8 Bad Habits to Give Up in 2018 119

8 Bad Habits to Give Up in 2018

This post was written by Trevor McDonald.

Instead of committing to do something as part of your New Year’s resolution, why not dedicated yourself to stopping a bad habit?

Most of us have unhealthy or even dangerous habits with roots in our childhood. It can be tough to give up these vices, but not impossible. It takes between one and three months to form (or stop) a habit, which means you’ll be on a more positive path by spring.

Only you know what your most dangerous habits may be. But here are a few of the worst and most common offenders:

1. Ditch your sugar addiction.

Increasingly, studies have shown that sugar addiction can be just as damaging as any other kind of addiction.

Sugar in moderation, and in natural form, isn’t dangerous. However, with so many convenience products packed with added sugar (plus the obesity epidemic) it’s clear that most of us would benefit from decreasing our sugar intake.

When you have a craving, choose a food with natural sugar like a fruit. A very dark chocolate with minimal added sugar can be a form of indulgence, too, and cacao has proven health benefits.

2. Minimize your screen time.

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Technology addiction is very real, and very harmful. There are technology addiction treatment centers popping up around the world.

It’s no surprise that Japan has one of the most renowned centers, but they’re becoming unfortunately common in the U.S., too.

Dedicate some time to being “tech free,” turn off the screens at least two hours before bed, and keep your phone out of your bedroom. If you feel like you’re struggling with this addiction, it might be time to see a mental health expert.

3. Let go of passive aggression.

Being passive aggressive doesn’t come with any benefits. If you know you struggle with this crutch, commit to being more forward, honest, and transparent in 2018. Say what you mean and be polite, but don’t try to flank your words in pettiness. This is an incredibly challenging vice to let go of, but all of your relationships (personal and professional) will benefit from it.

4. Stop feeding your ego with quantity-based dating.

If you’re single, there’s a good chance you’re on dating apps and sites.

They can be great ways to meet people, and there’s certainly a time in everyone’s life when a flurry of dates and flirting can be beneficial. However, most people are on apps and sites to find a real connection.

It can be tough to date “just” one person at a time, especially when there are so many options out there. Try focusing your attention on one person at a time, and if you don’t think it’s a match, move on. Forget ghosting or breadcrumbing and date like an adult.

5. Get a good skincare regimen.

Most people could benefit from taking a little better care of their skin, whether it’s washing their face daily or regularly applying sunscreen.

You can get a jump on ditching this bad habit by scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist. An annual mole check is the best way to prevent melanoma or treat it early. Plus, a skincare regimen when you wake up and right before bed is a great way to increase energy in the mornings and optimize sleep hygiene at night.

6. Stop those poor sleep habits.

Most Americans are chronically tired and don’t get the quality or quantity of sleep they need.

Eight hours is just an average. Some people need more or less, and some people do better with a long block of uninterrupted sleep while others prefer naps throughout a 24-hour period.

Pick up better sleep hygiene like setting a soothing bedtime ritual and making sure your sleep space is dark, cool, and quiet.

7. Leave the excuses in 2017.

We all carry around excuses for why we don’t work towards or achieve our various goals. Lack of time, energy, and money are the biggest ones.

Whether you want to run a marathon in 2018, leave the job you hate, or travel to India, the biggest obstacles are the excuses you’ve set up for yourself. Dismantle them and come up with an actionable plan to get your goals in motion.

8. Reserve the “sorries” for when you really mean it.

We say “sorry” far too often. We also usually don’t mean it and use it for everything from not hearing someone to saying it sarcastically.

“I’m sorry” are two very important words that should be reserved only for when you mean them. Keep an ear out for whenever you catch yourself saying “sorry” and figure out what you really meant to say instead.

What are some of the worst habits you’d like to break in 2018? It might be chewing your nails, not washing your bedding on a regular basis, or lessening your alcohol intake. Any time of year is the perfect time to better your habits, but the New Year gives us all a great starting point.

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9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic] 5

9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic]

When a big change happens in your life, it doesn’t have to be a negative change to have a huge impact on you.

Change causes uncertainty and our brains and bodies react to uncertainty by trying to protect us with the release of fight or flight chemicals and hormones.

The downside to this is that living with these for an extended time results in elevated heart rate and affects your digestion, immune systems and blood flow.

But there are ways you can regain control over your life even in the midst of big changes.

The first is to take a step back and reflect on what’s actually happening and what your involvement is, which will help you to understand and find perspective on the situation. Hopefully, this will enable you to find the opportunities that every change in your life brings, rather than obsessing over any short-term negative impacts.

It may also help you to allow yourself a transition period where you adjust to the changes. But with a firm deadline by which you expect to have moved on and settled into the new routine. Even if it doesn’t quite work out that way, it will still push you towards visualizing the end of the uncertainty, which will prepare you to make it happen sooner rather than later.

On a more basic level, you need to remember to look after yourself during this time of change and the related stresses.

It can be too easy to fall into bad habits like neglecting your own simple needs, like a good night’s sleep and staying active and eating right when you are going through something like this. Having a day in your pajamas eating ice cream out of the tub is fine. But your body needs sleep, exercise and nutrition to keep you healthy.

Routine can be a comfort when it feels like everything in your life is changing.

So try and stick to some simple ones like walking your dog every morning or going to a regular gym class to give your life some stability and consistency.

You also need the help and support of those around you. And having a strong support network is crucial when it comes to coping with big changes in your life. This means family and friends, but you could also seek out people going through similar experiences by looking online. There may well be communities who you can talk to and get helpful tips from.

Most importantly of all, you need to be aware of when you need more than just the love and support of other people to help you cope with stress and uncertainty. If you start to feel like your mental health is really suffering, or you have been feeling the symptoms of stress for more than a couple of months, you need to go and talk to a health professional to get the help you need to bounce back.

You can read more practical tips about dealing with change and the symptoms it causes in this infographic from Pounds to Pocket.