Quitting for success: 5 steps to success without quitting the bad habit.

Written by on October 8, 2019


We’re a society of quitters that stink at quitting.  What if success were more about starting the good than quitting the bad?

There is an immense focus in our society about quitting.  No, I don’t mean giving up on your dreams or goals. I mean actually quitting those things that are bad for you.  We spend billions of dollars per year to try to quit smoking, eating poorly, avoiding distractions, and other things that destroy our mental, physical, and spiritual health.

There are several issues with this approach.  It puts a direct mental focus on what we don’t want, it allows us to make excuses when it doesn’t work, and we tend to have nothing to show for it in the end except a gaping hole where our habit used to be.  

Imagine that instead of trying to quit a bad habit, we instead started to do something that was good for us and that was wholly inconsistent with that habit.  If our bad habit were smoking, perhaps we could start running. At first, this will be very difficult and we may struggle to even make it a few yards.  

Eventually, if we stick to it, we will start to see success in running.  Perhaps we may even enter a short race. The endorphins we release, the sense of accomplishment, and that we are now becoming addicted to feeling good will drive us to look for ways to keep improving.  At some point, our penchant for smoking will be reduced and eventually eliminated.

Let’s take a look at why this works.

Law of Attraction

It is well understood that anything we think about, we tend to bring about.  It’s the law of attraction in its most primal form. The more we focus on something, the more we will find it in everything we do and everywhere we go.

It is rooted in our subconscious mind.  The job of our subconscious mind is to prove us right.  Whatever we plant there will grow. If we plant the belief that we can never catch a break, our subconscious will filter out every opportunity we come across for success, while filtering IN every obstacle and challenge that may end up in our path.

So as we focus on the bad habit (even in the sense of quitting it), we are ensuring that it will be difficult to escape the negative pull of the habit itself.

The Big Void

Nature abhors vacuums.  We can see it all over nature.  Any time a vacuum appears, it draws things to it in order to fill it.  Nothing in nature is simply removed without being backfilled by another thing, from the vacuum seal of our spaghetti sauce bottle to a distant black hole.

This means that if we wish to remove something from our life, we must have something to fill it first.  Otherwise, we may never be able to remove it. Consider how it would feel to quit smoking and then just sit there with nothing to do and with no cigarettes.  How long before we have the urge to smoke again?

Focusing on something good that can take our attention away from a bad habit is necessary to ensure we don’t automatically fall backwards.


Two music notes played together can create wonderful harmony or bone-shrilling dissonance.  When two notes don’t belong together, it creates a tension that even the most novice of music listeners can appreciate.  Such a sound begs for resolution, or harmony.

In life, when two things come together that are not compatible with each other, a similar dissonance, or tension/stress, occurs.  Eventually, one must give way to the other else we may just go crazy.  

As we focus on starting the good behavior, and we stay committed to the good behavior, the bad behavior must necessarily fall away.  

Excitement about life

Shooting for a big, worthwhile goal brings out the best of us.  It’s energizing, uplifting, and gets us excited about each day. When we have a new activity or focus that brings with it an air of energy and positivity, it tends to quash any associated bad habits.


It’s also contagious.  In other words, as we do better in one area of life, it spills over into other areas.  We find out how strong the connection is between our physical and mental well-being and often end up looking to improve in areas we never thought possible.

5 steps to success without quitting the bad


  • Immediately determine what you must quit and why. What exactly would you like to quit and why must you do it.  It is imperative that this be defined upfront. If it’s not something you are serious about quitting, nothing will help you.
  • Find an activity that excites you that is inconsistent with the bad habit.  Use help from a mentor/coach or research and find that activity, that if accomplished and rewarded, would make you feel great about yourself.  It must be an activity whose accomplishment is wholly unconducive to your bad habit.
  • Set a deadline / competition for accountability.  Find a medium to long-term goal to focus on.  Do not just focus on the activity, rather focus on a commitment such as a competition that requires you to train and perform that activity.
  • Start new activity and get a mentor/coach.  Start immediately, even in a small way.  Find a way to inject a daily accountability into your training.  Use a coach or even use the “buddy” system, where two people hold each other accountable.
  • Don’t quit until you reach your goal and your vice disappears.  This is the challenging part.  Do not quit until you both reach your goal and lose the bad habit.  If you reach your goal before you drop the habit, increase the goal and go again.


The good news is that most bad habits are distractions.  Once we focus on the good, we tend to forget the bad. So if we can stop thinking about how to quit all that is bad in our lives and start starting all that will become good, we can not only drop those things holding us back but build a foundation of good that will propel us forward and upward.


  • Do you agree with us about quitting for success?
  • Did any of these things surprise you?
  • Do you have a story you’d like to share about an experience you or a friend have had with quitting or NOT quitting?

One of the stated missions of Broke Is No Joke is to help people escape the rat race and monetize their passions on their way to becoming the best version of themselves

We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic!  Email us at josh@brokeisnojoke.org.  

Visit our website at www.brokeisnojoke.org for more articles, videos, and tools you can use today to help survive and even escape the rat race.

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