You've probably read a blog post or two about what life-changing habits will transform you into the person you've always wanted to be. And it's true--you are what you do.
Your habits make you who you are. But even if you start implementing all the right habits, your bad habits might still be holding you back.
It's like a one step forward and two steps back kind of dance. You start a new habit and take a step forward. But all of your old bad habits? They're still there, dragging you back.
So, what habits should you cut out of your life today? Keep reading to find out.
Comparing Your Life to Others
There are a few instagram posts I will never forget. One of them is a post I read during on of the busiest seasons of my life. It was a picture that read Comparison kills contentment.
Comparison is a habit we subconsciously practice. We see someone getting engaged and wish we were in that season of life too. We see someone with a bigger house or newer car and wish we had those things too.
And it often grows from entitlement too. Don't we deserve nice things? Shouldn't we get to find love too? Surely they aren't any better than me!
But the truth is that comparison kills the contentment and joy we should be fostering in our own hearts! Stop comparing and start counting what you're thankful for. Comparing my situation to someone else's won't change anything. But cultivating a thankful heart, fostering joy, and focusing on the things I'm content with will.
The second habit to cut out is overcommitting. Don't get me wrong, I get it. You want to be part of everything. You've got the fear of missing out, so you'll be broken if you miss even a single event.
Or maybe you just have a hard time saying no. When someone asks if you can do something, attend an event, or help them out, you feel the need to say yes even if you know it'll exhaust you.
Even if you have every intention of going to everything you say you will, the commitments can pile up and you may be unable to do it all. Not only is overcommitting impractical, but it can lead to overwhelm, stress, anxiety, and eventually you'll just be stretched too thin.
If you've been in this boat before, you know how easily it can sink. Here are some practical tips to avoid overcommitting.
Take a look at your schedule. If you don't have a schedule, make one, and if you have more than three or four commitments in one day, don't say yes to any more. If you have school or work, try limiting your day to one or two commitments. See how this works for you, and then you can alter your limit from there.
Prioritize the important commitments. If you've already promised your significant other a date night and your friend asks you to help them, you have to pick which is more important. By prioritizing, you mark a commitment as more important in your head, so saying no to other things becomes easier.
Don't be afraid to say no. Saying yes to everything isn't just harmful for you, but It's harmful for others when you can't honor each commitment. Especially if you have the intentions of people pleasing and making others happy, this can get out of hand fast. Simply say no and mean no.
Not Setting Boundaries
On the topic of saying no and meaning it, another habit to cut out of your life is failing to set boundaries. If you fail to set boundaries, you may become overwhelmed, burnt out, or frustrated and you may foster feelings of resentment for friends and family.
Setting healthy boundaries doesn't mean never showing love to your friends and family and never helping them out. Instead, boundaries help you take care of yourself as you take care of others.
They're the foundation for healthy relationships, so it's important to evaluate the areas of your life where you don't have boundaries so you can decide which ones you need.
How can you set healthy boundaries in your life? Here are some tips:
Find out what boundaries you need. Often, all this takes is some reflection. Consider journaling about times you've felt hurt or irritated and what boundaries may have helped.
Communicate and be clear. You can set all the boundaries you want in your head, but if you don't communicate them with those around you, they won't know what you need and won't be able to help.
Confront your friends and family if they disrespect your boundaries. If you've clearly told them that a certain topic makes you uncomfortable or that you're no longer able to help with something, and they disregard your needs, it's okay to confront them. Do so in love and grace, but be firm and take action if needed.
Find a friend or family member to share your needs with. Find one that will support you and encourage you when it feels like enforcing your boundaries is hard.
Examples of healthy boundaries:
Sorry, I can't attend your party today.
I don't appreciate being spoken to like that. It hurts my feelings and crosses my boundary.
I need to spend some time alone today, but we can hang out another day this week.
I won't be spending time with you if you continue to critique me in this way and put me down.
The list goes on. Spend some time reflecting on what you need, and solidify your boundary.
Using Your Phone Before Bed & When You Wake Up
I used to spend an average of 45 minutes on my phone all before 8 am. Part of it was me listening to music as I got ready or answering any texts I'd gotten the night before. But the majority of my morning was spent scrolling through instagram, TikTok, and other social media.
Honestly, I don't know why it's so addicting. What is it about scrolling through the same feed that just drags us in? I'm sure there's lots of scientific stuff explaining this, but I want to talk about the effects of using our phones before bed and right after waking up.
Using your phone before bed can increase alertness, causing our brains and bodies to be less tired when it comes to getting the sleep we desperately need. When we hop into bed, we feel tired and ready to rest. But then we pick up our phones. After we've looked at our phone for 30 minutes, our brains are no longer tired and we're busy processing all the information we saw instead.
Unfortunately, this is an endless cycle. We take longer to fall asleep completely and we don't get the amount of sleep we need. This lack of sleep can lead to health problems and strain on our mental health as we don't get enough rest.
The blue light emitted from your phone's screen is also a cause for concern. Fun fact: blue light is actually a good thing in small quantities. It's part of the visible light spectrum, and it's given off by the sun naturally. Blue light can help regulate things like mood, alertness, memory, and even promote sleep. That's why it's common to feel sleepy after a day in the sun!
However, in large quantities and from devices so close to your eyes, blue light can be harmful. It can alter the production of melatonin before bedtime, causing alertness instead of helping us sleep. It can also lead to things like eye strain and headaches.
Moral of the story, give yourself some time before bed and first thing in the morning to just lay there. Hop out of bed and make your cup of coffee before you check your phone. Open up your window and stretch first. Just take a baby step and watch your life become more productive.
Just like starting a new habit isn't easy, neither is cutting out an old one. Maybe you've been practicing these for years and don't even know where to start. Don't worry! These habits are pretty basic ones, and are easy to implement into your life. With these tips and tricks you can take the baby steps needed to lead to big life changes!
Got some bad habits I forgot to mention? Send me an email and let me know what you're working to cut out of your life! Toxic friends? Gossip? Shopping addiction? (me too) Subscribe and let me know in the comments!