As we are settling into the new year, our minds may be thinking about resolutions for 2023. The new year marks a clean slate and endless opportunities. However, don’t get ahead of yourself just yet. A lot of us tend to think mostly of the new or old things we want to accomplish in the new year. But it’s just as important to think about the bad habits to leave in the expiring year. After all, it’ll be hard to accomplish a new goal when there’s a bad habit standing in the way.
Realistically speaking we can’t literally leave a bad habit behind overnight. It can take as long as necessary to get rid of unhealthy behaviors. It can take days, weeks, months, or even years. The key is to be consistent with improving the behavior day by day.
If there’s a bad habit you want to eliminate, here are a couple of tips to get you started:
- Acknowledge your poor habit(s)
- Come up with your “why” for wanting to get rid of this habit
- Do little things to break your habit every day (for example, if you want to stop drinking soda, try going a day without having one, and then two days, and then three, and so on until it gets easier.)
Now, here’s a list of unhealthy behaviors to leave in 2022:
Avoiding Uncomfortable Situations
I’m not talking about uncomfortable situations like giving a presentation to a room of your peers. I mean those situations you go out of your way to avoid. The situations you need to address but don’t because you want to avoid the truth or a certain outcome. Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. Burying yourself in distractions won’t make your problems go away.
Face the problem, find closure or a solution, and move on.
People pleasing is something I think about often because I find myself being someone who indulges in this straining behavior. I used to see people pleasing as a way of showing you care, a way of being nice. However, there’s a difference between genuinely wanting to help someone out of the kindness of your heart and wanting to help someone in hopes they’ll respect or like you more.
People pleasers either can’t say no, or they have a really hard time saying it and feel extremely guilty when they do. This behavior usually comes from a deeper, personal issue. Like poor self-image or self-acceptance issues. People pleasers will do everything for everyone else (even those who don’t deserve their kindness), and hardly anything for themselves. They also often need validation from others.
It’s great to want to help others when they need you. There’s nothing wrong with that. But always saying yes leaves very little room and time for you to practice self-care. Saying “yes” when you have the capacity is admirable. Saying “no” when you don’t is respectable.
If this sounds like you, or you’re unsure if you fall into this category of people, read 10 Signs You’re a People-Pleaser for some helpful information.
Not Sticking to Goals or Plans
Being flaky is not an attractive trait in a person. If you’re one who says yes to plans but backs out most of the time, or someone who makes goals but hardly ever follows through with them, work on consistently showing up for yourself and for others in 2023. Saying no to something you don’t want to do is perfectly okay and taking a pause on a goal is also okay. But, if you’re going to say yes, follow through and don’t give up on your goals.
Holding onto Unhealthy Relationships
Unhealthy relationships can be with friends, family, coworkers, and significant others. Depending on the situation and how long you’ve known the other person, letting go of toxic or hindering relationships can be hard and can take some time. It’s important to know that unhealthy relationships stunt your personal growth when you stick with them. But letting go of one can allow you to blossom in ways you didn’t know you could.
It can be hard to tell if the relationship you’re in is a toxic one. Here are some signs:
- Feeling the need to walk on eggshells
- The relationship is one-sided
- Any form of abuse
- Lack of trust on either side
Every relationship is different. If you’re truly unsure if your friendship or relationship with someone is unhealthy, ask someone you trust for advice or talk to your therapist if you have one.
Not Valuing Time
Time is a precious limited resource. There are so many things we try to fit into every day and every year that we just let time pass us by without giving it much thought. Every free moment you have doesn’t have to be spent with someone or any one thing. But also, every free moment you have doesn’t have to be spent only on yourself. Time alone is just as important as time spent with loved ones.
Work on valuing the time you have and managing it to get the most of this year.
Not being Smart with Money
The internet and social media make it too easy to get sucked into buying all kinds of things we don’t need. Stress shopping or “retail therapy” are also traps that get us spending more than we need. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something nice every now and then, however, prioritize saving money this year. Save up for that designer bag or trip of a lifetime. Don’t go spending all the money at once.
If saving is something you struggle with, start small, like putting 5% of your check into savings. 5% is better than zero! Or make it fun by seeing how much you can save by the end of the year!
Leave these bad habits in the past and work towards some healthier habits this year. Things won’t change overnight, so be patient with yourself. Happy New Year!
Until next time,
April at Choosing to Bloom