The thing about habits is they can be a double-edged sword. A good habit, like paying your bills on time, can help you establish good credit, which can lead to long-term financial success. On the other hand, a bad habit, like spending hours a day on social media sites, can lead to long-term feelings of unhappiness as you compare yourself to the fake online images of others you see.
Because of how they affect us, let’s look at five habits to break today, so you can live a much fuller life tomorrow.
The Importance of Habits
Without habits, your life would be a series of time-consuming events.
Your body creates habits to prevent you from thinking about every little thing you do every single time you do it. Think about what you do when you wake up. How much of this routine do you actually think about? Probably very little. You do most of what you do when you wake up because of habit.
All habits have consequences and can either lead to a good or bad tomorrow. It all depends on which habits you choose (or allow) to develop.
So, what are some current habits should you break right away if your goal is to make tomorrow better?
Here are a few examples of habits to break today:
1. Stress eating.
One personal example I have of stress eating is when I was running a project for a large company a couple of decades ago. When I started the project, I weighed about 170 pounds. By the time the project ended I was close to 200 pounds! All of this was due to stress eating and I knew it was a habit I needed to break.
Stress eating is simply eating unhealthy snacks or meals when you’re stressed out. If you eat like this regularly, not only will you gain weight like I did, but you are also probably not eating as nutritiously as you should.
Like me, you don’t eat like this because you choose to. You do this because you feel stressed out, so you grab some snacks to eat.
This type of eating is a choice. You can change, like I did. After I figured out what I was doing I began controlling my eating habits and today I weigh less than I did at the start of that project.
Breaking the habit of stress eating may be challenging, but if your goal is to live a full, healthy life, it’s essential to make this change.
2. Sitting for long periods of time.
An article by the Mayo Clinic states that too much sitting “seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.” Their research shows it also increases the chance of many other health risks including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol levels. This is why this is a habit everyone should want to break today.
When you have a long to-do list, it can seem okay to sit for hours on end, but it’s important to get up and move around now and then. Experts suggest getting up about every 30 to 40 minutes.
In addition to helping, getting up helps clear your mind and refocus. Also, moving around helps boost your metabolism. This can be a big step in the direction of preventing wight gain while reducing stress.
3. Hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock.
While many people don’t enjoy waking up in the morning, anyone who wakes up is happy to do it finally. This is especially true of you think about the alternative.
Because people would rather stay in the comfort of their nice, warm bed, they hit the snooze button. But this habit gives you less time for life’s essentials. It can also affect your mood, making it more difficult to perform at your peak during the day.
The real reason people hit the snooze is they feel they need more sleep. Most people feel this way because they do need more sleep, Because of their sleep habits, they have a sleep deficiency.
According to the National Health Institute, a sleep deficiency can happen because of many things, including not getting enough sleep or sleep deprivation.
The problem with this habit is the more sleep-deprived you are, the less productive you’ll be.
The right sleep revitalizes your body and your mind, which helps keep you alert and focused. So, if you feel you don’t have a good rest each night, instead of hitting the snooze button multiple times each morning, go to sleep a little earlier than you usually do.
4. Spending hours on social media.
According to a study, daily social media users in the U.S. spend an average of 2.6 hours on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Tic Tok. While people will tell you they go to these sites to relax or catch up, what they are actually doing is procrastinating and wasting time.
Studies show that 76% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 use social media at work. So instead of using time at work to be productive (and perhaps, get ahead) all this time is simply lost.
A better habit is to use time at work to, well, work and be more productively. Make it a habit to limit your social media activity to no more than 30 minutes a day.
5. Constantly working overtime.
First, there have been times in my life when I have worked many, many hours in a day for many days in a row to get a project done. There have been other times when I’ve worked overtime at a job because I simply needed the extra money. These are not the type of circumstances I’m speaking of here.
The overtime I’m referring to are those people who simply make a habit of working all the time, ignoring all the other areas of their lives. These people forfeit family time, relationships with friends and sleep while injuring their physical and mental health.
For the long-term health of yourself and your relationships, this is the type of habit you want to break today.
Again, there are going to be times in your life when you will have to work more the typical 40-hour workweek. Make these the exceptions.
Try to make a habit of keeping your average work time down closer to that typical 40-hour number. This will help you to build a more substantial divide between work and the rest of your life.
Fill Your Life with Good Habits:
The habits we talked about today can drain your energy and prevent you from reaching your true potential. If you want to quit one of them, go for it. See how it makes you feel. What you’ll probably find out is it makes you feel a lot better about yourself and your life in general.
Which habit would you like to begin to break? Whichever it is, the best time to start is today.