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The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year

The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year

If you’re like most people, you likely started 2013 with a solid list of goals that you hoped to achieve over the course of the year. New Year’s resolutions tend to run the gamut from quitting smoking to writing novels, but though many people dive into these pursuits with the best of intentions, their enthusiasm and dedication tend to taper off after a few weeks: it’s estimated that approximately 80% of people abandon their resolutions by the end of January, and only a small fraction of the rest manage to stick to their New Year’s goals for the rest of the year.

ultimate lifehack guide 2

    This isn’t because we’re all a bunch of slovenly trolls with no self-discipline or drive to succeed, but rather that we may be lacking vital tools and resources to help us along on our journeys. Since most of us seem to fall off-course from our resolutions because we lack an effective guide to keep us focused, a little help might keep us all on track this year.

    Below is a list of effective resources and tips that can assist in pursuing any objective: no matter what plans you’ve made or goals you’re striving for, they are all reachable, and achievable, and this guide will help you attain them.

    1. Set a Realistic Goal
    2. Plan Properly
    3. Execute your Plan
    4. Follow Through Your New Year Resolution
    5. Time to Exercise
    6. Quit a Bad Habit
    7. Eat Better and Healthier
    8. Work Improvement
    9. Manage your Money Well
    10. Start your Own Business

    Set a Realistic Goal

    First things first, you need to set a clear and reachable goal no matter what your new year resolutions are. Here are several ways to set a realistic goal.

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      How to Plan Properly

      You don’t need to have the perfect plan to achieve your goal but a well structured plan keeps you on the right path.

      plan

        How to Execute Your Plan

        By looking at how the others execute their plan, you may get some insights for your own.

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        execute plan

          How to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

          By the first half of the year, many people have already failed to stick to their resolutions. Here’s how you can prevent yourself from failing or to learn from them.

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            Time to Exercise

            If you decide to lose weight or keep fit this year, these tactics show you to how to develop an efficient exercise habit.

            time to exercise

              Quit a Bad Habit

              A bad habit can be harmful to you. Worse still, they are usually harmful to those closest to you. It’s time to quit.

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              quit smoking
                • How to Quit a Bad Habit by Answering Four Power QuestionsMaybe you have even tried, but things haven’t worked out as you hoped. Unfortunately, the very idea of “quitting” can make things difficult for you: let’s discover why.
                • 7 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking: So, you’ve decided to quit smoking. That’s awesome, and you’ll undoubtedly notice that your health and overall sense of well-being will improve exponentially after you’ve quit, but the first few weeks going smoke-free will be hell on wheels.
                • 10 Bad Habits Worth Losing: It’s a good idea to put together a list of bad habits to remove from your life this year. Here are Zoe B’s top 10 bad habits to lose.
                • Breaking Bad Habits in 28 Days: How realistic is it to try and break any habit in 30 days? And where did this idea of habit-busting in under a month come from in the first place?

                Eat Better and Healthier

                Heathy eating is not simply a kind of lifestyle. It actually boosts your productivity and energy levels.

                eat better

                  Work Improvement

                  If you are struggling in your current working situations, it’s time to make some changes for your career growth.

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                  work improvement

                    Manage your Money Well

                    Money management is a problem for quite a few  people… here’s some advice.

                    manage money

                      Start your Own Business

                      It is easier to start a new business than what you can imagine. All you need is taking the action.

                      start a business

                        More by this author

                        Catherine Winter

                        Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                        Last Updated on September 23, 2020

                        5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

                        5 Reasons for Your Facebook Addiction (and How to Break It)

                        Facebook is embedded into lives around the world. We use it to connect with friends, share important milestones, and check in with the news. However, what may seem like harmless scrolling can become harmful if it takes up inordinate amounts of time and turns into a Facebook addiction.

                        The first step to breaking any bad habit is to understand the symptoms and psychological triggers that made you pick up the habit in the first place. Below you’ll find the common causes, and the good news is that, once you’ve identified them, you can implement specific strategies to get over your Facebook addiction.

                        Symptoms of a Facebook Addiction

                        Do you find that the first thing you do when you wake up is grab your phone and scroll through Facebook? Is it the last thing you see before falling asleep? You may have a Facebook addiction. Here are some more of the signs and symptoms[1]:

                        • You end up spending hours on Facebook, even when you don’t mean to.
                        • You use Facebook to escape problems or change your mood.
                        • You go to sleep later because you’re glued to your screen.
                        • Your relationships are suffering because you spend more time on your phone than you do talking with the people you care about.
                        • You automatically pull out your phone when you have free time.

                        You can check out this TED Talk by Tristan Harris to understand how Facebook and other social media gain and hold our attention:

                        Psychological Reasons for a Facebook Addiction

                        A compulsive Facebook addiction doesn’t come out of nowhere. There are often root causes that push you into Facebook, which can ultimately manifest as an addiction once you become dependent on it. Here are some of the common causes.

                        Procrastination

                        Facebook can cause procrastination, but many times, your tendency to procrastinate can lead you to scrolling through your Facebook feed.

                        Facebook capitalizes on your tendency to procrastinate[2] by incorporating a news feed with an infinite scroll. No matter how far down you go, there will always be more memes and status updates to keep you distracted from whatever you should be doing.

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                        Thus, it might be helpful to change your perception of Facebook. Instead of looking at it like a place to be social or kill time, frame Facebook as the enemy of your productivity and purpose. Doesn’t sound as tempting now, right?

                        Loneliness or Indecision

                        Facebook resembles a boring reality TV show that is on full display during every hour of the day. Do you really need to tell everybody what you ate for lunch? I doubt it.

                        You don’t share such trivial details to add value to people’s lives. You’re likely doing it because you’re lonely and in need of attention or approval[3].

                        Seeking opinions from your friends could be a sign of indecision or low self-confidence. If you get a bad suggestion, then you can conveniently blame somebody else, thus protecting your ego.

                        Social Comparisons

                        Social comparison is a natural part of being human[4]. We need to know where we stand in order to judge our rank among our peers. And Facebook has made this all too easy.

                        When we get into Facebook, our brains are bombarded by hundreds of people to compare ourselves to. We see our cousin’s amazing vacation to Europe, our friend’s adorable baby, our brother’s new puppy, etc. Everything looks better than what we have because, of course, people are only going to post the best parts.

                        This extreme form of social comparison with a Facebook addiction can, unfortunately, lead to depression. One study pointed out that “people feel depressed after spending a great deal of time on Facebook because they feel badly when comparing themselves to others”[5].

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                        People-Pleasing

                        Facebook takes advantage of your desire for instant gratification[6]. Your brain receives a dopamine hit every time you see that red notification light up. Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that causes you to seek pleasure from things.

                        Pleasure sounds nice in theory, but dopamine is responsible for self-destructive behavior if overproduced. Thus, becoming a slave to your notifications can destroy your self-control in a hurry.

                        If that wasn’t bad enough, the human desire to be liked and accepted is at play, too. Every time you get a “Like,” your brain decides that means somebody likes you. Keep this up and you’ll turn into an addict desperate for another “hit.”

                        Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                        Facebook wrecks your focus by preying on your fear of missing out. You check your Facebook feed during a date because you don’t want to miss any interesting updates. You check your messages while you drive because a friend might have something exciting to share.

                        One study found that “a high level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are predictors of Facebook intrusion, while a low level of fear of missing out and high narcissism are related to satisfaction with life”[7].

                        Therefore, while you may feel temporarily glad that you didn’t miss something, research shows that FOMO will actually reduce your overall life satisfaction.

                        How to Break a Facebook Addiction

                        Now that you know some of the causes of a Facebook addiction, you may be ready to break it. If so, follow these 5 steps to get over your addiction and improve your mental health.

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                        1. Admit the Addiction

                        You can’t fix a problem if you deny it exists. Don’t beat yourself up, but do try and be honest enough to admit you’re a Facebook addict. If it makes you feel any better, I’m a recovering addict myself. There is no reason to be ashamed.

                        Telling a trusted friend might help you stay accountable, especially if they share your goal.

                        2. Be Mindful of Triggers

                        In order to discover the triggers that lead you to use Facebook, ask yourself the following questions. It may be helpful to write them down at a journal.

                        • What did I do? (scrolling, sharing, notification checking, etc.)
                        • When did I do it? (down-time at work, as soon as you woke up, right before bed, on a date, etc.)
                        • What happened right before? (a stressful event, boredom, etc.)
                        • How did this make me feel? (stressed, anxious, sad, angry, etc.)

                        Once you’re aware of what pushes you to use Facebook, you can work on tackling those specific things to get over your Facebook addiction.

                        3. Learn to Recognize the Urge

                        Every time you feel the urge to update your status or check your feed, recognize that impulse for what it is (a habitual behavior—NOT a conscious decision). This is especially powerful when you complete step 2 because you’ll be able to make a mental note of the specific psychological trigger at play.

                        Have a plan for when you feel the desire to use Facebook. For example, if you know you use it when you’re bored, plan to practice a hobby instead. If you use it when you’re stressed, create a relaxation routine instead of jumping on Facebook.

                        4. Practice Self-Compassion

                        Facebook is an epic time-suck, but that doesn’t mean you should criticize yourself every time you log-on to your feed. Beating yourself up will make you feel bad about yourself, which will ironically cause you to be even more tempted.

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                        Self-loathing can only lead to failure. You might end up deciding it’s hopeless because you are “too lazy.”  If you want to break your addiction for good, then you need to be self-compassionate.

                        5. Replace the Addiction With a Positive Alternative

                        It’s a lot easier to eliminate a bad habit when you decide on a good habit that you would like to replace it with. I applied this idea by choosing to pick up a book every time I was tempted to check my feed.

                        The result blew my mind. I read over a hundred pages in the first day! Trust me when I say those “few minutes of down-time” can add up to an obscene amount of waste.

                        Having a specific metric to track is important. If you want to stay encouraged, you need to have compelling evidence that your time would be better spent elsewhere.

                        For example, download an app to help you determine exactly how much time is spent on Facebook so you know how much of your life you’re losing to it. Then, when you find a healthy alternative, you can feel good about all the time you’re giving to it!

                        Final Thoughts

                        Facebook addictions aren’t uncommon in today’s technologically dependent world. In the pursuit of human connection, we’ve mistakenly taken our interactions online, thinking it would be an easier alternative. Unfortunately, this is no replacement for genuine, face-to-face interaction in real life.

                        If you think you have a problem, there are things you can do to tackle it. Get started today and improve your overall well-being.

                        More on How to Use Social Media Less

                        Featured photo credit: Tim Bennett via unsplash.com

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