself succeeding. This may sound a little vague and something to forgo, but it is incredibly important. So let's break it down so that we're clear about what this actually entails. I will introduce the concept of identity in the section to help you integrate visualization as a complementary technique for breaking a bad habit. Changing behaviors by developing the concept of one's identity can be an integral part of your habit. Success story. So what is this identity that I'm talking about? Your identity is the ideal version of you who you want to be. The identity is ultimately a result of one's belief system, their values, morals and, ultimately, their actions, behaviors and habits. Now there are two ways that you can incorporate the concept of identity into breaking about habit. You can choose to focus on the future who you want to be, and direct all your efforts towards incorporating positive habits that will bring you closer to the ideal version of you. To some people, this might seem a little overwhelming, especially if you're at a stage in your life where you want to change too many things all at once. Alternatively, you can use the concept of your old identity to get you through the stage. It's a lot less frightening and that your focus is the old you. Surely the old you are one point or another did not engage in this bad habit that you're trying to eliminate. You don't need to be someone else. When you adopt this perspective, you just need to return to the old you. And it is much more achievable to think that you don't have to completely reinvent yourself . And so this makes the change a lot less threatening to a lot of people. I personally find that when incorporating a good habit, the mentality of visualizing the future self is a good one to use when you think about yourself as a person that already has this habit in their life and how this person would act. It's a lot easier to want to incorporate that habit, however, when I'm trying to break a bad habit using the idea that all I'm doing is returning toe, untold version of myself helps justify my efforts. Ultimately, which version of the identity concept you choose to move forward with is up to you just make sure that when you are building your identity, you visualize who this person is, and you spend time developing the idea what this this person do on a day to day basis. Why are they this way? And this is where you can incorporate your wife from step one. The more detailed the description of your identity, the easier it will be to start implementing the steps required to achieve it and the easier it will be to start actually putting it in practice. Step seven. Schedule it into your life when replacing your bad happened with a good one, you will need to give this new positive habit a specific space in your life. And there are two main options for making this happen. Number one. Put it in your calendar. Be very specific about this as a task to be completed on your calendar. Stick to it like an appointment and be specific about when this habit will occur and where it will occur. If you're about habit is unhealthy snacking after dinner, for example, and your replacement habit is to eat healthier snacks on weeknights. Then you can dedicate an hour so in your calendar on Sunday to meal, perhaps some healthy snack alternatives by cutting up some fruit for the week. Another example. Using the same bad habit of unhealthy snacking but choosing to replace it with a good habit of doing something fun with your family. Instead, like going for a walk playing a board game, the activity itself has to be marked on your calendar. You increase your chance of both eliminating the bad habit and incorporating the better alternative. This way. Option to tie it to your current behavior. Not all of your habits will fit a specific time frame, but they should all have a trigger that acts as a reminder to do them. And you need to pick a trigger that is established and occurs daily, such as brushing your teeth, showering, opening your fridge, opening the main door to leave for work thes air activities that you do on a day to day basis. So, for example, if you want to eat more fruits and vegetables and that's your replacement for a bad habit that you're doing, then having precut fruit in your fridge and containers that are labeled with the days of the week at an eye level, prompt you to grab one as soon as you open the fridge. Or let's say you want to start exercising as a replacement for another bad behavior or bad habit. Having your workout clothes on the bed, on your or even on your side table. Act as a trigger for you to put them on first thing in the morning. Let's see you want to start flossing. Having your flaws right by your toothbrush will tie the two behaviors together, so use the triggers in your environment to your benefit. Now, depending on the new habit that you want to incorporate, I'm sure there are many ways to use already established habits to help you bind another 12 And this goes back to the first step of tracking your behaviors, how you spend your time, the environment he spend it in and who you spend it with. This will help you create a greater picture about these behaviors, and I'm sure most of you have a lot of information already available at your disposal to implement this change. But if you are struggling, feel free to email me with any questions you may have about the stage and I can certainly try to help you in creating better triggers in your environment to help you tackle some bad habits. Now the some of you this may seem like a lot of work before you even begin the actual process of breaking a bad habit. But the thing is that unless you get specific and deliberate by your desire to change, breaking this bad habit will remain but of a concept rather than a reality. And the truth is that all the prep work that we're doing and that you're putting in makes it easier on you in a long term. It's a system to help you succeed by removing decision making from the equation by minimizing steps. What we're doing is we're actually relying less and less on willpower, and the less you rely on it, the better, because it's when you rely on it too much that it fails to show up when you truly need it. Like when you're facing a weak moment or harder day, I work and so on. And so putting in all this work that we're talking about through these steps is going to help you along the way and make the whole process a little easier. Step eight. Put an end to the negative cell talk. Breaking bad habits and incorporating new ones is not easy, period. You have to be ready to begin this process with a clean slate. You may have tried to break bad habits in the past and may have failed. Now is the time to forgive yourself and start clean. The focus at the stage needs to remain on the present and not on the past. What you failed to do in the past remains that part of the past. Keep your focus on actionable steps that can bring you closer to your goals right now. Now, one way to do this is always being ready to retaliate. Negative self talk with award But for example, I may have failed in the past, but I'm willing to try again. Or I may fail again if a trigger is present. But I will learn from that experience and be better prepared next time. It is also incredibly important not to compare yourself and your progress to others who are on different journeys. You're on your own path. Honor that and you'll be well on your way 5. Breaking Bad Habits - Steps 9 - 10: Step nine. Anticipating failure. Naturally, the next step is anticipating, said Docks here. Three strategies to better help you cope with setbacks, identify possible setbacks. You don't have to see them all coming, but what possible? Said Box. Do you foresee in the near future that could hinder your efforts? Something like traveling a stressful week that's coming up at work exam week in school are all good examples now? I think not only about the possible setbacks, but how you see yourself overcoming them as they arise. Just spending a few minutes thinking about this will help you in the event that you are faced with such hoary, similar setback self coaching. Now this is my preferred method. You can write down a self directed motivational speech in your notes app on your phone, or write it down by hand if you're the type of person that carries a journal or notebook with them at all times, but its purpose is going to come in handy when you're feeling weak. When your willpower is nowhere to be found, you will have something to turn Teoh a wise voice to guide you, and you can get as creative as you want in the space, use inspirational quotes, passages, anything that speaks to you and inspires you to stay the course. Now, you can also create a separate folder in your notebook or in your notes AB with your plan of attack in the event of a setback, some kind words to offset the negative self talk that often ensues. If you truly want to make it or bring it to the next level, you can even record yourself talking to the camera with the intention of reminding yourself of your why. Why is it that you chose to change sabot in the first place? Now, most of us have quick access to our phones at all times, so this is very feasible, and it certainly makes it easier to get a boost of confidence when you need it. The 22nd rule is a concept that I discuss at length in creating habits that stick in that context. If a behavior took longer than 20 seconds to initiate, you most likely were not going to do it, and it is a tactic that helps begin performing a harder to implement habit. In the example that I use, I suggested people have their chosen workout clothes by their bed to minimize the number of steps required to begin exercising in the morning. Now, research on this topic has shown that our willpower abilities gradually decrease throughout the day based on the increasing number of demands on our attention and the number of decisions we have to make. In his book The Paradox of Choice, author Barry Schwartz discusses the fact that when we're presented with too many choices, we tend to choose inaction. We get paralyzed by too many choices and prefer not to make any decision than risk making a bad one. Knowing all of this, if your goal is to eliminate a bad habit, then you should follow 22nd rule backwards. Make sure that you increase the time it takes to begin about habit to more than 20 seconds , perhaps at a few decisions to be made along the way as well. The more action steps and decisions to be made, the less likely you are to actually go through with the behavior. Now this is a perfect example. Where were taken advantage over Will powers limitations? Bottom line is, we're just not Sochi on performing any behavior that takes us that long to initiate and Dominy steps to perform. Remember the example that I gave earlier about hiding the remote control batteries as far from the TV room as possible, like at the bottom of a drawer in another room. This was one way to increase the time to begin the behavior by at least 20 seconds, making it much harder to perform. And I'm sure many of you can think of a lot of clever ways to do this when it comes to your specific bad habit. So again, this is another opportunity to just get creative stepped in relapse. What if you do suffer relapse or a setback now what the next step is going to be evaluating your relapses? Relapses are important, and they shouldn't be ignored. The initial reaction to relapse is harsh. Sure, we've covered negative self talk in an earlier section, but the truth is, a relapse can be incredibly demoralising. But you will have to reframe the situation as an opportunity to learn from it. I suggest that you anticipate at least one setback or relapse. It's part of the journey where any triggers present, Where were you? Who was with you. Did you forget to look at your setback or motivational video or read your speech? What exactly happened? What can you do to prevent it from happening in the future? A relapse doesn't mean you're starting back from scratch. It means you need to get back on track and fine tune your methods. That's all. It's still progress. It's less about the actual setback than how you choose to respond to it. When we frame setbacks this way, they're less scary, aren't they? When you allow yourself to put the setback behind and use it to propel you forward, you're not backtracking. You're progressing at your own pace. 6. Class Review: we have reached the end of the class. So let's quickly review what we've learned. This class was aimed at helping you overcome your bad habits by reframing the process as replacing a bad habit with a good one. It provided a step by step method to help you reach your habit goals. At the very beginning, we established that bad habits or behaviours that survived for two reasons. Repetition and the feeling of an emotional or situation avoid. We also discovered that repetition is facilitated by cues or triggers in our environment. Keeping that in mind, we began breaking about habits with a tense that process. The process began with me asking you to identify the bad habit you're looking to change and stating your why now your why is your reason for wanting to change it? Why is this important to you? I then emphasized the importance of becoming aware of the five categories of triggers time , location, social context, emotions and the immediately preceding action. You were then required to find an alternate good habit to replace his battle one with I then introduce you through the visualization concept, along with the concept of identity to help you get clear on who you can be without this bad habit in your life. We then talked about the importance of eliminating triggers and using social support in your journey by building up your tribe. We then talked about the importance of scheduling your new positive habit in your life by making a place for it in your calendar or tying it to a pre existing behavior. We also talked about how minimizing negative self talk would propel you forward rather than hold you back. We prepared for the future by anticipating setbacks, using the method of self coaching and the 22nd rule. In order to increase our chances for success, we finished by discussing relapse and the benefits that can come from reevaluating relapses as opportunities for learning rather than setbacks. 7. Conclusion & Class Project: I hope you found this class useful and concern implementing some of the changes discussed in order to achieve your habit goals. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or if you need further clarification of any of the topics that we talked about. If you want a more in depth look at the psychology of have information, I encourage you to watch my claws. Creating happens tastic. I also teach classes on topics that can help you on this journey, including a cross on motivation. Increasing your foe case and beating for fascination. Will be sure to have a look at that. Thank you again. So much for watching for the class project. I'm asking you to share your motivational speech, encouraging words positive self talk with the rest of the community. That's what Jump start your journey toward breaking a bad habit, and I'm sure it will also provide others with some much need encouragement. You can be as creative as you wish with your approach of this assignment, as it can take many forms from written work, too abstract or even visual like a video. I'll leave it up to you to decide well works best for you. Where that I wish you the best of luck on your journey and look forward to hearing about any feedback you might have about this class. Thank you so much for watching.