Getting Rid Of Bad Habits… It’s OK, We All Have Them.

I don’t get enough sleep and I like to gamble on sports games. There, I said it. It’s out there for everyone to see. I’m admitting to it, taking ownership of it, and making changes. By doing so, I am that much closer to achieving my goals.

Habits are defined as settled or regular tendencies or practices. Something we do regularly and often times hard to give up.


Of course there are good habits and then there are bad habits.

Good habits can consist or exercising, eating healthy, reading, meditation, getting enough sleep at night.

Bad habits can consist of watching to much television, emotional eating, gambling, even road rage.

Habits are a part of life and we all have them, both good and bad. One way to identify whether a habit is a good or a bad one is to ask yourself the following question….


Is this habit getting me closer to achieving my goals?


I recently took the time to evaluate my habits. I did this by writing down how I spend my days, my weeks, and months for that matter. Where and what do I spend my time doing? In the morning. During the day. In the afternoon. In the evening.

I then took a look at my goals for the year and my life goals in general and for each habit I had written down I asked the question…


How is this habit contributing to my goals?


It was definitely an interesting exercise and an eye opener that required me to be honest with myself. It also helped me put things in perspective.

There are two bad habits that I identified that were not in sync nor supporting my goals.

The first one is, Not Getting Enough Sleep. I have a habit of staying up late to work on material such as this very post you’re reading right now and then turning around and getting up early to head to the gym. 4 hours of sleep, not good.

The second one is, Gambling. Betting on sports teams along with a buddy of mine for fun. Now I’m not talking big wagers here but enough to make me uncomfortable during the games and consume my time.

You may be thinking that these aren’t that bad of habits and there are worse ones to have, perhaps you’re right. The reason these are bad for me is because neither one of these are contributing or getting me closer to my goals.

Without enough sleep, I feel sluggish, less energetic in the morning and my morning workouts are a struggle and not as good as they could be. I then find myself having more coffee than I should during the day and not enough water. In addition, my thoughts aren’t as clear and I do not articulate as well I could because I am so damn tired.

Gambling, the worst of the two. Wasted time spent looking up sports teams online, their records, stats, point spreads, money lines, etc. All of this time and effort before the games even start. Then comes actually watching the game which consumes even more of my time. Then there’s the post game call with my buddy to discuss the game and rave about our win or complain about the lose. Lots of valuable wasted time on a habit that doesn’t in the least bit contribute to my goals.

Of course it’s never easy admitting to your bad habits but if you’re to get ahead, achieve your goals, begin to live the type of life you want and be surrounded by more of the things you want in your life, identifying your bad habits and doing away with them or replacing them with good habits that do contribute to your goals is a must.


So, how did I go about getting rid of these two bad habits?

Not Getting Enough Sleep

If I know I have to be up early, than I will make it a point to go to bed early. Because I usually get some of my best work done late at night, I make it a point to get all the important stuff I need to get done earlier in the day so that I am not worried or stressed in the evening thinking of the important stuff I wasn’t able to get done. If on the other hand I know I need to be up late to get important work done that I just couldn’t get done or finish earlier in the day, I will sleep a little later in the mornings and push my early morning workout to the evening.


This one was tough because it meant less interaction with a good buddy of mine and watching less sports. In case you didn’t know this, I LOVE sports. I called my buddy and let him know I would not be partaking in our gambling activities anymore because they weren’t in sync with my goals and it’s consuming too much of my time on a meaningless activity. He understood and was very supportive. In addition, I’ve removed all sports apps from my phone and for the most part stopped watching sports games and television in general. The amount of time I have now to do more of the things I want that contribute to my goals is AMAZING!


What are some bad habits that you currently have that may not be contributing to your goals?


Begin quote1. If you don’t already have your goals written down somewhere, do that immediately! They’re only thoughts until you put them down on paper. Then they become real.

2. Once you have your goals written down and in front of you, review them. Read them out loud to yourself. Think about them and why they’re important to you. Also think about what you’re currently doing to make them happen.

3. Next, write down how you spend your time during the day. It doesn’t have to be every minor detail but more so, what do you spend a majority of your time doing? What are your habits and are they in sync with your goals?

4. Identify the ones that are not in sync with your goals. Maybe there’s one, maybe there’s several. Pick one, just one (for now) the one you know more than anything is taking away from you achieving your goals. Take action on it immediately by either eliminating it (like I did with gambling) our replacing it with a habit that is in sync and does support your goals.

5. Once you have successfully eliminated this one bad habit, move on to the next one and repeat the process until you’ve rid yourself or replaced all of the bad habits that are taking away or are in the way of your goals, your happiness, and they type of life you want to be living.


Goal = Lose Weight
Bad Habit = Emotional Eating
Solution = If you’re stressed, angry, anxious, etc, instead of eating a box of cookies or a tub of ice cream, drink a full glass of water or eat a bowl of fruit or go to the gym or go for a walk. All of these substitutes will contribute to your goal.

Goal = Start Your Own Business
Bad Habit = Procrastination
Solution = Schedule time in your day to dedicate to your business and stick to it. Just like going to work is a commitment you stick to regularly, so must be the time you dedicate to your own business and creating it.

Goal = Find A New Job
Bad Habit = Watching Too Much TV
Solution = Cut your television watching time in half and use that extra time to refresh your resume, update your LinkedIn Profile, search job boards, apply to positions online, network with friends and friends or your friends.

Goal = Surround Yourself With Positive, More Supportive People & Relationships
Bad Habit = Spending Time With Negative, Non-Supportive People
Solution = Spend less time with those who continue to bring you down or are not supportive of your goals. If it’s friends, you might want to consider evaluating the friendship altogether. If it’s a spouse or significant other, again, you may need to evaluate the relationship, be completely honest with yourself (as tough as it may be to do) and decide whether or not it’s in sync with your goals and happiness. Tough, yes. Necessary, definitely!


Give yourself a chance at happiness and the life you want…..  you’re better than you think.

 habits quote

  • Great post! I love how you combine goals with habits. So often we’re caught up in the habits and don’t see them directly impacting our ability to hit our goals.

    Do you think it’s possible to give yourself a piece of that bad habit without letting it interfere with the goal? For example, I watch Sports Center every morning. I could use that time to check my emails, get my day mapped out or a hundred other things. If I totally cut it out, it would be temporary (and I can admit that 🙂 )

    With your example of gambling. Do you think it’s reasonable not to follow sports entirely, something you love? If it’s too hard to follow and not bet, then it may be a good idea.

    I’d love to hear how you feel about cold turkey vs. moderation.

    Love this article and topic!

    • Thanks for your comment Anna. Great thoughts, ideas, and questions. I could certainly give myself a piece of the bad habit I described in the post above and watch sports games or Sports-center. I just think staying away from the games and television all together helps me to focus more of my attention on my goals. I can and do watch sports games occasionally. I’m a big believer in everything in moderation.

  • Nice post Mike. Great advice. I definately need to do a time audit. I just read a great book called Start by Jon Acuff. He asks, “if you died today what would you regret not being able to do?” If your list doesn’t match your time audit, you have some priorities to reconsider.

  • Hello Mike, great post! I really like the “goal-bad habit-solution”, seriously! It helps me associate which bad habits I need to get rid of to achieve which goal. That makes my mind more focused and goals better targeted. I will use that from today. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Also, one tip about going bed early could be setting a hard deadline for yourself. For example, we could tell ourselves: no matter what happens, I need to get my ass on the bed by 10:00pm!!! Stuff like that;)



    • Thanks Tracy! I’m very happy to hear the association I mentioned between goals and habits resonated with you. That’s excellent. Great idea as well on setting a hard stop for going to bed, definitely what I need to do.

  • Mike,

    Great work on this article! And kudos to getting rid of those habits that aren’t aligned with your passions. I love sports too… and had a really bad habit of watching to much TV. Now I’m doing more reading than TV. Amazing turnaround for me! So I totally get where you are.

  • Great article! I learned from my handsome boyfriend that a huge part in your goal setting IS writing them down. It is visually stimulating for you to get on course with what you want to accomplish. This is also valuable in helping to cut out the bad habits. When you feel like you may have a bad habit or if you can’t think of anything, pick a person that you truly trust (and that you can not get mad at) to talk with and to throw around ideas on how to kick the bad and get on with the good.

    • That’s a lucky boyfriend you have there. I love your idea of picking a person you trust to throw around ideas with about how to push through bad habits and establish new, more productive ones. It’s definitely a game changer!

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