“Feeling sorry for yourself and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.” – Dale Carnegie
The lead up to the New Year often gives us time to reassess how our lives are going. I think it is fair to say that most of us, regardless of how well our lives are going, always believe that we could be doing better. The quest for self-improvement is an important one, the endeavour towards personal growth makes for a richer and more conscious existence.
Having said this, it does not do well to put a ludicrous amount of pressure on ourselves to smash through goals of improvement; this, I think, is why New Years Resolutions have been my thing. Resolutions seem to have a reputation for being overly ambitious and a normal things to fail at. They also tent to involve an end point; a task to be completed. For real change, lifestyle choices must be made, choices which will alter the way you live long term. In this light, I invite you to consider your ‘not-so-good’ habits and work on eliminating them over the next months to ensure a much-improved overall wellbeing for you and those close to you. Perhaps you might want to tackle on of these…
Loosing weight is a common desire, especially in the New Year. Many people continue to believe that a crash or fad diet is the best way to do this. Do these diets help you to lose weight? More often than not, yes, they do. Having said that, in the majority of cases the weight loss is not permanent. This is because restrictive diets are not sustainable in the long term. Once the diet is over, we revert to regular eating habits and lose the results of all our hard work. What is actually required is the adoption of a diet and exercise plan that makes sense for you going forward. This may not have the speedy impact you are after, but it will result in a happier and healthier individual going forward.
An age-old concern though it is, it really is worth reiterating the benefits of kicking the habit. Ask anyone who has managed to eliminate smoking from their lives and they will tell you that the overall benefits to their energy, appetite, breathing and overall health are massive. Breaking the habit also saves a huge amount of money, improves social life and makes the environment for those around you cleaner and healthier.
3. Social Media Interaction
Social media has taken over our lives. It does have its good points, but it is also undeniably responsible for a cultivating a culture where we not only compare ourselves to others, but also put pressure on ourselves to filter our own lives for the internet’s benefit. This goes against fostering your own self-worth and over-interaction to social media has been proven to be one of the biggest catalysts in the rise of mental health disorders. We are not saying cut it out completely, this is neither sustainable nor necessary. But you may want to consider applying some techniques to minimize your social media time.
4. Drinking Habits
Most of us drink. Sure. That’s not so much the issue. It’s the uncontrolled binging that so easily becomes habit. excessive drinking is categorized as more than 8 drinks a week. Doing this on a regular basis can have severe long-term consequences for your health including weight gain and permanent liver damage. The thing is, many of us don’t make the choice to stop drinking, we stop when we are unable to continue; leading to many a hangover and a blurry head of half details. This can easily become a habit that is hard to control, so maybe this year it’s time to take a few measures to ensure that you are not dragging your health into an inescapable hole.
5. Setting Unreachable Goals
This probably looks like a bit of a contradiction to the entire point of this article; however, this is possibly the most important point of all! Setting goals is necessary for self-improvement, but many of us have a habit of being a tad unrealistic. Often, we want things to happen to quickly, want to cram a lot into a short period of time, or want to master a skill faster than it has ever been mastered in the history of the world! This results in us not meeting our expectations, which, in turn, has us thinking ‘well, what’s the point then?’ Be honest and realistic with yourself. Setting short term reachable targets is much more encouraging and positive than failing to hit a huge one. Indeed, accumulate your small victories, and they might well add up to the big one after all!
By Chris Thomson
Looking to make a few more lifestyle tweaks and change a few more habits? Why not check out another of our fantastic blog posts? Mindful Living: your Work/Life Balance
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