How Long Does it Take to Break a Habit?

Breaking habits is hard. After all, they’re what keep us going day to day. Good habits are important, too. They can increase your productivity. 

And also they help you stay calm and focused throughout the day and even make you a better person. 

Bad habits, however, can do the exact opposite of that. They can cause confusion and stress…

Even they lead you down a path of destruction that ends with you throwing your whole life away in the process. 

Breaking a habit is no easy feat, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as people might think it is. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through life by breaking old habits that weigh you down. You can always move forward with your life slowly adopting new ones.

In this article, we review everything you need to know about breaking a bad habit. And you’ll get to know how long it takes to do so optimally. Keep reading to find out more.


How Many Days Does it Actually Take to Break a Habit?

Breaking habits is hard. That’s why it can take time to break any habit you want to change. 

It’s typical for people to believe that they need certain days to complete this process. Thus, it’s important to note that the number of days it takes to break a habit varies from individual to individual. 

Some people might be successful after only one day. While others might need as many as 30 days before they finally make the changes they want. 

This is because each person has different ways of approaching their habits.  Approaches that work for some don’t necessarily work for others. 

In general, though, most habits take an average of two weeks to change. However, most last approximately six months. The difference in duration can largely depend on how quickly you want your new habit to take root. 

If you want your new behavior to become your habit within weeks, then that’s what you’ll probably need. If you’re trying not to lose your old behavior altogether, then you’ll likely need a little more time. 

Finally, if you want permanent changes in your life, like quitting smoking then you’ll likely need more time. But those who want temporary changes e.g., quitting drinking alcohol for 30 days need less time. Such people then return to normal drinking habits afterward.


Is it really Possible to Break Ingrained Habits?

After reading this article, you’ll know how to break ingrained habits. For example, you might be able to get rid of a lot of your bad habits by just replacing them with good ones. The key is to be persistent and committed to the process. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will eventually happen if you stick with the process and remain patient.


How Long Does it Take to Break a Habit of Smoking

Some habits are easier to break than others. Breaking a bad habit, such as smoking, might take longer than breaking a good one like eating healthy. 

It all depends on how the habit has affected your life and how long you’ve been going through it. Smoking is an example of a habit that is difficult to break but in some instances, you can do it quickly. 

One way to determine how long it will take to break smoking is by looking at what your reasons for wanting to quit are. Are they health related? Do you want more time with family and friends? 

Regardless of your motivations, you know smoking is a strong habit to break. You can maintain it initially while undergoing the withdrawal process. 

Once you’ve determined those important details, then you’ll have an idea of the time frame needed for quitting smoking successfully.

To do so, start by creating a plan for quitting.  That includes everything.  From how long it will take for you to start feeling better physically. And mentally after quitting. It also includes when your friends and family members can expect support from you.

With this plan in mind, don’t worry about trying too hard or making any quick changes before the beginning of the timeline. Give yourself plenty of time to get comfortable with the new routine once it begins.


How Long Does it take to Break a Habit of Biting Nails?

Biting your nails is a bad habit that many people have, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’ve been trying to break the habit without any luck, here are some tips that just might help. 

First of all, it typically takes around 4-6 weeks to break a bad habit. It may seem like an eternity when you’re struggling with something so small. But think about how much time you could save by cutting out the little things that make up habits. 

Second, remember not to beat yourself up over it. When people go through tough times and start beating themselves up for making mistakes, they end up feeling worse than before. 

You don’t want to become discouraged. Or give up on your goals of quitting biting your nails because of this. Instead, try something new during the process! 

For example: if biting your nails makes you stressed, take a walk outside or do some household chores instead. 

Try doing something different when you feel tempted to bite your nails. It will help keep the focus off the nail-biting and help you move towards positive habits rather than negative ones.


How Long Does it Take to Break a Habit of Drinking

The amount of time it takes to break a habit of drinking will vary depending on the severity and frequency of the habit.

For example, if you drink 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day or every other day, it could take 3-6 months to break that habit. Unlike,  trying to stop smoking, you may be able to quit in a week or two. 

How do you know when a habit is bad? Sometimes, It can be hard to know when your habits are bad or good. 

It’s important to use some form of self-reflection when trying to figure out how your habits are affecting you. And when checking whether they’re positive or negative. 

When you feel like your habits are cause for concern, there are many ways you can change them into positive habits that work for your life.


How Long Does it Take to Break a Habit of Vaping

A habit is defined as a repeated behavior that one can learn. And it can be difficult to break. Vaping is a common bad habit that people often have because it’s so easy to start compared to other habits. 

It takes an average of 28 days for people to stop vaping on their own. But you can reduce those days by following these guidelines: 

  • Curb your vaping addiction right away
  • Make sure you have a support system 
  • Avoid using other things that can help you quit
  • Set delegated goals for yourself


Best Tips That Help Break a Habit Faster

Here are a few tips that may help you break a habit faster:

  • Take breaks from the habit. This is the most important tip. Although it’ll be difficult to do at first, getting away from your routine for a short period of time can help you achieve your goal more quickly. 
  • Schedule yourself with tasks that will make it easier to break the habit. If you know when you want to stop smoking, start exercising. And get rid of an addiction. Or quit biting your nails, and set aside time in your calendar or on your day planner to devote to these goals. 
  • Identify what triggers bring on a pattern that makes it hard to break the habit. For example, you know.  When you drink alcohol it leads to bad decisions and regrets. So, try not drinking altogether or eat something before you go out and drink so that there are no temptations as soon as you walk in the door. 

Things you need to do right away:


Change the Environment

One of the most important things you can do when trying to break a habit is to change the environment. It’s difficult to stop doing something when it’s constantly in front of your face. 

When we are surrounded by things that remind us of our bad habits, it can be very hard to stay focused on what we really want. 

This is why it’s important to get rid of any triggers that may lead you down the path of destruction. Set up a new routine that replaces your old one so that you don’t have to worry about seeing anything related to your old habits.


Aim for Small Changes

The first step to breaking a habit is to make little changes that have an impact on your life. This might seem silly at first. But it’s important to remember that making habits that are small enough will allow you to move on from them with relative ease. 

For example, let’s say you want to stop smoking cigarettes. To break the habit, you could decide to just not buy a pack of smokes every day. You could also reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke every day or cut down on how much time you spend smoking overall. 

These small changes will take less time than quitting cold turkey. And they can help keep your motivation high even when you become frustrated with yourself for giving in.


Reward Yourself

When it comes to habits, the key to breaking them is straight-up rewards. For example, if you are trying to break a bad habit like watching hours of Netflix every day, then make sure you reward yourself for your good behavior. 

For example, you could go out with friends or do something you enjoy as a reward. This way, you will end up associating your reward with doing the things that you want to avoid and will engage in this new behavior more often. If your schedule is too busy for that, then just reward yourself with a little bit of time each day.


Seek Professional Help

One of the best ways to break a habit is to seek professional help. Psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other professionals have been helping people break bad habits for years. 

They offer great insights into how your brain works and what your specific triggers are that make it hard for you to break old behaviors. If you feel like your life is falling apart due to a bad habit, professional help is key.



Habit-breaking is a process. How long does it take to break a habit?  The answer is subjective. Most people spend around 60-90 days trying to break a habit, but the process can sometimes take years.

In nutshell, understanding how long it takes to break a habit is the first step to changing your life for the better. 

For example, it takes about 3 weeks to break a habit of smoking. But this is dependent on the person and the number of cigarettes they smoke. 

And it takes about 2 weeks to break a habit of eating fast food. It can take about 3 days to break a habit of biting your nails. For drinking, It takes about 3 weeks to break a habit of drinking alcohol. 

Similarly, it takes about 10+ days to break a habit of vaping. So, the best tip that helps you break a habit faster is to replace it with a new one. But you need to start by making small changes. It can be rewarding enough to make small changes in your environment or habits. 

For instance, if you’re trying to stop biting your nails, try painting your nails different colors or putting them in different types of containers. Changing the environment and rewarding yourself can be of great help and others. Everything suggested in this article can you figure out how long it will take to break a habit.

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