K is for Kicking Bad HabitsMelanie Lemus
Kick Your Bad Habits
While it’s still a little early in the year to start thinking about my New Year’s resolutions, I have been thinking about some bad habits that I witness (and yes, exhibit) regularly. So here are three areas where you may want to evaluate—and kick—your bad habits.
Kick Bad Social Habits
So often, I have encountered groups whose entire social calendar revolves around bad habits like drinking, gossiping, or gorging on gluttonous foods. While the people involved might be lovely people, it might not be a good idea to let yourself become tightly entwined with a group that encourages detrimental behavior.
I, myself, used to be part of one such group, and it finally got old being made fun of for no longer drinking, knowing that I’d be gossiped about as soon as I wasn’t around, and judged for the healthier food choices I started making. It turns out that these people I considered my best friends couldn’t support me when I decided to make healthy changes in my life and instead wanted to keep me in the destructive habit patterns with them. I eventually prioritized my health and moved on to a friend group that more closely aligned with my lifestyle and convictions.
Cultivate a group of friends who love you and support your decisions, even if you don’t always see eye-to-eye. I do not think it’s important that you have all the same beliefs as someone to be friends with them (see this article), but when asking for life advice, you may want to consider friends with similar values and worldviews. Regardless of their beliefs, your friends ought to be supportive of you and encourage you to continually grow and thrive.
Kick Bad Thought Habits
I am too fat. I will never understand this new concept at work. He’s more successful than I am. I bet they don’t like me. She’s prettier than me. He will never change. Just one more time won’t hurt anything. I’m not worth the effort. I don’t deserve a raise. No one loves me.
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? Negative self-talk and pessimism about the people around us are two bad habits that shape how we interact with the world. However, by disciplining our thoughts and sticking to the truth, not only will we create a more positive outlook for ourselves, but we will also improve our relationships with others.
I encourage you to stop yourself as soon as you realize you’re engaging in bad thought habits and logically think about what is true. I’m willing to bet you’ll get a lot of benefit out of this exercise.
Kick Bad Health Habits
You didn’t think you’d read an article about bad habits without discussing health, did you? Bad health habits are one of the most common types of bad habits. This year, I encourage you to examine the things that are helping and hurting you. First, be mindful of what foods make you feel energized and alive and which make you feel sluggish and achy. Then increase the good foods and cut out the bad ones. Due to my own health crisis, I went from a gluttonous devotee to the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) to a much happier person with a slightly smaller pool of foods from which to draw. As a result, my health improved, as did so many other aspects of my life. You’d be surprised how much you can do when your body isn’t fighting constant inflammation!
Beyond food choices, God designed our bodies to move! I may never be one of those girls that loves burpees, but I do feel so refreshed from a long walk outdoors. Maybe biking brings back positive childhood memories, or perhaps you want to try something new like rowing. Whatever your preference, just get out there and get moving. You will feel so much better once you kick the sedentary habit!
Kick Bad Time Management Habits
When I was in college, I was the worst procrastinator. My sister, who shares that trait, said we should write a book about procrastination. We still haven’t gotten to it. Ha!
While I do work great under pressure, my body no longer thrives on the adrenaline and caffeine-fueled late nights when a work assignment or project is due the next day. Not only that, but I realized a long time ago that I can never fully enjoy my leisure time if I still have something hanging over my head that needs to get done.
A few years ago, I decided to work first, play later, and never looked back. As a result, not only has my work improved but so has my leisure time – and I feel like I have more time for the latter since kicking the bad procrastination habit!
One of my sisters just happens to be one of the most productive people I know. She told me about time blocking. Time blocking is a simple, relatively flexible, yet structured approach to budgeting your time. It’s like a to-do list on steroids because you schedule the time to do the things on your list. Some tasks take 15 minutes, while some need a few hours. If I have a bunch of little 5-minute tasks, I’ll group them into one productivity power block.
What I love about this method is that after I plug in all my “must accomplish” projects, chores, and appointments, I can see where I have time to do things that I WANT to do, whether that’s re-paint the laundry room, go for coffee with a friend, or go get a massage. It’s a great visual way to see holes in your schedule. And when I’m intentional with my time, I feel like I have way more of it.
Break Your Bad Habits
Don’t wait until the new year – now is the time to break your bad habits! Then you’ll be that much ahead of the power curve come January 1st.
About the Author
Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics. She lives in Virginia with her wonderful husband and witty daughter. Melanie loves her freedom – in Christ and America. She’s passionate about natural health and homeopathy, and she’s always down to take a hike through the mountains.
About Vision to Purpose
Vision to Purpose is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed by offering tailored career, life, and business solutions, specializing in military transitions. We also help writers become published authors!
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