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Starting Today You Can Be As Happy As You Wish…If You Get Rid Of These 10 Deadly Habits.

Starting Today You Can Be As Happy As You Wish…If You Get Rid Of These 10 Deadly Habits.

You’ve been on a path your whole life that you thought would bring happiness, but instead you’re feeling far from it. Destination: Lost.

Humans are imperfect, that’s for sure! But if something feels off-kilter these days and you’re not where you want to be, here are ten possible reasons that you’re driving on the wrong road away from happiness.

1. Holding on to the past

Whether you’re holding on to good or bad memories, spending your life in another time or place does not propel you forward into something for the better. Pay attention to what you are doing right now, today. Learn from your past experiences, thoughts, and feelings, and live now; beauty can unfold in magical ways right in front of you if you just look.

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2. Negative self-talk

“I’m not good enough,” is a poisonous thought. Each day, write down ten affirmations or things you like about yourself. This is probably the easiest way to rewire your brain if you keep at it. Love doing you: just because someone you really cared about never loved you, it doesn’t mean you can’t love yourself. In the end, your love and positivity will matter more, rather than relying on others to find it.

3. Procrastinating

Sometimes it seems like the internet is usually one big procrastination machine where you can’t get anything done. You have an automatic switch in your head – when a due date is nigh, it’s suddenly time to watch season one of Beverly Hills: 90210! Start with one imperfect baby step at a time instead of putting off a task. The more you “forget” about what you need to do, the more you end up actually thinking about it.

4. Blaming others

It feels justified to blame others because you know it’s not your fault things turned out the way they did. But blaming others when you’re having a tough time means that you’re denying responsibility. In fact, you’re making the problem worse by self-victimizing. If you’re really upset about a situation, allow yourself to feel the feeling of anger or fear, or whatever it is, instead of blaming someone else for it. Then when you’re ready, let go.

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5. Living for a paycheck

There’s actually nothing more soul-destroying than working a job you hate just for the money. Work takes up a large percentage of your life, and if you’re not happy in life, the money truly won’t matter. Do work that defines who you are. Who are you, anyway? Take some time to figure that out, ask yourself uncomfortable questions, and slowly start finding an imperfect path to fulfillment.

6. Never opening the door to challenge

Never accepting challenges is like never wanting to change. Hiding in a corner because you’ve always done that because you never felt loved and you felt ashamed for these feelings will never empower you to be something beyond that. You’ll be stuck in that corner forever, perpetuating the cycle. Tackle the problem one day at a time instead of running away from it. If you’re a shy recluse who doesn’t leave the house, go out in public once a day and look someone in the eye before you move on to your bigger fears.

7. Comparing yourself to others

Your life does not revolve around your fantasy of what other people’s lives appear to be on the surface. You’re looking at Sally’s job at the Best Company Ever and thinking that she must have the Best Life Ever, when, in fact, there’s a total disaster area happening in another part of her life. If you often catch yourself comparing yourself to others, consider deactivating your social media channels for a day and see how you feel. Studies on how Facebook affects self-esteem may very well apply to you.

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8. Being ungrateful

Learn to become grateful for the bad experiences you’ve had or the mistakes you’ve made. Sit and dwell and feel crappy about it if you have to – it’s better than denying it. You just got fired, and yes, it’s going to feel pretty bad for a long time. But you learned that the job wasn’t right for you. Now it’s time to embark on a new, better path. Wake up each day thankful to be alive. Notice what you have that others do not.

9. Not being nice to yourself

Practice self-compassion. Ugh, not another one of those words again, like “affirmation.” But trust me, being fully with yourself in a loyal, nonjudgmental way is one step to happiness. Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to a friend or family member that you love. You need care, concern and unconditional acceptance as much as the next person.

10. Trying to be someone you’re not

Your whole life, your parents pressured you to get good grades so you’d end up in medical or law school. But that’s never what you wanted. At some point, analyze the mental childhood conditioning you’ve been brought up with. Check in with yourself. Wanting to be pretty and rich might really mean wanting attention, which might really mean wanting to be loved for who you are. It’s time to start digging deep!

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Related: Here are 15 Things You Need to Give Up if You Want to Be Happy.

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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