Out with the old, in with the new. New year, new habits…or, should I say, improved habits. You might have tried it before only to feel disappointed that things didn’t go as planned. Well, you know what they say…if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
What better time to focus on becoming a better self, for you and your loved ones than a new year? The first step? Identifying the habits that put the brakes on your personal development and leave them behind in 2020. Here are ten such habits that might be holding you back from reaching your potential and happiness.
Negative self-talk and self-critical humor
Self-criticism, especially in the form of a funny joke, might seem harmless. You’d be surprised to know it can be anything but. According to psychologists, the more you make fun of yourself and criticize everything you do, albeit, in a funny way, the more you’ll start believing it yourself.
More than that, if you voice your self-deprecating comments, you offer the opportunity to others to say the same things about you as well. Leave this toxic habit in the past, where it belongs, and start showing some love, respect and care to your own self. This approach will change your life!
Comparing yourself to others
“Comparison is the thief of joy”, Theodore Roosevelt once said. He was more than right about this. If you constantly find yourself looking in the next cubicle instead of really looking at yourself in the mirror, it’s time to stop.
Instead of comparing your performance at work to that of a coworker, your fitness journey to someone else at your gym or your parenting skills to a self-proclaimed super mom (or dad), take a minute to appreciate the things you’ve succeeded in doing on your own so far. You might not be the best but you’re doing everything you can to grow and develop. You can motivate yourself without comparisons!
Going through the motion
You can’t just mindlessly go through life. You’ve only got one life and it’s important to make the most of it while you can. You never know when your time is up. So, why waste your precious time by absently going through the motions? Not having any goals, not trying to grow and be better, not being more involved and caring about the time you spend with your family, is blocking your personal growth and making you miserable (whether you realize it or not).
If something is keeping you from being happier (say, scrolling mindlessly on your phone is keeping you from spending quality time with your loved ones), it’s time to give it up. Set a goal (even a short-term one) that might improve your life or make you feel better about yourself. Try a new recipe, start a new hobby, smile more…anything that can help you live more intentionally.
Not drinking enough water
Now, this bad habit should not be so difficult to leave behind. Sure, working out might be hard, eating healthy is a serious commitment that not many of us can keep, but drinking water is really not that hard. In fact, it’s one of the easiest things you could do for a healthy body (and mind).
So, leave the dehydration behind in 2020 and start drinking water, especially if you also want to lose weight. You Might Be Surprised to find out how much water can help you out in this endeavor.
Suffering from superhero syndrome
Yes, that’s a thing. When you want to do everything on your own, and that everything to be perfect, you are suffering from the superhero syndrome. Your value is not given by crossing off everything on your list. People will not stop appreciating you if you ask for help every once in a while, or delegate tasks to others.
How about, in 2021, you stop overburdening yourself and focus on ding one thing at a time, even if this means moving some things on your to-do list on the waiting list. You might also like to read 22 Lifestyle Tips That Will Help You Live a Longer Life.
Not keeping promises to yourself
This toxic habit is closely related to going through the motions and letting life happen while you’re staying on the sidelines. Do you want to become more confident and assertive? Start standing up for yourself and for your plans. If you make a promise to yourself, stick to it without any further negotiations.
If you want to lose weight, become fitter, then make a plan and follow it. Show more discipline even if sometimes, you feel like doing something completely different. Keeping promises to yourself means being more intentional with your life and not let it just happen.
Settling in a relationship
Settling for anything in life, be it a romantic relationship, a friendship, a job and so on, is one of the worst habits to get into. This is why you have to get rid of it and prevent it from ruining yet another new year.
If it has so much as crossed your mind that you might be settling, it means that you are; otherwise, you wouldn’t have thought of it. In a relationship, you should never feel like you need to handle your partner with kid’s gloves and walk on eggshells every time you do or say something. Don’t stay in a relationship just because you’re scared of loneliness. A wrong partner can destroy your sense of self whereas being alone might help you discover who you truly are. That being said, check out these 7 Signs It Might Be Time to Move On.
Not saving money
Sure, you really want to go on that exotic holiday or buy that expensive dress. But no cruise, dress or the like is more important than building a nest egg for you to use when the time comes. You don’t have to choose between YOLO and being a responsible adult. As hard as it might seem, you can do both. Yes, you’ve heard me! You can still enjoy beautiful experiences and goods from time to time but keep your focus on the main goal: saving money for rainy days.
You never know when your pet might need surgery, your car might require major repairs or you might need to make a down payment for a bigger house. Saving is your only safe option. You don’t want to rely on a credit card to cover such costs, trust me!
Speaking of which, here are 11 Purchases You Should Never Make with a Credit Card.
Snoozing your alarm
Time works differently in the morning, especially when you have to wake up and go to work. You might think snoozing your alarm will get you another five or ten minutes of sleep, but in reality, it will only make you more tired and less prepared for the day ahead.
On the other hand, if you get out of bed when your alarm starts for the first time, you will feel more energized (yes, it’s true!) and set the tone for the rest of your day. In addition, your day will start with motivation and intention. Getting up on the first alarm will also prevent you from having to rush to get ready or from being late. Think about it this way: do 5 or ten extra minutes of sleep worth being late, or worse, getting admonished by your boss?
Procrastinating the little things
Whatever your reasons, procrastinating is not going to bring you anything good. In fact, procrastination is more than a bad habit, it can contribute to low self-esteem, low self-worth, poor performance, and bad results in general.
From major things like starting a new diet or completing a challenging task to less difficult ones like making an appointment to the doctor’s office or folding the laundry, people procrastinate every chance they get. To have a successful new year, stop procrastinating on the things that can be done in 10 minutes or less. Because they take so little time, it’s easy to postpone them. Unfortunately, in the end, you’ll end up with 10 loads of laundry to fold, tons of dishes to wash and dozens of extra emails to reply to.
Too much screen time
Technology has become such a big part of our lives that it seems we can no longer live without it. While it’s true that it can simplify our lives, provide endless entertainment, keep us connected and in touch with our friends and families, excessive screen time also has its downsides.
We might not like to admit it, but those sore eyes, headaches, sore neck and rigid shoulders have not appeared just like that. Even your sleeping problems might be caused by too much screen time. If you don’t feel like doing anything else but watch TV or scroll through your phone, maybe it’s time to make some changes that don’t secretly deplete you of energy.
Monitor your screen time and if you notice you’re spending too much time on your devices, try different activities that don’t involve you looking at a screen all day long: cooking, reading or any other hobby you find relaxing and refreshing. And don’t use any devices before bedtime, otherwise, you might not get your precious ZZZs. On that note, check out 7 Sleep Habits That Could Reveal Serious Health Issues.
All in all, instead of making the same mistakes over and over again, let’s leave the bad habits behind and rock this new year like never before!