Being around for two or three decades means we’ve formed our own cohesive routines and comfortable habits. Enter late nights, Netflix, diet soda, and Facebook. Most of us know which of those habits are soul-suckingly bad for us, but continue to do them anyway, or delay doing anything at all until “tomorrow.”
Whether you binge on food, screens, or worrying, we all spend hours reading articles on things we can do to live happier and healthier lives. This load of endless information is overwhelming and rarely inspires us to actually take action.
Instead of focusing on what you should start doing, we’ve broken it down to 6 things you simply need to stop doing immediately - so you can start living that happier, healthier life right now.
1. Stop checking your phone as soon as you wake up.
The second you ‘slide to unlock,’ you’ve become like a fly, caught in the worldwide spider web that is the internet. Your brain has just awoken from dream world. Why are you diving directly into an endless pile of messages, articles, and cat videos? Give your mind time to wake up and breathe before getting entrapped in the outer screen.
TO DO: Let. The. Phone. Go. Nothing on it is as important as you. Give yourself at least 20 minutes sans screens in the morning. Stretch. Meditate. Read. Have a coffee and do your kegels. Whatever it is, take time to think about yourself, your goals, and your gratitude for the day.
2. Stop watching hours of TV.
If you find yourself thinking more about Kim and Kanye’s dinner conversation than your own - something just isn’t right. The average person watches over four hours of television a day, which adds up to NINE years of your life. Forget keeping up with the Kardashian’s or the lunchtime office chatter, and choose to create your own entertainment instead.
TO DO: Limit yourself to 2 or 3 of your favorite shows and use the extra time to explore something you have always wanted to do or learn, play games with friends, or go for a walk.
3. Stop dwelling on the past.
Heartbreak, insecurity, uncertainty – check, check, CHECK. We’ve all dealt with the quicksand that sinks our present enjoyment. While it’s natural for past events to play out in our minds, getting stuck in them seriously affects our future. Focus on moving forward towards the life you want to create, instead of staying behind in a past you can no longer control.
TO DO: Dig into why you’re dwelling on something. Explore the importance of the event, understand why it’s still meddling in your mind, and seek a way to grow from the experience. If we’re not learning, we’re not living.
4. Stop with the resting bitch face.
Tensing your face increases the tension in your whole body, adding a layer of unnecessary stress to your skin. Though your 'resting' face might be great at keeping away unwanted approaches, it may also, subconsciously, be making you angrier at the world. If faking a smile can make your brain happier, what is living with a perma-scowl doing to your moldable mind?
TO DO: Be aware. Breathe. Soften. Smile. It may feel unnatural at first but you will be surprised at how much de-scrunching your face can de-stress your day.
5. Stop stalking people online.
Remember back in the day when googling yourself was completely inappropriate to discuss at the dinner table? Now, all we need to do is one, two, type and we can discover a complete stranger’s deepest secrets – like how fast they ran track in high school. Stop this nonsense. A human is not a online persona but a person. Save the assumptions for your business plan. Plus, aren’t you tired of having to keep track of what to pretend not to know about people who you already [*think you] know everything about?
TO DO: When you feel the need to stalk, tell yourself to stop. Think about how you feel at the end of that wasted time. Instead, do something good for yourself and stop the stalking before it starts.
6. Stop procrastinating.
Sure, tomorrow is only a day away but there is no today but today. (Um, how great was that Annie & Rent lovers?!) Every time we allow ourselves to procrastinate, we avoid taking action, and are most likely giving in to some underlying fear. It might be a fear of failure or success, or just plain laziness, but procrastination is a bad habit we must break in order to reach our full potential. What happens today sets you up for a greater tomorrow.
TO DO: What are you trying to accomplish? Break it down into baby steps and take action. Whether you succeed or fail, you are guaranteed to learn and grow, which is a success all on its own.
If nothing else, choose one thing on this list to cut out of your daily repertoire. Your tomorrow self will thank you.
If you need a next step already, then A. GO YOU!!! B. Check out THIS beautiful piece of mind.