Happy New Years! This is also the time for New Year’s resolutions and fresh starts. While some find it incredibly inspiring and helpful to set them, others feel it’s stressful and unnecessary. We’re not here to judge – do you. The most important thing to remember is that every day is a chance to have a fresh start but if you get a kick this time of year, leverage it! When it comes to new starts, January is a great time to focus on health and wellness simply because a lot of others are doing the same and the support can really help you stay on track. This blog post aims to help on both ends with some ideas for habits you should stop having. Enjoy.

4 Habits You Should Stop Having: motivation vs habits

We’re used to reading about new habits we need to instil and make part of our daily life. But what about the ones we need to stop or set aside? These few ideas look at the latter. These are ideas only designed to help you get some structure and positive change in your daily routine. When it comes to health and fitness, years what you eat/do matters but not as much as consistency.

Motivation:

Habits form a key part of that consistency. While motivation is great, it’s also a tricky beast. It can be incredibly inspiring, but it can also fade. Every choice you make daily has a price. When you’re motivated, these choices become easier to propel you forward out of your comfort zone. But there are some things that can hinder motivation longer term:

  • We get distracted
  • We fall back into our comfort zone
  • We don’t get the result we want
  • We get shiny object syndrome and get sidetracked

Habits:

Habits, on the other hand, have a few other superpowers. First some news – it takes 66 days to form a habit, not 21. Looking at the definition, a habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. That last part is key! Not only that but habits also take up less space in your brain because once cemented, they become mindless i.e. you do them without thinking. Habits that are mindless and drive you in the direction of a healthy lifestyle keep you moving in the right direction long after the motivation has settled.

We leave you with some inspiration to keep going – At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it. – Steven Pressfield

4 Habits You Should Stop Having

Don’t Hit Snooze

This one is simple – stop the snoozing madness. If you win the morning, you win the day.

Think about it – The very first thing you are doing every day is waking up. If you delay that very first action, you’re setting up a cascade for the rest of the day. It makes sense. These cold, dark mornings are a daily temptation to hit snooze. But what are you getting? Sure, the short term reward seems so worth it, but what do you really gain from an extra 10 mins?

If you hit snooze every day at 7.45am and technically only get up at 8.15, then set the alarm for 8.15am going forward. You’re better off getting the full quality of sleep up to the time of getting up versus starting to disrupt it 30 minutes before getting up. Check out these 6 tips to get a better nights sleep.

Don’t Be Late

When it comes to making appointments, there are things inside and outside your control. For example, you have control over how early you leave for something but you don’t have control over traffic, train delays etc. Most people are on time for some things and generally late for personal appointments. So while you’d make an office meeting or a plan on time, you’ll continually show up late to your coffee dates. Whether you want to or not, the message you send by showing up late is that your time is more important than that of your friend(s).

Now, if you’re chronically late for everything, one way to address this is simply to start with a buffer and change your thinking. For example, don’t assume that just because you made it to the airport once in 20 minutes, that it always takes 20 minutes. Add a buffer and a new assumption that it takes 40 minutes or an hour even.

Don’t Eat & Scroll

We all have to eat to live and yet most of us walk around totally disconnected from what we actually eat. Looking at email or social media plays with your satiety signals and distracts you from focusing on the task at hand: eating.

Related to this is the task to not look at email before lunch. Looking at certain media can also create unnecessary stressors that impact you being able to take a few moments away from work and be present focusing on your lunch.

Not only that, but we also disconnect from the company we’re in. When you’re in a social gathering situation, scrolling also sends that message that you care more about Instagram than their company. We realise the new generation is accustomed to this behaviour but it shouldn’t be allowed to become the norm. If you’re out with people you care about, pay attention.

Some more ideas for mindfulness here.

Make the bed and wash the dishes

Details matter. These are just two examples of small things that clog up the day. Don’t leave the house without making the bed and don’t leave dishes in the sink. There are many reasons behind this but two main points stand out.

  1. The idea here is to just finish things. These small tasks take 2-3 minutes to complete so just get them done. It takes up a lot more energy leaving it till later or until tomorrow and the pileup can build up fast.
  2. The second side of this habit refers to clutter. If you live in a cluttered physical space, you will guarantee a cluttered mind. Have you ever done a mass-spring clean and felt that mental clarity looking at your empty wardrobe or organised bedroom? It’s amazing what we learn to ‘put up with’ without really noticing the weight it’s having on our mind.

So there you have it – 4 Habits You Should Stop Having. You don’t need to do all of these at once. Start with the easiest one to manage for you and work from there. Record your progress or do a mini self check in weekly to see how you’re getting on. We’re all about the progressing change here. Happy New Year!