Sacha Cabral (@sachacabral)
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday January 6, 2016 – Blogs are buzzing with hashtags about 2016 and New Year’s Resolutions. We’re all thinking about how this year will be different. While I don’t want to be a buzz kill, let me make a suggestion. How about this year we choose to say goodbye to some of our bad habits? Let’s leave them in 2015.
Lofty goals and intricate plans are a smoke screen if they are not supported by your habits. Your habits – those repeated daily actions that take little to no effort – either serve you or sabotage you. Here are 8 habits most of us have that diminish the quality of our lives and how to turn them around.
#1 Comparing yourself to others
We’re all guilty of this. We compare our body shapes, our wealth, our number of friends and just about anything else with those around us. Obsessing over someone else’s life or possessions is a great way to lose focus and diminish your self-esteem. When you feel the urge to compare, try instead to acknowledge what you do have. Odds are pretty good that someone is comparing themselves to you as well. Focus on you.
#2 Not making a plan for your money
How are you ever going to take that cruise through the Mediterranean if you don’t budget for it? When will you afford the down payment for that house you so badly want to purchase? Let 2016 be the year you start making a plan for your money. Start with a monthly budget and stick to it. Otherwise, your pay check has a way of leaking away.
The stove needs scrubbing, your desk is buried in paperwork, you’ve been meaning to get a head start on a major project at work but can’t seem to make the time. Procrastination creates a simmering frustration deep within you. Every time you see that stove, every time you sit down at your desk, every time you realize how soon that project is due, you simmer. It’s unnecessary stress. For small items, use the two minute rule. If a task can be completed in two minutes or less, just do it. For the rest of items, time block your day. Block off time to clear your desk, your inbox, to work on major projects, to return phone calls, etc. By batching similar items together, you become more efficient.
Every time your boss ticks you off, you vent to your office colleague. Every time your mother-in-law drives you crazy, you call your BFF to complain. It’s human nature. We want to release the bad. But sometimes we spend too much time spewing out the negative rather than absorbing the positive. Stop complaining. The next time you have the urge to complain, find a way to refocus on the positive. Take a walk, grab coffee with a friend, listen to music.
#5 Being controlled by social media
While social media has connected us in ways not possible before, there is a downside. It’s a time waster and it usually leaves us feeling left out or like we’re missing out. On social media we’re seeing everyone else’s highlight reel but we mistake it for their everyday life. Limit your time on social media to particular times of day. If you’re a social media junkie, try deleting the apps from your phone.
#6 Sleeping until the last possible minute
You know those mornings where you have no motivation to get out of bed? It’s not exhaustion. It’s disengagement. Turn your mornings around by committing to get up early and do something productive. Go for a run, write in a journal, practice yoga, walk your dogs. Most successful people start their days uber early. While their reasons for being early risers may be different – some do it for reflection, some for exercise, some for more time to hustle – the connection is clear. Early risers have higher chances of being successful. You can start by waking up 15 minutes earlier. Then move to 30 minutes, and so on.
#7 Neglecting your body
Your body is the vehicle that moves you through life. If you want a better ride, put in better fuel. Take a second look at how you eat, how you exercise, how you sleep and how much water you drink. Are you giving your body what it needs to keep going? You can’t live a fulfilling life with a rundown body. Make your health a priority by creating empowering habits: exercise regularly, get your diet under control and give your body the sleep it deserves.
#8 Playing small
I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some exciting entrepreneurs and there’s a common story I always hear. It’s that moment when they were offered a big job and their immediate reaction was, “not me, I’m not ready.” It turns out they were. We have a bad habit of playing small. We scrape by and fly under the radar. There’s no guarantee we get a second chance at this so don’t waste it being unforgotten. Stop playing small. It’s time to step out into the light. Whatever your vision is for yourself, pursue it ruthlessly and unapologetically.
I am a writer, a speaker and a life coach for individuals seeking growth and development in their life. I am a firm believer that the answers you’re seeking lay within you. My job is to assist in pulling them out. Originally from the Caribbean, I’ve lived mostly in warm climates (hoping to change that someday). I love sunshine, the sea and the simple beauties of life. Follow me @sachacabral or visit my blog at http://sachac.com/the-blog