I used to have habits that brought me down. I didn’t realize they held me back the emergency break on a Ferrari. Once I broke free of these, I started to see changes in my life. These are five habits that used to be part of my life but since I have changed them I have felt happier and more productive. You should find ways to get rid of these bad habits. They’re evil.
Eating crap or Skipping breakfast
What do you typically have for breakfast? If it’s anything that makes your milk turn bright colors, or doesn’t turn into mold after sitting on the counter for a month, then you should rethink what you eat.
If you eat a healthy breakfast, then you already know what I will suggest. If you don’t then you need to make a change.
Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. It’s what fuels you for the rest of the day. Your body has fasted for 8+ hours when you wake up. It’s starving. It needs fuel. Just like putting good gasoline into a Ferrari, you want to put nutritious food in your body.
A well rounded breakfast should have protein and carbohydrates. Stay away from sugary items. Stay away from those frozen processed breakfast items. No sodas. A nice breakfast that I have is one whole egg, three egg whites, two slices of turkey bacon and a bowl of oatmeal. Sometimes I’ll have a cup of coffee with a little cream and Stevia. The protein and oatmeal will keep me full for hours. You can make a smoothie with low fat yogurt, milk, frozen strawberries, and a little peanut butter. It’s quick, healthy and tastes so good.
If you’re in a rush you can get an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s. It’s got good protein and carbohydrates and not too much sodium and fat.
Having breakfast really starts your day right. If you skip it, you’ll be more likely to binge during the rest of the day. You’ll also be looking for the sweet stuff. So find ways to start your day with a nice healthy breakfast.
Watching and Reading Way Too Much News
There is a saying that says you are what you think. So if you think about the failing economy, soaring gas prices, arctic weather, war overseas, kidnappings, murders, car accidents, or anything that the news media feeds you from morning till night, how do you think you will feel?
I feel a little stressed out just writing that last paragraph.
If you’re a news junkie in the morning when you get up and in the evening before bed, stop it right now. The latest story is not a matter of life or death. There’s not a good reason to be emotionally and mentally involved in the news of the day. It doesn’t have to do with you.
It also will cause you to worry all the time about scenarios you have no control over. Can you control the unemployment rate? Can you stop tell that earthquake to not shake? The only control you have is what information you feed your brain.
An analogy is to think of your brain like a empty glass. Naturally you want to fill it with clean crystal clear water. Instead most of us fill it with dark, murky muddy water. That’s filling it with negative things such gossip and the news. It will cloud your judgement. It will fog your thinking.
If your day is stressful enough, bookending it with the news in the morning and right before bed isn’t how you want to feed your brain at the optimal times.
Unless you must follow the news for your job, cut it out or limit it. There’s no need for the news all day long.
I need my fix. I’m a USA Today addict. I still read it everyday. I just limit the other news, especially the local news. I also do make a conscious effort to not get too into the news I’m reading, especially if it’s going to stress or worry me all day. To me the news is just to be informed and not obsessed by it.
Aimlessly Checking Social Media
With the rise of social media, it’s becoming easier to be distracted all different ways. If it’s not Facebook, then it’s Twitter, or instant messaging, or e-mails. Each one just planning to be done for five minutes can easily turn into thirty minutes or more in an instant. We have all been there and done that.
Checking Facebook can become an hourly event with no good reason to check except out of curiosity (guilty). Status updates and new photos can definitely wait. When trying to be productive, it’s a killer. The same can be said for Twitter and e-mail (guilty again).
Since we all still need to stay connected, think about limiting when you do check. When you do check set yourself a time limit. Go to Egg Timer for a web based timers. Set a time limit and when it rings, stop for now.
I’ve cut back on the times I check it per day and how long I do stay on. It’s helped my productivity because I have more time for things that matter to me.
I’m trying to grow my blog so I do want a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Same goes for an upcoming iPhone app I have coming out soon. I need to market it and stay in touch with people who do buy it. I will just make sure I’m focused on my task and set a time limit.
Being Lazy and Not Exercising
If you don’t exercise, you know in the back of your mind you should but just knowing you should isn’t going to get you motivated enough. That was me before.
Just exercising three times a week for 30 minutes can have great benefits. Regular exercising blood lower blood pressure, release stress, lose weight, tone muscles, increased lung capacity, and increase energy.
You don’t need to be doing P90X or working out for 2 hours a day. Just walking or biking around the neighborhood is good enough.
I let myself get out of shape and put on unwanted weight last year and in October, I made a commitment to do something about it. I started running and gradually increased how far and how long I was able to run. The improvements were I felt more energy and happier. I felt more alert during the days. I did not need an afternoon nap. Three months after started running, I ran my first half marathon. An amazing turnaround physically and mentally then when I first began.
I feel amazing and happier. I now have run two half marathons. I’m proud of my accomplishments. Again you don’t need to run a half marathon but find something you can do three times a week, for 30 minutes each time. If you combine that with healthy eating habits, that would be like adding rockets to an electric bicycle. The changes would be unbelievable.
When you’re not happy with your situation, it’s very easy to think about what you don’t have in your life. I wish I had that new car. I wish I had more money. I wish I had a new job. I wish my spouse would stop nagging me about everything. My back is killing me everyday. You get the idea.
It’s easy to think that way. It’s easy to feel like Debbie Downer (see above). However if you want to be happier, be more productive and achieve your goals, this habit has to stop.
Instead be thankful of what you have. It will get you to focus on the positive. You can improve your health and generate more wealth.
To really help me be thankful for the things I have in my life, I downloaded an app for my iPhone called the Gratitude Journal. It lets me write what I am grateful for. For me it’s as little as having a great meal at lunch or as big as being in a great relationship with my girlfriend. I’ve made it a daily habit and having the app on my iPhone lets me have it with me everyday.
It will take real effort to change these habits because they are like a big tree with deep roots, very hard to get rid of. However it’s been proven that just doing one new habit for an average of 31 days will make that habit permanent.