By Leo Babauta

Many people make the mistake of just trying to quit a habit without giving it much thought — they think it’ll be as simple as, “OK, I’m just going to stop today!”

And if they’re lucky, it can be that easy. Most of us aren’t as perfect at it as that, so for the rest of us, we need to give some thought to triggers, replacement habits, reminders, accountability, and more.

Enter the simple Quit Plan.

I’ve created a template for creating your Quit Plan … just know that it’ll take you about 10 minutes to fill out, and you should start doing it today. You can add to it as you go.

Your Powerful Reason for Quitting

The biggest mistake a lot of us make is quitting a habit because it sounds like a good idea. This doesn’t work. You have to have a really good reason.

For example, here are two of my failed quits:

I’ve done similar things for sugar, white flour, etc. … I was able to quit them for a month, but I wasn’t incredibly motivated to change because doing these things in moderation doesn’t cause me problems. I don’t eat a lot of sugar, but a little doesn’t seem to harm me.

By contrast, I was able to quit smoking, meat, dairy & eggs, fast food and more when the reasons were more powerful:

Whatever habit you quit, make sure you have a very strong reason. And write it down in your Quit Plan. If you don’t have a good reason, dig deeper and find one, or find another habit to quit instead.


Today, I’d like you to do the following:

  1. Copy the Quit Plan to your Google Docs, or download it to open in a text editor or Word.
  2. Continue to track your triggers for the next couple of days. Write them on the plan.
  3. Write down your Why and fill out a few other things on the plan.

You can see an example of a Quit Plan by looking at mine here.