post written by: Angel Chernoff

10 Habits You Must Quit to Be Happy

10 Habits You Must Quit to Be Happy

When you quit doing the wrong things, you make more room for the things that make you happy.  So starting today…

1.  Quit procrastinating on your goals.

Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.  Action and change are often resisted when they’re needed most.  Get a hold of yourself and have discipline.  Putting something off instantly makes it harder and scarier.  What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  And there’s nothing more stressful than the perpetual lingering of an unfinished task.

The secret to getting ahead is simply getting started.  Starting, all by itself, is usually sufficient to build enough momentum to keep the ball rolling.  So forget about the finish line and just concentrate on taking your first step.  Say to yourself, “I choose to start this task with a small, imperfect step.”  All those small steps will add up and you’ll actually get to see changes fairly quickly.  Read Getting Things Done.

2.  Quit blaming others and making excuses.

Stop blaming others for what you have or don’t have, or for what you feel or don’t feel.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility and perpetuate the problem.  Stop giving your power away and start taking responsibility for your life.  Blaming is just another sorry excuse, and making excuses is the first step towards failure; you and only you are responsible for your life choices and decisions.

3.  Quit trying to avoid change.

If nothing ever changed there would be no sunrise the next morning.  Most of us are comfortable where we are even though the whole universe is constantly changing around us.  Learning to accept this is vital to our happiness and general success.  Because only when we change, do we grow, and begin to see a world we never knew was possible.

And don’t forget, however good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace it, and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.

4.  Quit trying to control the uncontrollable.

If you try to control everything, and then worry about the things you can’t control, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of frustration and misery.

Some forces are out of your control, but you can control how you react to things.  Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether you’re happy or not depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.  The best thing you can do is to let go of what you can’t control, and invest your energy in the things you can – like your attitude.

5.  Quit talking down to yourself.

Nothing will bring you down quicker than berating yourself.  The mind is a superb instrument if used right, but when used incorrectly, it becomes very destructive.  Be aware of your mental self-talk.  We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us.

As Henry Ford once stated, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”  One of the major causes of why we fail is due to self-doubt and negative self-talk.  The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.  Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones, over time you will change the trajectory of your life.  Read The How of Happiness.

6.  Quit criticizing others.

The negativity you bleed out toward others will gradually cripple your own happiness.  When you truly feel comfortable with your own imperfections, you won’t feel threatened or offended by the imperfections you see in other people.

So stop worrying about the flaws you see in everyone else, and focus on yourself.  Let the constant growth and improvement in your own life keep you so busy that you have no time left to criticize others.

7.  Quit running from your problems and fears.

Trust me, if everyone threw their problems in a pile for you to see, you would grab yours back.  Tackle your problems and fears swiftly, don’t run away from them.  The best solution is to face them head on no matter how powerful they may seem.

Fears, in particularly, stop you from taking chances and making decisions.  They keep you confined to just the small space where you feel completely comfortable.  But your life’s story is simply the culmination of many small, unique experiences, many of which require you to stretch your comfort zone.  Letting your fears and worries control you is not ‘living,’ it’s merely existing.

Bottom line:  Either you own your problems and fears, or they will ultimately own you.

8.  Quit living in another time and place.

Some people spend their entire lives trying to live in another time and place.  They lament about what has been, what they could have done, or what might become.  However, the past is gone, and the future doesn’t exist.  No matter how much time we spend thinking and lamenting about either, it doesn’t change anything.

One of life’s sharpest paradoxes is that our brightest future hinges on our ability to pay attention to what we’re doing right now, today.

We need to live more in the moment.  Living in the moment requires active, open, intentional awareness on the present.  Don’t fantasize about being on vacation while at work, and don’t worry about the work piling up on your desk when you’re on vacation.  Live for now.  Notice the beauty unfolding around you.

9.  Quit trying to be someone you’re not.

One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love you, and you’ll love yourself more too.  The Road Less Traveled.

10.  Quit being ungrateful.

Not all the puzzle pieces of life will seem to fit together at first, but in time you’ll realize they do, perfectly.  So thank the things that didn’t work out, because they just made room for the things that will.  And thank the ones who walked away from you, because they just made room for the ones who won’t.

No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Photo by: Jamie Adams

Download the ebook If you enjoyed this article, check out our new best-selling book.
Marc and Angel Subscription via Email And get inspiring life tips and quotes in your inbox (it's free)...

Enter your email address to get new articles delivered for free:


  • As always, thanks for your great tips and advice!

  • Insightful and relevant to anyone who intends to live with purpose and pursue happiness. Thanks for the reminders.

  • Number one is fantastic! It’s so important! Thanks.

  • You guys always seem to post just the right thing at the right time for me. This advice is truly helpful. :)

  • Great post… I have one more: Stop quitting… sometime we need to learn to overcome our fear. There are things we need to stop and there are things we have to face. It is good to know when it is a good time to do one or the other.

  • I love this! I feel a little happier after reading this article. Thanks :)

  • So many things to work on. First and foremost, I must start now on my goals and this list.

  • For a 21-year-old like myself, just starting out on my own, this is a perfect little guide. Thank you!

  • Happy Monday to you. Good stuff as usual. Way to hit me square in the eye with Number 1. :)

  • As usual great post1 thanks for the positive points which we need to implement for positive results. I’m printing this one out. Regards.

  • Thanks for the message - good read and definitely inspiring. Whether you think you can or you can’t , you are right… And a similar reference made to Proverbs 23:7: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

  • Hi

    This is a great post, thanks. I agree with your points. I would also add “Quit surrounding yourself with people who hold you back or don’t help you grow.” If we are interested in self-growth, I think it is so important to have people around us who are interested in the same thing. The people we spend time with can strongly influence the way we think.

    Thanks for the post!

  • I’m going to have to stop telling my kids to ‘never quit!’ :)

  • Great reminders. Thank you :)

  • You just made my day again! Postive thinking everyday will get you everything!!!!!! Thank You So Much For Your Post.

  • Excellent happiness tips! I follow many of them, and couldn’t agree more.

  • It’s so hard to make small changes, and really start being happy. If you start by surrounding yourself with positive energy and people then one step at a time- you’ll be closer to happiness.

    Great advice, as usual. Thanks!!!

  • I love most of your posts, but this one was one of my recent favorites! Well done!

  • I think different things make different people happy, but this post does provide some practical advice on eliminating common happiness-draining habits.

  • Great job!

  • Being gateful for what you do have to me is one of the most important. There was a time in my life that about all i had was my 3 daughters and a roof over our heads. I would not have changed a thing. I was very blessed having those 3 little faces looking at me. I knew life was good and everything would be wonderful. Thanks for the reminders and blessings to you Marc and Angel

  • Good list. Now I’d love to read a follow-up: 10 do’s for happiness.

  • Great advice! Number 1 is the biggest key. Start taking action on the things that are important to you.

  • Claude LaPointe
    April 16th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    *Great* list, but…ahhhh, man. #8 is the killer for me. :)

  • I enjoyed the article very much. Great advice! But one thing that everyone needs to be aware of is that these changes in your habits as a person cannot happen over night. They take time…the kind you have to make in your life. In our instantaneous and self-gratification world, I don’t think anyone should expect to change their habits over-night or at the click of a button!

    Also, remember that you…who you are from the inside cannot be changed. You are who you are and if you sometimes feel angry at someone and criticize them…well…it is ok to do so. You are not expected to be PERFECT! There is no human being out there who is. Do not underestimate the power of emoting! It is just as necessary in order to learn and understand what makes YOU HAPPY!

  • Another solid post from you two. Your happiness tips always resonate with me.

  • Oh, I needed to hear this today! Very true! And those two books added to my booklist! I already read “getting things done” and I highly recommend it!

  • Loved this short read. :)

  • Angel, thank you, I love this article.

    All these points definitely connect together and are all very important to learn.

    Lately I’ve taken responsibility, stopped blaming others or circumstances, and have been facing my fears and what I’m holding inside, things are really improving! So I know much of this advice works.


  • Another great list from you two. If I can consistently maintain these habits, I know I’ll be heading in the right direction.

  • Great post! Quit all these things you mentioned and simply LIVE, BE and LOVE.

  • Oh boy, #4, 5, and 8 are definitely habits I need to quit! I would also add “Quit complaining,” although I suppose that’s very similar to “Quit being ungrateful.”

    It’s so refreshing to hang out with someone that doesn’t typically complain, especially when most of your time is filled with naysayers and ho-hummers. I know non-complainers feel like a breath of fresh air for me. :)

  • Your blog is amazing. It’s like the reality you need to hear but sometimes don’t want to admit. Thank your for creating it and keep up the good work!!

  • Some very thought provoking insights here. I know at least some of these points have made me a happier, healthier person over the last 50 years.

  • Definitely some good points…and so true!! Thanks for the reminders. I need them!!

  • I follow all of these except # 6. I do criticize others when I am driving sometimes. :) I know, I know… it’s something I need to work on.

  • Excellent post! Very informative. You do need all these things to be happy! Easier said than done sometimes, but it is possible in the long term with practice and commitment. Thanks for the post!

  • Thanks for the reminders - i need to stop talking down myself down. I’ve been working on this, and I know I can do it.
    Noch Noch

  • All of these make a lot of sense. If we are about to witness true success and happiness, then we better start implementing a couple. But what’s more important is to make new habits on top of these while we are getting rid of them, otherwise it’s all for nothing, since they have the tendency to return (like the phrase- return like a bad habit). Building new on their spot ensures that we never tilt again towards the bad ones. Great post, as always.

  • Again and again, great post.

  • Superb and practical advice.

  • “I choose to start this task with a small, imperfect step.” - This is a great reminder to avoid drowning in perfection paralysis. Knowing that I just need to take the first step and then the next one and the next one… keeps the pressure from mounting.

  • I love you guys! You never fail to remind me and inspire me. Thanks for your work.

  • Exellent post! Great stuff!

  • Ooh, some fab wake-up calls there! 1, 7 and 9 especially made me wince with self-recognition… I need to remind myself of those much more often.

    Thank you for another great post.

  • Thanks for this post. It inspired a minor epiphany, which I blogged about here:

  • I love your posts. I’m so glad I found your blog. It is so motivating in so many ways. Thank you!

  • Pretty decent advice. I enjoyed this post.

  • Appreciate it! Glad to see that there are some people that still care about others and the way they live ! :)

  • Great points. Inspiring and helpful advice.

  • Beautiful advice. Lessons to live by.

  • Nailed it! Thanks for being such an inspiration and calling it like it is.

  • This runs along the lines of the code of conduct we operate our business by. Thank you for spreading the wealth of knowledge.

  • Today is my first contact with your articles, they are blessing to this generation. keep it up!

  • This is great. #2 is the one I see most in others that drives me crazy. #1, #5, and #8 are the ones I need the most work with on myself.

  • True, the positive chance we want to see must begin with us.

  • I found this to me most interesting. :)

  • thank you for the encouragement and the good advice

  • thank you! #10 is so very true. you guys are incredible… i cant thank you enough for your wisdom and direction.

  • Thank you guys for giving me the daily bread and for giving me positive attitude. I am a girl with a direction now.

  • Since I stumbled upon your blog, it’s almost been as though you guys are talking directly to me. This blog post resonated so much with me that I built my latest blog post around 3 of the habits that were already a part of my recovery process.

  • Thanks for all of these, really helps … Illumined :D

  • Amazing. Thanks :)

  • Wow, amazing! Thanks for these tips. See you all on the other side - full of true happiness. :)

  • Beautiful post. Wow.

  • I LOVE IT. Such a happy read.

  • Personal glory lasts forever. its best for one to live his/her own life and never try to be like the other person.

  • I don’t know how I came across your blog, but I am so glad I did. It is so helpful and uplifting. Thank you very much

  • Every year I create and print a list of 10 goals I want to accomplish. I add positive quotes to the goal list. After reading this post, I’m going to print it and staple it to my goal list. That way I have additional positive support as I work on and accomplish my goals.

  • Namaste!

  • I came across your site from another post, but this one definitely has some great points. The ones about change being inevitable and quit trying to control the uncontrollable are phrases that are so true. Often times I get very worked up when seemingly negative changes take place, but in the great majority of cases they are out of your control. You can only try and realize that change will happen and adjust how you react when it does. Great post!

  • This is truly an awesome list! And I must say I am guilty of a lot of these! But the one I need to work on the most is to quit being ungrateful! I have been a through a lot in the past, as most people have been, but at times i focus on the NOT so amazing things.

    It’s time to thank God for the little things, as well as all the blessings!

    thanks for reminding me to live in the now, taking action on the things I want and to be grateful!

  • Great tips and really like this website!

  • I would add: Quit beleiving you are your thoughts. Thoughts and feelings come and go. In the space between thoughts and action, lies your choice.

    Awesome list! Can we be friends Angel? :-)


  • Never a dull post. Every sentence just explodes with thought provoking positivity! And that’s awesome. Thanks for the push in these tough times in life. Keep it up guys. Stay awesome. =)

  • Awesome article :-) You nailed it!

  • Again an interesting post, loved it. Impart now with immense positivity.
    Thanks for sharing the truth.

  • I needed to be reminded of these. Perfect timing. Thank you.

  • This was a great article to read; I am currently in the throes of advancing my career and jump-starting my lifeless love life. Statements 2, 4, 5, 9 were extremely relevant to my life as it is today. Thanks for making such commonsensical points.

  • Very good article. It is succinct and to the point. Happiness is a choice and that choice will require all of the ten points listed above. Great read.

  • This is the most positive article I have read since… like 1997. That’s saying something!

    Regards, and keep up the good work over here.

  • Fantastic post.

    Just what I need to wake up to.

    Especially the beating myself up part. I’m a pro at that.
    Gotta stop.



  • This is perfect! Thank you.

  • Lovely post.

  • I am really thankful I bumped into this post. It taught me many things and one is to never ever lose the courage to face our problems. Be thankful for the worst life situations because it will help us grow. It will make us stronger. And the most important thing is to have self-discipline. It is not enough that we dream on things, we have to work for them. Thank you so much for these lessons!

  • I have stumbled across your blog several times, and it always seems to help me with different situations that I am struggling with and puts things in perspective. Thanks.

  • I always smile after reading your post :’) It never fails to motivate me.

    Keep up the good work! We all appreciate it so much.

  • A very nice and motivational article.. Thank you so much for these enlightening points :)

  • Amen!!

  • Thanks. This article was very much helpful!

  • Great post! Keep it up!

  • Great article. Very inspiring. The tips are simple and doable. I like #7 Quit running from your problem and fear.

  • I love this! I feel a little happier after reading this article. Thanks :)

  • Hi there, I am going through some struggles at present and I need to make some changes.

    It’s just to find the strength to do what is needed. But thanks for the positive approach this article shares.

    Now I just need to dig deep and do what is necessary to make me happy :)

    Thanks for sharing.


  • Wise words.. I read your posts every morning. It is a step I’m taking to positively change my life.

Leave a Reply