3 Real Dangerous Habits to Dump Now (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 281)
“All bad habits start slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit, the habit has you.”
— Zig Ziglar
Too many of us hold on to bad habits even though we know they’re killing us because it just feels like too much hard, difficult, and painful work to let those habits go and replace them with new ones. But if you are to get anywhere in life, you have to be willing to do that necessary hard work. If you hold on to bad habits, you will continue to stay stuck. And “stuckness” is no place to live.
It’s unfair to yourself to justify old habits and negative ways of thinking. The same thing goes for holding on to a toxic relationship or a suffocating job. There are more lessons for you to learn in forming good habits than there are in holding on to bad ones.
Here are 3 real dangerous habits you should dump now:
1. Piling on debt like ice cream in a bowl.
Debt is every man’s prison. It’s a prison without bars, but not without very harsh consequences. Go into the bank accounts, credit card statements, and expense reports of any given person on any given day and you will find there is some person they owe for some material thing. Most people accumulate debt as a matter of present moment convenience. They want something now so they get it on credit. Months down the road, they realize they can’t make payments on it and the more payments they don’t make, the more debt they accumulate. (Interest adds up.)
If you have a habit of adding stress to your life by accumulating debt that will only make your financial situation worse instead of better, you need to cut that habit right now. If you have to go without some of the fancy stuff that you have, do so. If you have to work overtime or take on a second job, do so. Dumbing debt out of your life just like you dumb garbage out of the kitchen and bathrooms in your house is worth the effort, time, and energy. You don’t want to drag the shackles of debt around your feet and hands all your life. It will only hinder you from achieving the things you could achieve.
2. Treating sleep like a part-time friend.
You know those friends who only come around when it’s convenient. That’s how many of us treat sleep. We don’t embrace it every night like we should. We only do so when it becomes absolutely necessary, like when we can’t survive without it or when it overtakes us that it forces our heads to the pillow. Although we spend, or should spend, a good 30% of our life sleeping, we don’t give enough credit to this thing called sleep. Sleep is just as much an important part of our lives as air, water, food, exercise, work, and relaxation. It’s called balance.
Sleep, or the lack thereof, affects your mood, your cognitive processes, and your overall functioning within any given day. If you don’t sleep regularly, it will eventually catch up with you. You will not have enough energy or even willpower to get through the day and accomplish the things on your agenda. And everything you do before your bedtime also affects how you sleep and whether your sleep is beneficial. For example, waking up multiple times a night is not necessarily a sign of good sleep. Good eating, good exercising, good hygiene, and good balance all impact the quality of your sleep.
3. Holding on to unusable things without making room for new stuff.
The red coat your mother gave you. The 1957 Chevy your dad gave to you when you went off to college. The rosary your grandmother gave you. All these things have sentimental value, maybe even an emotional connection. But as time passes, we tend to keep things that are largely unusable while at the same time bringing into our lives and homes new things that only leave us with cramped space. You might be too big for the red coat now. That 1957 Chevy doesn’t drive anymore. Half the beads are missing from the rosary.
A reevaluation is needed here. It might sound difficult to do, but it’s necessary. Keeping everything just because you don’t want to take the time to go through and make a decision on what stays and what goes is only going to make your life more overwhelming and stressful than it has to be and leave you fighting for space every time you buy or obtain something new. Dumping the habit of clutter makes room for new things to enter your life and stay for some time. Besides, memories will always have a place in your mind and in your heart. And that’s a good place to keep them so they’ll never be forgotten or lost.
“Everyone must choose one of two pains. The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
— Jim Rohn