Alex Aster is the managing editor of The Newsette, the author of a forthcoming series, and founder of Aster Way, a blog where she gives creators the inspiration they need to follow their dreams day by day. As part of our “Ask Alex” series, she tackles some of our readers’ most pressing questions, in an effort to bring a new perspective to the table. Today, Alex answers a question about bad habits.

Dear Alex: I struggle with doing things I know I shouldn’t, daily. Let me explain. I look at my phone for an hour before I go to bed even though I know I shouldn’t. I look at my screen even after my eyes hurt. I watch TV until it’s too late to get eight hours of sleep. I know these behaviors are bad but I just can’t stop. Help! 

AA: I’m sure everyone reading this can raise their hand and say yep, me too to one of these bad habits. Now, how to kick them? Peel off the band-aid. Can’t stop looking at your screen before bed? Make your phone sleep in another room. Need it for an alarm? Guess what, now you use an old-fashioned alarm clock. Binging too many shows on Netflix? Set an alarm on your phone that signals it’s time to stop watching, even if it’s in the middle of a juicy episode. Keep yourself accountable. The best way to eliminate something negative in your life is to grab it by the root—and replace it with something positive. Find a new nighttime ritual. Treat yourself to a new book once a month, then keep it on your nightstand.

In general, if you’re doing anything for more than ten minutes, I encourage you to ask yourself—how is this serving me? You’d be surprised how many mindless Instagram scrolling sessions you’ll end early.

Good luck!

How did you kick your phone addiction?

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