Dear Cassey: Why is it so hard to break bad habits?

Dear Cassey, 

Why is it so hard to break my bad habits?? I know exactly what I want and what I need to do to get it, but yet I’ll sabotage myself at the drop of a dime. I will do well for about a week then I always derail. I literally have no excuses. I’ll eat junk while thinking about how it’s not good for my body or scroll through social media while thinking I need to get up and exercise. Any tips for breaking these habits and staying on track?


Forever Feeling Stuck

Dear Forever Feeling Stuck,

Let me start with this – breaking a bad habit is TOUGH. It takes time, consistency and a lot of patience for yourself! Changes like eating less junk or spending less time on social media might seem small, but any change in your routine is going to take a little work.

Have you ever thought about WHY these things might be hard habits to break? When I’ve dealt with things like this in the past, it’s been super helpful to think about what is making me go back to the habits I’m trying to change. For example:

  • Do you give in to eating junk food when you’re feeling a certain way? Are you usually stressed, sad, tired or bored? Or does it tend to happen more often when you’re in a social setting?
  • Same thing for scrolling through social media! It’s easy for me to sit and scroll after a long, stressful day when I just want to zone out. Or maybe you fall back on social media when you’re procrastinating something that you dread, maybe like working out?

Instead of jumping right in and cutting these habits cold turkey, take a week or two to journal how often you’re doing the things you want to change, and how you feel when it happens. Then, you can tackle the root of the problem! If you’re an emotional snacker, is there something else you like to do that you could commit to doing next time you’re stressed or bored? Maybe go take a 10 minute walk, or do some deep breathing. Think about what you like!

My advice is kind of the same for social media. Do you sit and scroll in the mornings before you get up for the day, or do you notice more of this when you’re tired at the end of a long day? Journal it, and try some alternatives. It sounds like you want to exercise more instead, so think of some ways to motivate yourself! Commit to putting on your workout clothes before you sit down with your phone. Or, put fun little inspirational notes anywhere that will catch your eye and remind yourself about your goals. Your phone wallpaper might be a good place!

One more helpful tool for you – I have a free habit tracker that you can download to help you journal the habits you’re trying to change. Sometimes, just seeing how often these habits are happening can help hold yourself accountable. On the other hand, you can use this for GOOD habits too! It’s seriously sooo motivating to check off a day of working out or sticking to a meal plan.

blogilates free habit tracker for dear cassey

Most importantly, prepare to fall off the wagon sometimes. We ALL do. Don’t get down on yourself if this happens. You’re human, and if you need your favorite snack every now and then, or if your brain just needs to zone out every once in awhile, that’s okay. How you tackle these habits in the long run is what matters! If you turn these habits into “sometimes” things, definitely consider that a win.

I hope these tips help you move in the right direction! It might take some time, but I KNOW you’ve got this!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

18 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: Why is it so hard to break bad habits?”

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  1. Hannah says:

    I’m a thirteen year old dancer who when quarantine isn’t going on I dance over 24 hours a week but I would like to learn some ways on how to eat healthier without it being too dangerous at the age of thirteen. I find myself binge too much on salty foods and I would like some different options on healthier foods. I love eating healthy just would like some new tips and ways to stay healthier while eating

    1. Ellie says:

      I’m around your age and I find it really helpful in the morning to eat fruit because it starts my day out healthy. Apples and a little peanut butter gives me a lot of energy throughout the day

  2. Lt says:

    Hi Cassey, I have been following your channel for a while now and i love that your workouts have so much variety. Unfortunately i can never stay motivated for long when it comes to exercising, partly because i am so confused as to what will work for me and because i get bored of doing the same routines for more than a few weeks in a row. I am what they call skinny fat. I want to lose fat/cellulite and tone my body. Im 5’6 weight 130 lbs. My bf lifts weights all the time and believes i will never achieve the look i want by following your bodyweight workouts only. He says i need to lift weight and do cardio with the same routine consistently while only changing reps and weight to get the result i want. I am stuck and confused. Please help me out. What workout should i do? Will doing bodyweight workouts with your channel give me the results i want without the reps/sets? I am also limiting calories and following macro diet.

    Thank you
    Confused in Canada

    1. Diana says:

      Hello lovely, I hope you don’t mind me answering this for you. For muscle growth and definition lifting weights is your best option. The resistance that yout muscle goes through will be what helps it develop. As you get stronger you increase the weights or you increade the number of reps or sets with the same weight. Cardio is good for your health, your heart mainly, so you can do that a few times a week or at the end of your weight lifting session. It doesn’t have to be like 1h long cardio, just about 20 mins is enough. Best wishes to you

  3. Human Lady Type says:

    In terms of habits–I have a habit of being really good at motivating myself for short-term goals and also money if there’s a prize. I am currently working out to be fit and healthy to try and start a family. I was just curious if you had any similar plans / if so, would you offer workouts that are pregnancy friendly?

  4. Iv says:

    I know the feeling too well unfortunately 🙁 But this is a great answer Cassey. I’d just like to add that recently I found another app, Habitica, that makes a game out of getting rid of bad habits and developing good ones. It works pretty good for me.

  5. Sashaax says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’m a good, healthy weight, but I always want to tone up a little and avoid putting on weight.
    My first issue is that I have a consistent issue with my self-image and I never feel happy with my already slim body.
    My second problem is that I have a problem with snacking, and I have most of my calories that way. Somehow I get an urge to snack nearly every hour! Any tips to help me avoid snacking, especially now that we are in quarantine and the kitchen is only 2 floors down!
    Love you and your workouts babe! You are such an inspiration!

  6. Libby says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I have been in lockdown for 4 weeks now and I’ve found myself eating more junk food because there are not may things to do. Every day is the same as the last. How do you stop yourself from eating junk food (especially sweet things) while your in quarantine? What do you do to pass the time? I also wanted to say that I love your positivity!
    I hope that you are well and healthy
    -thank you

  7. Charlotte says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’ve struggled for years to keep my eating habits under control and most of the time I am unsuccessful (especially with binge eating). My over all goal is to lose body fat and I understand that I need to exercise, eat clean and be in a calorie deficit. I hate counting calories, I never stick to tracking my food for more than 3 days and sometimes it leads to me binging (I use my fitnesspal and my calorie intake should be 1,500). However, feel like it’s the only way that I will ever be able to lose fat is if I track what I’m eating. Can you give me any advice?

    Charlotte x

  8. Vivien says:

    Dear Cassey,

    I am starting to lose my motivation to keep going with my fitness journey and it is starting to stress me out.

    I am currently 25 years old, 154cm tall and weight around 51kg (112lbs). My current goal is to lose my stubborn belly fat and to tone up, because I am pretty small so I want to get stronger and to build some lean muscles on my body.

    I have been eating healthy and been working out like crazy, I try to stay active everyday. I do cardio, strength training, pilate, yoga and HIIT workout but no matter what I do I just can’t get rid of my stubborn belly fat. I can see myself losing fat all over my body except for my belly. I eat relatively healthy but no matter what I do, it just won’t work, so I restrict my calorie intake to 1200 – 1300 calories per day (I used to eat 1400 – 1600 calories) and my belly fat is still there and it has been a month and I am stuck in this weight loss plateau and I don’t know what else to do because I can’t lower my caloric intake as I am only eating 1200 – 1300 calories per day, and I just don’t see any results for the past few weeks.

    I see so many girls and boys making so much progress in such a short time, they get toned abs and lost a few pounds in a week or 2, and for me I didn’t lose any weight or belly fat at all by doing the same or similar workout as them. I am starting to feel discouraged by my progress. I got no one I can speak to and nobody I can relate to. When I try to talk to someone they just tell me that I don’t need to do anything because I’m already “skinny” but I don’t feel skinny at all, I may look skinny but I’m not actually that skinny.

    I don’t know what I can do from here on. Can you give me some advice or share your thoughts please.

    Thank you Cassey 🙂

    1. Cristina says:

      I have the exact same problem,your weight and your height 155 cmm.incredible

    2. Mini says:

      Hi there! I think you could have a digestive problem or maybe gluten, lactose or other intolerance. I used to have the same problem, I went to a gastroenterologist

  9. The habit tracker PDF is a savor! 🙂 I’ve created my own in my bullet journal.

  10. deades says:

    Dear Cassey,

    Over the last few years I feel that my weight gain is out of control. 5’2″ at 140 pounds. I can’t stay motivated… I do well with working out for a week or so and then fall off. I’ll either over eat or not eat enough.

    The kicker! EVERY TIME that I star to feel I am gaining control and more comfortable in my skin is when I realize I have gained more fat and my clothes don’t fit/are tighter.

    My realistic mind knows the number doesn’t matter, and muscle is heavier than fat. However ya girl doesn’t work out lol.

    What do I need help with? Finding commitment within myself and what works best. Finding your videos has helped, but I worry my motivation will fizzle out soon.

    Stuck between the couch and the goal

  11. Bubbles0550 says:

    Dear Cassey,

    Every time I wake up and look in the mirror I always think about how my bum looks saggy and that my stomach is even rounder. After I judge myself in the mirror I start looking at pictures of my friends, models or anyone and how I wouldn’t ever complain if I could look like them. This has been a problem of mine for years and used to ignore it but now i am finding it a lot harder to deal with. I have done loads of self care including meditation, face masks, exercises that I like etc. But I just can’t judging myself and I would love to feel confident and not just fake it. Do you think I will be able to love myself?


    Thanks Cassey for your wonderful videos and blogs!

  12. nidarahmanisa says:

    Hello Cassey!!
    I’m on my last year college and it’s been 6 month i was following blogilates workout with my diet after couple of time trying but always fall out of the wagon. I wanna ask about my workout, this month I would be get ramadhan fasting because I’m moeslim, I’m from Indonesia and usually fasting from 4am until 6pm, here we will get light at 6am and get dark at 6pm, I wanna ask if I can have workout just like your monthly workout around 4pm or 5pm before I break the fasting, because at night we would have shalat or kind of religious activity and actually I’m not that kind of person that like to workout at night, mostly because I’m home with my family and I’m not used to it. Last month I already do fasting and kind of a little bit hard, can you suggest how can I still fasting at ramadhan and still workout, do you have any workout that will suit when I got fasting? Thank you very much Cassey.

  13. Lia says:

    Dear Cassey!
    Help! I’m 22 and a final year dental student. I’ve followed your videos ever since I was 16 (Beginner’s 2.0) in high school, always determined to lose weight and I did! Until I reached med school..I worked out alot in the first 2 years and managed keep myself fit. But as the years past and I entered clinics and started dealing with patients I couldn’t find the time after a long tiring day (with all the back pain from hovering over patients to check their teeth) to workout everyday like I used to. I’m currently 161cm and 72kg! I really want to train my body to be fit again and loose weight. Thankfully I do manage to get some workouts in so my core strength is still there. My problem areas are my lower belly, arms, and back. I want to be able to tone those areas and I really want to loose the weight off my face! I’ve had a chubby face ever since I was 16 and I’m tired of it! Do you have any advice on what I can do to help define my face?

    P.S I’m hugeeeee fan <3 I aspire to be as fit and strong as you are, you were my role model since I was 16! Thanks to you I was motivated to start my fitness journey even when I was absolutely clueless! I started hitting the gym and found the love of my life who I'm getting engaged to this October! 😀 <3 So thank you Cassey 🙂 xo

  14. Emily says:

    You’re not alone! We are all the same and we are all human as Cassey says! You’ve got this Xx