Bad habits can creep up on you without you realising. What may start as something innocent, snowballs into a much bigger problem.
We are creatures of habit. We seek routine to give our lives meaning and purpose.
The problem is, a lot of these routines and habits are toxic.
The European Journal of Social Psychology states it takes 66 days to form a habit.
If you have had a number of bad habits for a while, they are going to be hard to shake.
Habits are entrenched at a neural level in our brains. To break them, we are literally going against our hardwired behaviour.
This is why it’s so hard to overcome bad habits. Our brain and body is so used to them, it becomes difficult to overcome the urge to cave in.
Your habits reflect your character. How you do anything is how you do everything.
If you can break your bad habits and replace them with better ones, imagine what else you can accomplish!
“The only thing that comes to a sleeping man is dreams” — Tupac Shakur
I can’t deny, there are times when I absolutely love to sleep in.
Whether it’s a freezing cold day or a Sunday, sometimes, I just want to stay snug between the sheets.
We’ve all felt this way, and there’s nothing wrong with doing this every once in a while.
However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, it’s going to impact your quality of life.
You’ll become groggy during the day and will end up staying up throughout the night, due to your body clock being out of clock.
Worst of all, by sleeping in you are wasting your time!
Time is finite. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
That’s why you have to make the most of your time on this planet. Sleeping in is depriving you of that time.
Time that could be better spent working towards your goals, or exploring the world.
By lying in bed, you are, literally, wasting your time.
Life is not meant to be spent in bed.
Binge Watching TV
“TV is poisonous to creativity.” — Stephen King
I used to love watching TV.
Whenever I was bored I would sit down on my couch, flick through the channels until I found something I liked, and simply watched.
I had nothing better to do, so why not relax in front of the TV!?
It feels like TV or Netflix, has taken over everyone’s lives in recent years.
Everyone is talking about which series they are watching, or asking for new ones to watch.
The thing is, if you’re watching TV, you’re wasting hours of your life on a show that gives you nothing but entertainment.
Those hours could be better spent honing a skill, learning a new language, or working on a passion project.
There’s nothing wrong with watching the odd hour of TV a day. It does help you to unwind after a long day.
But, if you’re religiously watching 4 hours of Netflix every day, that’s not good.
Cut out the TV, and use those hours to work on improving yourself.
The shows will always be there, your dreams might not be.
“Waiting is the great vocation of the dispossessed.” — Mary Gordon
I had wanted to go to Australia for as long as I could remember.
During my final year of university, I told myself I would go to the land down under for a year after I graduated.
There was only one problem, I was scared.
Terrified of being by myself. I waited in vain hope that one of my friends would decide to come with me.
None of them did.
Faced with going to Australia alone, I caved in. I stayed in the UK. Worked in a job I detested and was generally miserable.
It was only when I got hit by a car cycling home from work that I realised I can’t wait around for anyone.
If I wanted to go to Australia. I should just go, regardless of how terrified I was.
A few months later, I went to Australia for a year and absolutely loved it!
I loved it so much, I spent the next five years travelling and living in various countries.
If I had waited for one of my friends to come with me, I might still be waiting now!
It’s normal to be terrified of big changes or decisions. It’s human nature. But, those changes and decisions are only scary in our minds. Once you actually go through with them, you realise it’s nothing to be afraid of at all!
If you’re waiting for other people to provide you with support or validation, you could be waiting for a long time.
No one owes you anything, much like you don’t anyone anything.
If you want to do something, just do it!
Don’t wait too long until it becomes too late!
Putting Yourself Down
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” — Brene Brown
This is something we are all guilty of. It’s simply too easy to criticise ourselves when things go wrong.
The way we talk to ourselves is scary at times. We wouldn’t get away with talking this way to someone else, so why do we do it to ourselves?
There is no justification for it.
Being critical is a useful trait, but when it spills over into self-loathing it negatively impacts upon our self-esteem.
Self-talk is one of the main reasons we trip up in life.
We convince ourselves we’re not good enough.
We tell ourselves we’d fail anyway so why try.
We talk ourselves out of chatting to that good looking guy/girl, because, well, they wouldn’t want to talk to us anyway.
When you talk to yourself in this way you are telling yourself you’re not good enough. You’re limiting what you can achieve for no good reason other than irrational self-limiting beliefs.
Most of us fail before we start because we talk ourselves out of acting.
Stop putting yourself and start pulling yourself up. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve!
Becoming Too Comfortable
“To be outstanding — get comfortable being uncomfortable.” — Alrik Koudenberg
As humans we seek comfort. Whether it’s a comfy couch, or a nice warm bed, we are always looking for comfort. However, comfort can lead to stagnation. If we’re always searching for comfort that means we aren’t taking risks.
We have to take risks if we want to improve. Risk is an intrinsic part of our lives. We take a risk when we step outside. We take a risk when we step inside a car. Risk is all around us, yet we are still afraid to embrace it.
If you want to get anywhere in life you need to take risks.
Whether it’s quitting your job to take your side hustle full time, or quitting to go and travel the world, they can’t happen unless you take a risk!
Nothing good ever came from your comfort zone.
Following The Crowd
“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.” — Unknown
If you want to be successful, you have to back away from the crowd.
I’ve heard a lot recently about the wisdom of the crowd. While this might be true in some fields, in life, it’s not the best option.
Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right.
If everyone was jumping off a cliff, you wouldn’t follow, because you would plummet to your death. That would be crazy.
But, if someone suggests going to a bar for a few drinks, but you’ve got an assignment to work, or you need to work on your side hustle, you might be tempted.
The scenarios may differ, but their outcome is the same. If you follow the crowd, you stray further away from your goals.
To achieve your goals, you have to follow your own path. This means making sacrifices. Whether it’s spending less time with your family and friends. Working over the weekend, or cutting back on your travels.
You have to make hard choices to get to where you want to be.
If you follow the crowd, you’ll remain where you’ve always been.
Success is a lonely road, but it’s one worth taking.