• Misled Millennial

These 7 Habits Are Ruining Your Life!

Updated: Mar 17, 2019

We are still working with our theme of habits this month. They are a great place to start if you want to make a positive change in your life that is actually sustainable.

This week, I thought we could look at the habits that are having a negative impact on our lives. It’s all well and good looking at new shiny habits we can try, but sometimes, the best way forward is fixing what we have.

In this ever-busy world, it’s very easy to form bad habits. We are always pushing. Pushing to work harder, be happier, run faster, think smarter, Instagram better. It’s too much. It isn’t sustainable, nor healthy. We are neglecting our mental health and wellbeing because of it.

I want to help. So, get yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and look at these 7 habits that are making life much harder for you, and how best to tackle them.

FYI - I am the Queen of most of these habits, so this is not to make you feel bad. Only to highlight the issues and help you fall in love with your life.

Let’s get started shall we…

7 habits that are ruining your life!

1) Procrastinating – If, like me, you tend to put things off, it’s safe to say you find yourself in a cycle of unnecessary stress and pressure. You’re constantly frustrated with yourself for leaving everything to last minute, yet you continue to do it. Despite your best intentions, you always manage to talk yourself out of doing what you need to do. Well enough. We’ve got a life to love, so let’s sort it out.

How to combat it:

- List - Make a realistic list (not four A4 pages!) of what you need to do the night before. You’ll sleep easier having it written down, rather than floating around your head. You now also have clear objectives for the day, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

- Eat the frog - Do your biggest/most difficult tasks first. If you don’t, you will just keep putting them off until they end up on tomorrow’s to-do list.

- Schedule regular breaks – This will help you remain focused for longer. After 1 hour’s work, have a 15-minute break. Enjoy a cup of tea, listen to a podcast, tidy up, or read a few pages of a book. Just something to give your mind a break.

2) Time management – If you find yourself saying things like ‘there’s not enough time in the day’, or ‘I don’t have time for that’, then chances are, you suck at time management. Don’t worry, the best of us do. The harsh truth is this though, we all have the same number of hours in the day, it’s what we choose to do with them.

I’m not saying you should you be around the clock working, that’s also poor time management. The trick is to work smarter. Create a balanced life that brings you joy, as well as success. Make your day as productive as it can be, but in a way that works for you.

How to combat it:

- Choose 3 – You can’t prioritise everything, it’s not realistic. So, instead choose 3 things that are your main priorities and schedule your time around those. They could be self-development, exercise and socialising. Choosing 3 means you can ensure all of your priorities are met. You could work out before work, or during your lunch break, leaving your evenings free as a bird.

- Double up – Listen to a podcast whilst you work, an audio book whilst cleaning your house or do exercise with family and friends.

- Incorporate down time – You will be less likely to procrastinate, and you won’t feel like you’re missing out. No-one wants to be consumed by adulthood. Make sure your life is still fun!

3) Thinking you always need to have it together – This pressure we place on ourselves is not healthy. We’ve been programmed to think we always need to be doing more, achieving more, or smiling until our jaw drops off. It’s not sustainable. You will end up burnt out and rocking in a corner!

We are human, and part of the beauty of that, is having raw, unedited emotion. You will have tough days, mad days, sad days, days you don’t know your arse from your head, and do you know what? That is absolutely okay and normal. No one has it together all the time. Give yourself a break.

How to combat it:

- Practice self-care – Start listening to what your body and mind need. If you need to take time out, then do so.

- Talk honestly to others – The more you talk to others, the more you will realise you aren’t alone. Only we can end the stigma and start the conversation. Together we are stronger.

- Stop comparing yourself – Just because people seem like they have it together, doesn’t mean they do. Stop comparing your insides to everyone else’s outsides. I have a whole post about how to tackle comparison here.

4) Saying yes – If there’s one thing I’m guilty of, it’s being a people pleaser. If you’re like me, you may find it difficult to say no, even at the expense of yourself. Whether it’s work, or socialising, letting people down can make us carry so much guilt. That’s not a healthy way to look at things though. We can’t be afraid to say no to others, if it means saying yes to the time we need.

How to combat it:

- Say yes to yourself more – Schedule in time for yourself and stick to it. Tell people you are busy, because you are. So often we cancel a date with ourselves, when we’d never do that to others.

- Set clear personal boundaries – These are so important in helping you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others. I have a whole post on that here.

- Give your way – The sad truth is, you can’t help everyone. You will end up burnt out. What you can do though, is be kind, help where you can, and give back in your own way. It could be a monthly donation to a charity shop, dropping off sanitary products to a women’s shelter, or cans of soup to a food bank. These are small things that make a huge difference, without exhausting you.

5) Being a slug – Again, so guilty. I can get pulled into a Netflix marathon quicker than I can count. It’s so easy to get into a cycle of vegetating and not getting things done. The problem with that cycle, is you tend to feel even more lethargic from it, rather than rested. Whilst downtime is important, it shouldn’t be all the time.

How to combat it:

- Get active – You don’t have to become the world’s strongest human, just get moving. A walk around the block, a HIIT class, a swim. Whatever works for you, just get those endorphins pumping. You will feel happier and much more energetic.

- Have set down-time – Make sure you give yourself time to relax each day. Whether that’s reading, watching Netflix or having a nap. Down-time is just as important for a healthy body and mind.

- Stay hydrated – If you aren’t drinking enough water, your body will feel it. You will have low energy and feel sleepy. Get yourself a 2-litre bottle and finish it each day. You’ll see a big difference. If water isn’t to your taste, add lemon, or some squash. Just get drinking.

6) Growing up We may not have found Neverland yet, but it doesn’t mean that we live to pay bills. With the stress of life, we often forget to have some fun. We need to find some of that imagination and fearlessness that made our childhood so great.

How to combat it:

- Adrenaline – Do something that gets your adrenaline pumping. Visit a theme park or a water park. Do a high ropes course, or watch a scary movie. Step outside your comfort zone and have some fun.

- Plan something nice – It’s always good to have something to look forward to. Whether it’s a weekend away, a drive to somewhere new, or a picnic in the park.

- Enjoy your childhood comforts – I mentioned this in my ‘Self-Love Date Ideas’. Build a den and snuggle with a movie, go as high as you can on a swing, or have a hot chocolate with extra cream, marshmallows and sprinkles!

7) Switching off We live in a society where switching off can be difficult. We think we’ll miss out, lose followers or be asked to leave society and live amongst nature! It’s not healthy. We need time to recharge away from the world.

How to combat it:

- Social media detox – Have at least one a night a week where you don’t touch your phone; switch off from life for a bit. It is also important not go on your phone for at least one hour before bed. Screen time will stimulate your brain and not allow you to wind down properly.

- Embrace alone time – Time to ourselves allows us to properly unwind and recharge. Have a bubble bath, go for a walk, read with a cup of tea. Whatever helps you relax.

- Get a hobby – Have an activity that you do just because you love it. Not for any gain other than a happy soul. It could be knitting, cycling, drawing, baking, photography. Whatever allows you to just be in the moment and enjoy yourself.

I really hope this post has helped highlight how a few little tweaks to our bad habits, can really impact and improve our lives. You deserve a happy life, and here’s some realistic steps you can take to get there.

For more ways to self-love and improve your life, click here.

Tight squeezes!

Question of the week: What’s your favourite childhood meal?

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