Changing Bad Habits

DF SafetyHealth and Safety Tips, Personal Safety Guide


We all have them, both on and off the job. Some habits are positive, others not so much. The habits we create have an impact on our lives and the decisions we make at work. 

Are your habits affecting your life in a positive or negative way?  

Do your habits make you productive or un-productive? 

Do your habits at work lead you to make safe choices or unsafe choices? 

By recognizing unhealthy habits and working to change them, you create a safer working environment and overall better life. 

How do they work?

There are three parts that create a habit. They are: 

  • The trigger 
  • The routine/behavior 
  • The reward 

In order to break a habit, you need to change one of the following factors that create the habit itself. 


I’m more likely to sleep in an extra 5 or 10 minutes if my phone is in close proximity to me. Who wouldn’t want a few extra minutes of shut-eye?! This was some time ago, but I didn’t particularly like the habit I had created and wanted to change. 

What did I do? 

I chose to change the routine/behavior. I keep my phone in a different room than the one I sleep in. When I hear the alarm go off, I’m forced to get up to make it stop ringing. The desire to go back to sleep is gone because I’ve already gotten up!  

While this approach works for me, maybe you would do things differently! 

Maybe you’re always rushed and late for work. You could choose to change the reward factor. The new reward would be having more time to do what you need to do in the morning and leave a few minutes earlier to work so you arrive on time, stress and chaos-free! 

To Summarize

Habits that you’ve created can be broken by following this approach: Think about your habits and notice how they affect your daily life. 

Maybe your habits on the job have caused you to take shortcuts that could be dangerous to the safety of you and your co-workers.  

Although you haven’t experienced a negative consequence up to this point, an incident is bound to happen eventually if we accept poor work habits as a culture. 

Think about a bad habit you want to break. Change one of the three factors it takes to break the habit and see if it works for you! 

Have a great week!