We live in a world that promises faster, better, stronger. All of us are striving to be our very best. While it is invigorating to be chasing after your dreams, it can feel overwhelming when we are faced with all the habits we should be doing but aren’t. Our lives get so full with lists of “should do” that we sometimes don’t take a look at what we shouldn’t be doing. Cutting out bad habits will help you free up more time, more mental capacity, and allows your good habits to dominate more of your day. Collected for you below are the 5 most toxic habits to your success. Cut these out of your life and you will be shocked at the difference five bad habits can make on your life.
1. Sleeping In
Now I love sleep just as much (if not more) than the average person, but sleeping in on a regular basis kills your productivity. Not only does it waste hours of your personal time, it leaves your brain feeling lethargic and zaps your energy. According to pbs.org, our bodies were made to wake up early and get to bed at a decent hour. If we don’t it effects our enteral clocks making our bodies feel “off” and tired despite our extra hours of sleep. If you need help getting up in the morning give yourself more motivation. Motivation is the difference between snoozing your alarm clock, or jumping out of bed on Christmas morning at 6am promptly.
*Side Note* I defiantly sleep in every now and then. Sometimes you really do need the break (you deserve it). The difference thought is that you make it the exception rather than the rule.
2. Not Planning Your Day
So many people fall into the trap that they don’t need to take the time and plan out their day. Those are the same people who often find themselves saying, “where did my day go?” Appointments, people, meetings, and unexpected events can steal our whole day if you aren’t careful. That is why taking the time to write down your main objectives for the day is critical. Try using the 6:1 ratio. Most people can fit in 6 “events” that need to happen in 1 day. These events can range from a meeting with your boss, to getting the laundry done. Plan on those 6 tasks, writing them down in the order of importance and get to work.
3. Criticizing Yourself
When you find yourself at the wrong address, or have miss placed your homework, or can’t remember your new co-workers name, is the first thing that comes to your head a negative comment about how stupid you are? If so, that is a habit you have formed. Most of the time we aren’t even aware we are doing it. We go throughout our day saying things like, that was dumb of me, I’m so stupid, I wish I was better at ___. The list can go on and on and I am positive you are aware of your brain’s personal favorite insults you have on replay. If you want to find true success in your everyday life you need to break this habit immediately. Try stopping the pattern when you see it. Correct yourself and consciously replace the negative thought with a positive one. I just am not that smart, turns into, I know I can do it if I try.
4. Ignoring Your Body
Our bodies are wonderful machines at are programed to tell you exactly what is going on inside—IF you will stop to listen. In my teenage years, I thought the harder the better. I would push my body to the limits—lack of sleep, taking harder classes, trying to do everything, not taking a break. Pushing ourselves is good but only when you know your limits. And your body will tell you. If you are feeling extra tired today, take a 20 minutes nap, and don’t beat yourself up for it. If you don’t feel good, then take it easy. So many people think that if they can just push through their pain it means they are more determined. In the long run, it is only going to slow you down. Listen to your body, taking care of it, and respect your boundaries.
5. Always Checking Your Phone
This habit needs to die if you want to develop the patterns of living that lead to success. You probably think you don’t have a problem, but how many times during this blog post did you stop to look at what was dinging/vibrating/buzzing on your phone? Distraction is the number one enemy to success. Our phones are amazing tools but they need to be used at the right times. To break this habit, start by consciously focus on what you are trying to do and avoid (or better yet turn on airplane mode) looking at your phone every time it beeps. More often than not that buzzing is some marketing promotion that you care nothing about. When you are done with the task at hand that is when you can check your phone. And be aware of how often you go from looking at your phone to magically ending up on social media. It’s a real problem and one that eats away your time if you don’t realize it.
So which habit was your weakness? I know I sure have mine that I constantly fight to uproot out of my life. Keep this list in mind and check in with yourself periodically to see if any have slipped into your daily routine. If so, tackle one at a time, and don’t get discouraged! Habits, good or bad, take time to form and time to change. Allow yourself that time, but start today.