Happy New Year! Are you thinking about things you’d like to change? I wrote recently about the hindrance of unhelpful habits. Here I’m following up with healthy habits I hope to replace mine with to help me crawl out of my comfort zone.
Here are my Helpful Habits to cultivate in 2016:
Get comfortable with saying No–
A friend shared a great quote about how “saying ‘No’ is really about saying ‘Yes’ to yourself”. It means your time is precious, don’t waste your efforts on anything you don’t want, or that doesn’t help you on your way. You don’t owe the world a favour, and it’s OK (and in fact healthy), to put your own needs first.
Swap procrastination for decisiveness –
Difficulties making decisions can result in displacement activity and procrastination. But putting things off just opens a gateway for anxiety. It’s better to face choices head on. Firstly decide if it’s yes or no. Flipping a coin can help you discover how you really feel,(either outcome will clarify what you really wanted). Next formulate a plan of action and if you need to, break difficult tasks down into smaller do-able parts.
Limit time spent consuming and creating content on social media –
Love or loathe it, social media is addictive but it’s bad for our mental health. It drives us to compare ourselves to others, crave constant approval like a drug, and to incessant distraction preying on our fear of missing out. I’ve already radically reduced the platforms I use and I’ve deleted and hidden phone apps to reduce time-wasting on twitter or stressing over my imperfect IG gallery.
Write more, publish less–
Speaking of content creating and decisiveness, a reminder that I need no other a reason to write than the pleasure of writing itself. Audience is a double-edged sword, worry too much about writing for others and you forget how to write for yourself. Journaling and creative writing work best when there’s no-body looking. Likewise I need to blog more like I’d doing it just for me.
Give yourself a break–
A new reward system to replace retail therapy. Instead of giving yourself a gift, I propose you give yourself a break. Maybe that’s tea and a bun, or a walk outside, maybe it’s experimenting with hair/ make-up, or ten minutes playing an instrument, or reading away from the computer screen. Life is short and happiness is under-rated. It’s not spoiling yourself, it’s self-care.
Fight fear of failure by trying new things –
Trial and error seems like a slow way to learn, but it’s sometimes the only way. The thing to remember about new experiences is that you can’t know if they’re for you until you try. Be patient, you are unlikely to ace something new on the first go. Remember that if it doesn’t work out, that’s not ‘failure’ its a learning experience, and what you will have gained by trying is valuable clarity about what you want and what you don’t.
Filter and Focus–
Pause to consider your true feelings about why you do things. Always question ‘do I actually want this?’ Remembering that just because you can doesn’t always mean you should, and ‘no’ is always an option. Also remember you have nothing to prove, and you don’t have to do everything, so maybe just pick two or three things to master this year and run with those.
So these are the healthier habits that I’d like to implement in how I approach things this year. Do you make any resolutions or New Year goals? Do any of mine resonate with you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.