Advertising
Advertising

10 Bad Habits Worth Losing

10 Bad Habits Worth Losing


    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?

    Advertising

    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:

    Advertising

    “We are what we repeatedly do.”

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

    Advertising

    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:

    Advertising

    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)

    More by this author

    6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills How to Increase Brain Power: 10 Simple Ways to Train Your Brain 12 Inspiring Quotes from Richard Branson that Enrich your Life 7 Irritating Thoughts That Throw You Off Track How to Overcome Boredom

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days 4 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself 5 How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

    Advertising

    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

    Advertising

    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

      Advertising

      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

      Advertising

      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

      Read Next