“A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”
We all have bad habits. Some we are self-aware of, some we might not even realize we have. Maybe you cut people off a lot when they’re talking and don’t even realize it. Or maybe you go through the McDonald’s drive thru more times than you think you do. But when the new year rolls around and people start talking about New Year’s Resolutions, I always start thinking about bad habits.
I start thinking about the bad habits I know that I have – and then which of those bad habits I have that I actually want to change. Because let’s be honest, some bad habits we know we have we might not really care to change. Drinking, for example. (Unless of course you drink excessively – in which case it becomes more serious than a bad habit).
But drinking, while relatively harmless if done safely, is still pretty much considered a bad habit. Just like eating a lot of candy. (While both of these habits are not the most dangerous things in the world, they’re still not great for you.) But even though they can be considered bad habits, I’m honestly not too concerned about eliminating them.
Because I like candy. And I’m okay with liking candy. Pass the Twix, please.
(And also the cabernet while you’re at it. Thank you!)
So, with that in mind I like to think about the bad habits I have that I would really like to change in order to live a healthier and happier life. Although changing these repeated, regular tendencies will most likely not be easy, it is a task I am willing to take on.
And what are those bad habits I’d like to change?
- Falling asleep with electronics
- Drinking my calories
- Distracted snacking
- Falling asleep with makeup on (it’s a real problem)
- Being overly stressed and annoyed while driving
(Road rage. It’s road rage. I just don’t want to call it that okay.)
So now that I’ve recognized some bad habits I know I’d like to change, what can I actually do to start changing them?
Well the theory goes that it takes 21 days to change a habit. Although I actually looked into that and apparently it’s wrong. The amount of time it takes to change a habit depends on the person and can take anywhere from 20ish days to like… 300ish days.
So that’s… not very helpful.
Aside from just knowing that it will take some time, writing these down and constantly reminding myself about them seems to help keep me on track. Although some of them will probably be more difficult than others. I’m looking at you road rage.
When it comes to drinking my calories and distracted snacking, downloading a fitness tracker seems to really be helping me manage that. Just having a better sense of how many calories I’m intaking a day helps me to decide if I really want that juice or the whole bag of goldfish. And when you only have so many calories you know you can eat, you really stop wanting to waste your precious food calories on a 230 calorie medium Chick-fil-a lemonade. (Yeah. 230 calories. For a medium lemonade.)
When it comes to falling asleep with electronics, I feel like I need to set a cut off time for the computer and my phone. Like, past 10:30 pm all electronics will be plugged in and away and the only thing you can entertain yourself with is a book or Sudoku. Or something along those lines.
If anyone has any good book recommendations please let me know! I typically like to read fiction/fantasy or an autobiography of some really cool and intriguing person.
Now, Falling asleep with my makeup on is completely just my fault. The only way I’m going to break this habit is if I just stop doing it. Maybe I can start with makeup/face wipes by my bed for when I’m really lazy and already in bed so at least I can do something.
(Hey – don’t judge. We all have our struggles.)
And lastly – ugh. Road rage. I don’t know. I guess I could meditate or something. It’s not like I have the worst road rage in the world and on some days I’m actually quite calm compared to most other people on the road. But every now and again something really simple, like being cut off in traffic or someone tailgating me, will just really set me off. I would love to just be unaffected. The added stress and frustration from something so inconsequential is just not worth it. So, yeah – meditating.
Do you have any bad habits you want to work on breaking this year?
Do you have any advice for breaking bad habits?
Please let us know below!
– a twenty something