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John Michael Domino

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GOALS - How to Break a Habit
By John Michael Domino
Friday, October 30, 2009

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This is a piece from my new Mentoring To-Go book. These are strategies can empower you to achieve greater and more specific goals and break some old habits along the way. Available on



How to Break a Habit

Most of us have heard the expression “Breaking up is hard to do.”  This has merit, but you can still be highly successful in breaking a habit. In fact there are some tried and proven techniques that may help you break old habits no matter what they are. It all starts with recognizing bad habits and setting goals to replace or change them so you can improve your future performance. 

Admitting the Problem – In order to want to change you have to recognize the need for change. The first step to breaking a habit is simply admitting that you have a problem.

Mentor Support – No doubt about it, a mentor can be the key to your success through affirmation.  It is much easier to break a habit with the support of a mentor, or a trusted friend, who can help provide sound advice when things are not going your way.

Write down the habit that you want to break. Discuss it with your mentor or a trusted partner.


Visualize – See yourself as a new person without that cigarette or without biting your nails. See the places you can go to and feel more accepted and relaxed. See the benefits of breathing easier or writing in front of a group without being embarrassed. If it is something as simple as scratching your head too often, visualize yourself poised and confident with your hands in a relaxed position by your side. See the improvement, see your success and believe in the new you.

Picture – You can go a step further and take pictures of your habit in action. Looking at yourself in a photo or a video biting your nails may give you the motivation not to let others see yourself doing this ever again. This may give you another reason to want change this habit immediately.

Make a Checklist – Keep a record and check every successful attempt you have each day of breaking an unwanted habit. This will help to note your progress and can serve as a confidence builder as your success increases.

Reward Systems – Using positive rewards can help to motivate you in accomplishing your ultimate goal – breaking a bad habit!  It’s important that you use rewards that are helpful towards meeting your objective. For example, if you are trying to loose a few pounds and kick a late night snack habit, you would not want to use candy for a reward. A good reward can be a movie, a favorite television show or time out with a favorite sport or another activity that you enjoy.

Write down a few rewards that may help motivate you to break your habit. Explore any possibilities and be as creative as possible. Discuss these rewards with your mentor.


 Exerpts from the book, "Mentoring To-Go!"






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Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 3/11/2010
Excellent suggestions toward self betterment. You are right , First one has to admitt they have a problem and that they want to try to change,, then go forward and take the steps you described....M
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 2/23/2010
Thank you John and I do believe we are much more educated then we were back thirty years as Paul mentioned. I had bad habits of smoking and eating deep fried foods, I soon learned that this was goint to shorten my life and I have come to appreciate what the Good Lord has given me, so I soon broke these habits. I also believe there are Good habits and bad habits. Thank you John for another great lesson.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Vickie Yannuzzi 1/28/2010
So glad to read your input on how to Break a Habit, have a good friend who is in desperate need of giving up chewing tobacco, will pass your help to him thanks
Reviewed by Paul Berube 10/31/2009
Very good write, John. I'd like to make one point however, if I may? What a "bad habit" is, is a matter of opinion. And opinions change over time. Smoking, for example, was the "in" thing to do 30 years ago and was not considered a "bad habit." Even today, there are smokers and groups of smokers who do not share in the opinion that it is a bad habit. Like I said, this is an excellent write but it only applies if one is of the opinion that a "habit" is a "bad" one. I consider drinking soda, such as Coke or Pepsi, a "bad habit." It's proven that mostly all soda pops are bad for a person's physical health, even in moderation; thus it is a bad habit. Correct? NO; it is not correct; only in my opinion. See what I mean, John? Again, great write, my friend and God bless.

Books by
John Michael Domino

Reflections From The Great Depression and WWII (Great gift for all ages)

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Prayer Poems For My Love

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Prayer Poems for Mother (A Great Gift for Mother)

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Mentoring To-Go (A GREAT Gift for Youth from 9-90 yrs.)

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Can't Wait To Go Back To Prison: A Prison Ministry Experience (Great Gift)

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Attica: A Survivors Story (A Great Gift For Anyone Who needs Inspiration)

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A Slice Of Life

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In the Face of Evil by Belle Ami

In the Face of Evil is the extraordinary true story of a young girl’s coming of age during the decimation of the Holocaust. A Jewish teen survives the German invasion, t..  
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Children's Stories Volume 2 by Janice Scott

This second volume of short stories is again suitable for children and adults, since the stories can be read at more than one level. ..  
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