Want to Make Progress? Drop These 9 Habits (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 365)
“The best way to break a bad habit is to drop it.”
— Leo Aikman
At the beginning of a new year, many people set new goals for themselves or create resolutions that they intend to keep. Unfortunately, most of these goals don’t get reached by the end of the year and resolutions don’t stick past the first month. So instead of adding new goals and trying to set new habits, let’s try a different approach: remove the negative habits and behaviors out of our lives and seeing where we get from here. Here are 9 habits to drop in order to make progress:
1. Drop the habit of trying to control everything.
Instead, focus your time, energy, money, and resources on taking care of the things that are within your control. For starters, you can control what you think. You can control what you do and don’t do. You can control what you say. You can control where you go and how you get there. You can control yourself. Focus on improving yourself and let everything else fall into place.
2. Drop the habit of waiting for perfect.
For as long as you live, no situation or person or condition will be absolutely perfect. This is not heaven and there is no utopia that you can create to give you a perfect environment. Waiting for perfection is really a slick way of procrastination. Whatever you’ve got to do, do it now. The conditions are as good now as they will be at some time in the future.
3. Drop the habit of hiding behind a mask.
You are who you are. You have what you have. You can do what you can do. There is no real point in hiding your flaws and imperfections. As Brene Brown would say, “Show up and be seen.” The less time we spend hiding ourselves, the more time we can spend filling our place in the world and using our gifts to benefit the people around us — just as we are.
4. Drop the habit of doubting yourself.
The “not good enough” cycle is just that — a very horrible, unproductive cycle that keeps us holding on to our talents and holding back on our skills instead of stepping out there and doing the best we can. The best you can is all you can do and the best you can is enough. The more you doubt yourself, the more time you will waste not reaching your goals and dreams.
5. Drop the habit of catastrophizing.
It is always a good idea to be prudent and careful before making decisions and wise as you go about your daily life, but don’t believe that things are worse than they actually are. Leave that for pessimists and people who are perpetually in foreboding, crisis mode. The world doesn’t get changed and projects don’t get done with the attitude that the world is falling.
6. Drop the habit of talking about your goals.
Our brain has a tendency to trick us into thinking that we have actually accomplished something when we talk about our goals. Don’t succumb to this. You have achieved nothing by merely talking. It is a better idea to do something and then you may have something to talk about. Someone said, a great way to achieve your goals is to share them with no one.
6. Drop the habit of organizing meaningless meetings and creating long to-do lists.
It is a common fact that nowadays, meetings are mostly meaningless and take up large amounts of time from actually getting done what is said in those meetings. Creating to-do lists too are somewhat of a time waster. If you’re going to have a list, make sure you do what’s on the list.
7. Drop the habit of complaining.
The more you complain, the more nothing changes. The less you complain, the more things begin to change. Complaining is a waste of time that could be well spent taking action especially if the thing you’re complaining about is under your control.
8. Drop the habit of thinking everyone is out to get you.
Sure, anyone trying to do something worthwhile will have enemies (one or two), but more than likely the barista is not looking at your shirt, the driver behind you at the light doesn’t care about your car, your co-worker isn’t conspiring to cheat you out of sales, your boss is thinking about firing you, the cashier isn’t angry with you, your wife or husband isn’t leaving you for someone else. Here’s a very true assumption to make: All people are thinking about themselves, not you.
9. Drop the habit of comparing yourself to others.
There will always be someone else who seems smarter, wiser, richer, happier, or prettier than you. In reality, it is not that way, but it just seems that way and perception has a sneaky way of screwing up our cognitive functions. If you want to win, stay in your lane, focus on your goals, and run your race.
Omit the negative habits from your life and you make room for the good habits to form that will help make you happier, stronger, and more productive.
“The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.”
— Somerset Maugham