Q. I’m having trouble quitting a bad habit, where do I start?

You question gave no indication of how you identify of “bad habit” nor the nature of the one you are trying to quit. Naturally, there are guidelines for specific types of dysfunctional behaviors. Not knowing this information, I will suggest a couple of generic strategies. First, recognize that everything begins in the brain: functional behviors and dysfunctional behaviors. Second, recovery strategies begin in the brain. Start by clearly identifying how the “bad habit” is interfering with your life and health. Trying to “quit a bad habit,” especially one that is giving your brain some type of a reward, often results in your thinking about it even more. Identify a healthier replacement behavior. Put your time, thought, and energy into building that new behavior. When you think about the old behavior, immediately point your thoughts and actions to the new replacement behavior. Seek help from professional healthcare personnel if it is an addictive behavior.

The bottom line is that actions and behaviors follow mindset and thoughts. What people tend to think about can become an action or behavior more quickly than one might realize. Stop thinking and talking about the behavior you wish to alter. Think and talk about the replacement behavior and activate willpower to help you do this.