How would your life change if you replaced a few bad habits with good ones?
Would you make more money? Work fewer hours? Get in better shape?
Every year in January, we get motivated to become the best version of ourselves and start the year off right. But sadly, most resolutions fail and people resort to their old ways of being by February.
Here’s the thing, to get what you want in life, you can’t rely solely on willpower. You need to change your habits because ultimately, your habits run your life.
But instead of telling you a bunch more habits that you should do, let’s go over some ones that most people do that are negatively affecting your life. Instead of adding, let’s subtract a few daily rituals and see how it impacts your overall well-being.
7 Bad Habits to Quit This Year
Here are seven habits that once you quit, can have a tremendous effect on all areas of your life.
1. Comparing Yourself to Others
When most people think about bad habits, we often think of external ones, but the internal ones can do the most damage sometimes. Particularly, comparing yourself to others which is extremely toxic.
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, with social media it’s never been easier to play the comparison game. But don’t forget, social media is simply a highlight reel of everyone’s best moments - it’s not reality. Few influencers actually show the day to day, behind the scenes, unfiltered version of themselves.
This is where the problems occur for most people. So many compare themselves to someone else’s highlight reel which makes it easy to feel depressed, anxious, or not successful enough. Which can lead to all kinds of personal and professional issues.
Don’t let social media negatively affect your life.
At the end of the day, the only person you should compare yourself to is your past self.
The person in the mirror yesterday, last month, or last year. Never compare yourself to anyone else as you are 100% unique and not like anyone else on this planet. Once you start comparing yourself to your past self only, everything can change.
2. Hitting the Snooze Button
The snooze button has killed more dreams than anything else.
While I’m not saying you need to get up every day at 4am or work 18 hours a day to be successful, don’t waste your mornings laying in bed.
The morning is the time when magic happens.
It’s time to get up early, hit the gym, work on a passion project, and spend time with yourself. It’s a time to set your intentions for the day before the inevitable chaos of work, family, and life happens.
Instead of snoozing, make it a point to wake up when your alarm goes off. If this is challenging for you and seems impossible, start new micro habits to set yourself up for success.
For example, if you want to workout in the morning but always sleep through your alarm, lay out your clothes and snack the night before. This micro commitment will make it easier for you to get up and get the day started.
3. Hanging Out With Negative People
I get it, the last year has been hard on everyone around the world. No one anticipated all the lockdowns, social distancing, and working at home. But what makes a tough situation even more difficult is hanging out with negative people.
Instead, challenge yourself to only spend time with people that lift you up and challenge you to do better. This might mean dropping a few friends from your weekly events or getting out of some prior commitments. It also might mean having to get out of your comfort zone and meeting new people.
Once you get clear on your goal of meeting new people and put yourself out there, amazing things can happen. Sometimes you’ll meet someone new and instantly hit it off.
Find people that support your goals but also challenge you to do better. Even if it’s not easy to always meet new people, it’s worth it to find an inner circle of friends that makes you evolve into the best version of yourself.
4. Excess TV or Video Games
Everyone loves a good Netflix binge (thanks a lot Tiger King). But if you spend too much time on the couch mindlessly watching TV or playing video games, it can negatively affect your life.
These devices are also very harmful before going to bed as well. When you are staring at a screen and getting junk light for a long time, it’s much more difficult to fall asleep and get REM sleep.
While I’m not saying you need to sell your TV and video games, do your best to limit time spent on them. Give yourself a set time of day after the most important stuff is done before turning them on.
Do your best to avoid them the hour before you go to sleep too. This will help you wake up refreshed, on time, and ready to conquer the day ahead.
5. Ignoring Your Health
Health equals wealth, now more than ever. As the world is opening up again, there has never been a better time to get control of your well-being.
Here are some good ways to quit ignoring your health:
- Get clear about where you’re at currently and what you want to achieve by setting number based goals.
- Take regular progress pictures in order to hold yourself accountable and monitor progress.
- Find other people with similar goals to help you stay consistent. Whether it’s a workout buddy or a group fitness class, it can have a huge impact on your results.
With consistent exercise and nutrition, you will have more energy, feel better, and it will be easier to quit other bad habits too.
6. Caring About the Opinion of Others
Did you know that we are hardwired to care about the opinions of others?
Think about it, our ancestors were able to survive by sticking together in small groups. But if you were ostracized from the group, that often meant not surviving.
So it makes sense that our brains still have that survival instinct to want to be liked. It’s a part of our programming that simply can’t be replaced.
But as you know, our physical environment in 2021 is far different from our ancestors. No longer do we need to worry about the opinions of others in order to survive.
Yet still, so many people live and die by the opinions of friends, family, and worst of all, strangers on the internet. But if you choose to live a life for everyone but yourself, you’ll never reach your full potential.
An Australian nurse named Bronnie Ware found that the number one regret of the dying is not living a life true to themselves. If there’s one thing that you can stop doing immediately, it’s to quit caring about the opinions of others.
Start living your life for you and only you. Once you do, you’ll have more freedom, joy, and fulfillment than ever before. You owe it to yourself to go after your own goals and dreams.
7. Waiting For the Right Time
The final bad habit to drop is procrastinating on your dreams. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is certain in the future.
Life is too short to spend it doing something you don’t love. While that doesn’t mean you need to quit your job tomorrow, make this the year when you chase your dreams aggressively.
Make sure that you never end up with regret by not taking the chance and betting on yourself. Stop waiting for your situation to change and instead, go out and make it happen. This is your time to make it happen.
Drop Those Bad Habits for Good
When you drop one (or all) of these habits, I’m confident you will have an epic 2021.
If you find yourself nodding your head with a lot of these, start with the biggest habit that’s holding you back. Focus solely on that one bad habit until you can replace it with a positive habit.
Then, work your way through the rest to help you create the life you want. Remember, as Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Change your habits, change your life.