Summer is nearing an end, which means it’s time to start planning for the holidays. First up? Those pesky New Year’s resolutions that we all make to break our bad habits and to become “better” versions of ourselves.
Although we surge into the new year with blooming optimism surrounding our new found resolutions, reality oftentimes strikes and leaves us right back where we started. With that being said, there is light at the end of the tunnel and new habits can be formed with persistence, commitment, and motivation. Science isn’t clear-cut on all of the answers, but there is one philosophy that many are touting as effective. It’s called the 66 days phenomenon, and it claims that if want to quit a bad habit (or make a new habits stick), it takes about 66 days.
For a number of decades, it was believed that it took 21 days to develop a new habit. However, research published in recent years proved that false. Considering we have three months left till 2018, this means if you decide now that you’d want to stop binge-watching TV in the evenings, or eating out so much, or doubting your work goals, the good news is you can kick these habits and start fresh in the New Year!
Below, we will dive into commonly-held bad habits that many of us share and the ways to crush them before they crush us. Also, be sure to check out the book selection to further help you break your bad habits for good!
1. EATING PAST THE POINT OF BEING FULL
Have you ever noticed that you have a difficult time putting away the chips and guacamole once you get started? Personally, I occasionally lose complete track of my consumption when I am immersed in foodie heaven. We have all been there. Overeating is no stranger to many of us and the consequences on our physical health shouldn’t be taken lightly. Breaking this bad habit can be addressed in a number of ways, including the incorporation of mindful, slow eating. Through savoring each delectable bite that comes our way, our stomach will have the time it needs to give the brain the necessary signals to cease ingestion. Simply be in tune with your body and nourish it to the point of being comfortable, but not overly full. This bad habit is not a walk in the park, but you will see results if you continue to eat with self-awareness more times than not.
2. SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Do you spend more time on Snapchat than you do with your own family and friends? Perhaps you’re addicted to scrolling through Instagram on your free time? Heck, even some of you need social media to thrive in your careers. We are all unique individuals with varying relationships with social media, but there comes a point in all of our lives in which we may be going over into the deep end. Before sinking into the dark side of social media and losing all semblance of our meaningful, in-person relationships, it is vital that we take charge and end this habit before we lose ourselves to its shiny appeal. Once you make the conscious decision to lessen your devotion to social media, the most important thing you can do is set boundaries with it and set specific constraints around your social media usage. Rather than going the cold turkey route, slowly ween yourself off of social media to the point in which it is only utilized to a reasonable, balanced degree. Let’s give power back to face-to-face communication, shall we?
3. ENGAGING IN NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
In a fast-paced, competitive world, the pressure is sky high to perform and be the best that we can be. We are so tough on ourselves, always aiming for more. Although holding ourselves to a high standard is imperative for our growth and the fruition of our aspirations, that doesn’t mean that we need to intermingle such high expectations with negative self-talk. Reaching our full potential is meant to be a challenge but not at the cost of our well-being. If you notice yourself turning into a vicious self-critic who voices nothing but negativity, then it is time for a complete self-talk detox. According to Dr. Jennice Vilhauer, author of Think Forward To Thrive, “Making the conscious effort to slow down and pay more attention to your thoughts will help you notice when the inner-critic is present. Once you are aware of the critical voice, you will be in a position to stand up to it.” Vilhauer goes onto say that we need to develop an authentic, loving voice that calmly acknowledges our inner-critic, while not allowing it to take over our inner reality. Focus on the positive, ladies!
4. PROCRASTINATION IS THE PROBLEM
Many of us have big, bold dreams and there is no doubt that we genuinely wish to fulfill them in our lifetimes. I, for one, have a laundry list of goals that are patiently waiting for me to get moving and finally attend to them, yet a little thing called procrastination tends to get in the way of my ideal life. I doubt I am alone on this one, with procrastination plaguing many of us. Fortunately, there is a way to overcome this persistent habit, with a few guidelines standing out. According to Psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, one of the key ways to complete a task or objective is through chunking the task into smaller, more manageable parts. Additionally, Lombardo believes that rewarding productive behavior is one of the best ways to reinforce positive, self-empowering behavior. In other words, give yourself a chance to reap the benefits of the mini leaps you make on your way to realizing your goals. Before long, procrastination will no longer play a role in the trajectory of your life.
5. DRINKING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL
Many of us aren’t strangers to the infamous buzz that results from a drink because let’s face it: alcohol can be a fun time in a glass. There is really no reason to place shame on alcohol, as it can be a heavenly elixir when used sparingly. If only that was always the case, dears. Unfortunately, the over-consumption of alcohol is a nasty habit that far too many of us withhold and it is no doubt that the mental and physical consequences of binge drinking are far too many to count. If you notice yourself drinking to the point of self-harm, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) says that this bad habit can be eradicated through holding yourself accountable to a drinking maximum on each occasion and/or day. I usually stick to about two drinks maximum per day because I will lose my mental and physical capacity otherwise, but each one of you needs to establish your own individual drinking limits.
Additionally, the NIAAA also recommends formulating healthier ways to cope with stress than through resorting to booze for the answers. If you’re worried that quitting or reducing alcohol consumption will lead to withdrawals, don’t be. According to Positive Health and Wellness, there are high chances that if you choose to quit drinking for a month and don’t go over the above amounts, you won’t suffer from withdrawal symptoms. This will certainly make the process much easier. Being the empowered, health-conscious women that you are, surely there are countless ways you can enjoy your lives without solely depending on alcohol to do so.
Did we miss any bad habits? Share some of your own with us below and tell us how you overcome them in the comments below!