14 Bad Habits to Leave in 2014

Year after year, I find myself making BIG New Year’s Resolutions and getting down on myself when they don’t last past January. I think I’ve finally learned from that mistake.

To me, the start of a new year is just as much about looking back as it is about looking forward. I’ve put some thought into my accomplishments and happiest moments and also my shortcomings and low points of 2014. Although I have specific goals in mind for the New Year, I haven’t committed myself to particular resolutions. Instead, in order to make room for personal improvements in 2015, I have compiled a list of bad habits I will try to leave in 2014.

 1. Self-Doubt

If you find yourself “waiting until the time is right”, you’re probably standing in your own way. It is ok to be hesitant and to challenge your actions, but don’t let it hold you back. Rather than figuring out why you can’t do something, try asking yourself what you need to accomplish your goals. Do not sabotage your own happiness.

 2. Being Anti-Social

You don’t need to be the life of the party, but being social can benefit your life majorly. If you’re shy or you just don’t enjoy social interaction, take baby steps: join a networking group (maybe get a friend to come with you) or connect with like-minded people on social media. Surrounding yourself with the right people can benefit your health, career, spirituality, relationships, and self-esteem just to name a few.

3. Feeling Obligated

The feeling of obligation often leads to overscheduling. By overscheduling, you’re only taking away time from your only REAL obligation: Taking care of yourself. You are obligated to pay taxes and obey laws. You are not obligated to watch your neighbor’s children every Tuesday when you’d benefit much more from going to yoga class. Learn how to say “no” to others and “yes” to yourself. By allowing yourself “me time”, you’re also providing space for those inevitable emergencies that tend to leave you playing catch-up the rest of the week.

 4. Comparing Yourself to Others

Nobody in the world can do a better job at being you than you. By comparing yourself to others, you’re only depriving yourself of joy. There are so many faults in comparing yourself to others. Usually, the person your comparing yourself to is somebody you only know on the surface. For instance, the girl you sat next to in high school health class who post pictures on Facebook of her beautiful dream vacations, her successful, good-looking husband, and her three children, all of whom are on the honor roll and best sports teams. However, you don’t really know what her life is like. Facebook is just a highlights reel. Next time you find yourself in this situation, try comparing your life to the only one worth it: Your own. Ask yourself how you are different from the person you were 5, 3, or even only 1 year ago. What have you accomplished? How have you grown? What have you learned? What are you capable of now that you used to struggle with? You may surprise yourself!

 5. Staying Up Too Late

“Force Quit.” We’ve all heard it a million times. The average adult requires 7-8 hours of sleep per night. There is scientific proof to support the notion that adequate sleep has COUNTLESS benefits to our health, productivity, and overall well-being so why go against science? Plus, who doesn’t love to sleep? Choose a reasonable time to get to bed every night and regardless of what you’re doing, vow to be in bed by bedtime. You’ll thank yourself and your boss, friends and family may notice a difference, too!

 6. Blaming Bad Habits

While we’re on the topic of bad habits, a bad habit is blaming everything on bad habits. By blaming negative behaviors on bad habits, you’re only reinforcing your sense of helplessness. Rather than making excuses and giving into the habits, try taking action and resolving whatever issue is causing the bad habit. I strongly recommend reading a book called “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg. It provides you with the tools necessary to change your habits permanently.

 7. Being Late

Do you want to come off as irresponsible, rude or disrespectful? Some may make that assumption about you if you are habitually late. Plus, being late only adds to your own stress. Why rush? Try setting alarms to remind you it’s time to leave, writing down reminders in your calendar, and planning ahead. Don’t schedule appointments, meetings or events too close to each other to ensure punctuality.

 8. Multitasking

You may think you’re being productive by tackling multiple projects at once, but its been scientifically proven that by multitasking, you’re only decreasing your productivity and quality of the task at hand. Have you ever started one task, then another, and at the end of the day you find you haven’t completed either one? You’re not alone. Prioritize your tasks and start with the most important ones. After completing one, move to the next. You will find that you’re much more successful at checking off your “To-Do” list.

 9. Living in the Past

“‎You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” ―Jan Glidewell. Living in the past will not undo, fix, or change anything, but it may cause you to miss some of the best moments that are happening in the present! Rather than living in the past, reflect on it, learn from it and create the best version of you with the knowledge you’ve gained from experience.

 10. Trying To Rush To Where You’re “Supposed to” Be in Life

When were younger, many of us create a timeline for our lives; “I want to be making $50,000 per year by the time I’m 23, married by 25, buy a house by 27, and have a child by 29.” Unfortunately, sometimes were not dealt the hand we expected. It is great to have goals and to be motivated by our dreams, but as we grow and change, our goals, too, must grow and change. Life is a dynamic adventure. Be flexible and know that right here, in this moment, is where you are supposed to be. Everything else will fall into place.

 11. Procrastinating

Having plans and goals is wonderful, but they’re useless until you take action! Try setting small, achievable goals every day. Pay attention to what typically distracts you; is the television on? Is there background noise? Are you hungry? Social media? Whatever it is, plan to eliminate that distraction before you begin your task. Turn off your notifications, have a snack or find a quiet space. Set reasonable deadlines for your progress.

 12. Worrying About How Your Life Looks Rather Than How It Feels

So many people make their lives look so glamorous on social media or in newsletters or at social gatherings. We don’t see the crying children, health problems or financial issues that happen behind the scenes. It is important to realize that it doesn’t really matter at all what your life looks like to outsiders. What matters is how you feel. Does your life make you happy? Are you proud of yourself? That is all that matters. Don’t waste time and effort putting on a show when you could be enjoying your life.

 13. Avoiding Confrontation

Don’t wait around to see if the issue at hand will get better on it’s own. By avoiding an issue whether it’s a health issue, relationship issue or an issue at work, by waiting around, you’re only giving it more time to get worse. Fix an issue as soon as it arises. It will probably go more smoothly than you anticipated and can be an easier fix before its too late. Nipping it in the bud will also help you avoid excessive stress.

 14. Sweating the “Small Stuff”

Anyone is capable of becoming a more calm person. When you find yourself in an anxious, uncomfortable, angry or frustrating situation, take a step back and look at the big picture; In 5 or 10 minutes, or tomorrow, or in three days, is this moment really going to matter? Will you still be anxious, uncomfortable or upset? Is this going to drastically affect your life? If you can answer “no” to one or more of these questions, its probably “small stuff.” Don’t stress yourself out over it. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things From Taking Over Your Life (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Series)”, a book written by Richard Carlson, is an AMAZING tool to learn how to deal with the small stuff and keep your cool. I HIGHLY recommend keeping this book nearby for those moments.

HAPPY NEW YEAR and I hope you, too, will reflect on the ups and downs of 2014 and discover ways to create room in your life for improvement in 2015!

 

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