As we enter the first week of July, it’s been 6 months since we made our 2012 New Year’s Resolutions. How many have you nailed? And how many have fell by the wayside?

Now is a good time to review what you’ve achieved so far and what needs more work. Effective people understand the need to constantly ‘review’ themselves to improve and refine their level of productivity and achievement. Instead of focusing on what to achieve, sometimes it can be good to look at things to cut out from your life.

What bad habits do you currently have that are hindering your progress or productivity? Remember the saying:

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

What ‘thing’s do you do that you wish you didn’t?

It’s a good idea to put together a list of bad habits to remove from your life this year. And the good news is – we still have 6 months to get rid of them!

To get you started, here are my top 10 bad habits to lose:

  1. Striving for perfection. The sooner we let go of ‘perfection’ the sooner we get results because we’ll take action! Perfectionists find it difficult to move forward because they become paralyzed by a ‘fear of failure’. Know that it’s ok to go ahead when something is not yet perfect – it’s much better to take action and fix it up as you go!
  2. Being too serious. Approach things with a light attitude. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Positive psychology has shown that one of the most important routes to happiness is to laugh at yourself more – and not take life too seriously. So ditch the frown and take the time to laugh more!
  3. Negative self-talk. Make a decision to be kinder to yourself going forward. Remove that negative voice that constantly puts you down when you make a mistake. It doesn’t do us any favors when we insult ourselves in our own heads – this just creates negativity which can compromise our goals.
  4. Listening to other peoples’ opinions. While it can be useful to get someone else’s opinion I would urge caution here. The most important thing is not to ‘value’ yourself based on what other people think of you. So it’s okay to get feedback, but know that you have control over your life and you make your own decisions. Be careful not to life your life according to what others want instead of yourself.
  5. Oversleeping. We all need good quality sleep – but are you getting too much sleep? Research has shown it’s actually counter-productive to over-sleep as this can make us feel groggy and more tired! Try limiting your sleep to between 6 – 8 hours and notice how much more energy and time you have as a result!
  6. Saying ‘yes’ to everything. By being a people pleaser you are pleasing everyone but yourself! Start to value your time by learning to say no. Fear not – people will still like you if you say ‘no’ every once in a while! It’s important we schedule in enough down-time to recharge our batteries.
  7. Multi-taskingWhen we try and do everything at once we do a lot of things at a poor standard. It’s much more effective if we stop and focus on one thing at a time. This strategy produces good quality work in half the time!
  8. An unhealthy attitude to stress. In the corporate world we are taught to admire people who are ‘stressed’. In fact, if you’re not stressed then people often think you’re not working hard enough! What rubbish! Ditch any mis-perceptions that ‘you have to be stressed in order to achieve’. Plenty of great people have achieved amazing feats without high levels of stress. Think of Gandhi and other ‘gentle, relaxed’ super-achievers who did it their own way.
  9. Stop talking – and start listening. The most effective communicators are proficient listeners. By taking the time to intently listen to others we can understand their needs quicker and build valuable rapport with them. Listening is such an underrated tool – start to use it!
  10. Naysayers. Negative people are like vampires – they suck all of your good energy and leave you tired and lethargic making it difficult for you to be productive. Distance yourself from the negative people in your life and instead surround yourself with positive super-achievers!

(Photo credit: Bad Habits in 3D via Shutterstock)

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