As kids, we’re told to break bad habits. What we should and should not do become so ingrained in our minds that we get sick of it! We end up rebelling throughout our teen years, discarding many of those childhood lessons.
Then, maybe somewhere on the backside of 25, we come full circle and realize we need to break those habits which once seemed to give life such flare. Now all they offer us are hangovers and regret. The good news is, we’re adults now. We don’t have to do or not do something because some adult told us so. We’re in control!
The following are three everyday habits that should be addressed. Though you may still be in the chaos of your teens and early twenties the sooner you address them, the better. You don’t have to wait until 30 to cut out toxicity and start achieving your goals.
Keeping Bad Company
When you’re younger, accepting and interacting with a large swath of people is the right call. It helps us gain experience, molding relationships, and finding quality friendships. The problem, however, is that many people get stuck in this first stage. They keep seeking many friends instead of quality friendships, and maybe feel like it’s wrong to cut out toxic people in their lives.
It is not your responsibility to fix other people. Many people you need to distance yourself from will do everything in their power to keep you the same. That way, they have no reason to change. They’ll belittle new, healthy pursuits, monopolize your time, and tempt you into bad habits and poor decisions.
Putting Things Off
School teaches us habits, good and bad. Many of us learned that an assignment with a far-off due date means we won’t have to do anything until the last night or two. Several months of college partying for two nights of stress. That’s not a bad deal!
A study at Case Western Reserve University rated college students on a scale of procrastination, then tracked their stress levels, academic performance, and overall general health throughout the semester. (https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination) The procrastinators did well at first, feeling less stressed. In the long run, though, they felt more and more stressed and performed worse than their non-procrastinator peers.
If you’re putting something off, start by asking yourself why. Sometimes finding that more in-depth answer will be the key.
It’s hard to show people the benefits of eating right without having them do it for a while. People focus on future benefits, like losing weight or fewer trips to the doctor. Without any here and now reward, though, it’s hard to make it through that stick of celery.
The truth is that eating healthy gives you more energy, makes you happier, and yes, helps you lose weight. Eating poorly does the opposite in exchange for a short-term benefit.
The key is finding a way to enjoy healthy food. For some people, dipping that celery into peanut butter is enough. Many delicious dips spice up a vegetable tray. There are also healthier meat choices like turkey or chicken rather than red meat—baking or grilling rather than frying.
Habits need to exist to support us, not hinder us. If a habit is making us late to bed, late to work, depressed, or upset in any way, it has to go. Plain and simple. You can’t just post on social media that you’re quitting and hope that works. You need to find a new, better habit to replace it. Don’t settle for anything less!