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No one is perfect. Everyone has some habits they’d like to improve on and that’s totally normal. Imperfection is one of the things all humans have in common.

A bad habit is classified as a repeated behavior that negatively impacts one’s life. So, although we all have bad habits to some extent, when a person has too many bad habits, they aren’t able to live their life to the fullest potential. On the other hand, when better habits are practiced daily, overall quality of life improves. This is why we should be regularly examining ourselves to be sure that we are living our best version of life as possible.

Self-reflection is necessary to gauge your life and decide which habits are with keeping and which ones you likely should move away from. Once you decide which bad habits need to be broken in order to improve your life, the hard work begins. When habits are formed, so are new neurological pathways.

When you break yourself of a bad habit, you must retrain your brain away from those formed pathways. Everyone has heard the sayings, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or “Old habits die hard.” They are common sayings because retraining your brain to start a new habit or to stop an existing habit is not easy. Breaking a bad habit isn’t fast either.

Some studies suggest it takes about 21 days to break a habit. So, be patient with yourself and don’t expect instant results. One of the main rules to live by when committing to change your habits is to not be too hard on yourself. Perfection should not be the goal, rather self-improvement should be.

Nearly everyone slips-up at some point, maybe even multiple times. When you fall off course, it’s imperative that you don’t give up. It’s never too late to try again tomorrow. Remember to forgive yourself and keep moving forward. Forgiving yourself for possible slip ups is key in the long term success of breaking a bad habit. It does you absolutely no good to be too hard on yourself. Sitting in your negativity is unhealthy and unproductive. When you slip, get right back up and start again. Keep focusing on your long-term goals and move on.


Burnout recovery specialist, intuitive, and physician Dr. Veronica Anderson teaches high-performing professional women how to make successful career, health, and life transformations by overcoming challenges and developing resilience. She is the author of three bestselling books and splits her time between Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Harlem, New York City, with her husband and two dogs, Artemis and Apollo.