“New year, new me!”, goes the saying. That is a daunting task indeed. Besides, I like me, and I don’t necessarily want to change me to a new one! However, I do know that I’ve got some habits—as we all do—that hinder me from being my best self. Habits that may interfere with my sleep and my productivity; that may contribute to a cluttered home; and that keep me from being as active as I’d like. Even habits that don’t bode well for my financial well-being or my physical and mental health. So let’s change that saying to, “New year, better me!” Let’s start with these 7 habits to break in the new year.
1. Tossing mail on kitchen counter
You get home, get the mail, and put it on the kitchen counter. Sometimes it may take days to get to it, and now you’ve got a pile taking up counter space. Break this habit by setting up a system to handle mail. Whether it’s a mail organizer or a few file folders, set up a situation so you can come in, quickly go through the mail in hand, and place items in their proper categories such as “To Pay,” “To File,” and “To Recycle/Shred”.
2. Constantly checking your phone
How many times a day do you think you look at your phone? You may think, “Oh, maybe about 15,” but the reality is probably at least 10 times that. Check your iPhone or Android data to find out. Then go through your phone and change settings so that only the very important apps will send you notifications or alerts. These steps from CNBC can help you with even more detail on how to lower your phone pick-ups. This will be better for your productivity, your social life, and your sense of self!
3. Sitting all day
So many of us are now working from home, which means a lot of hours spent videoconferencing with coworkers and clients. No bueno! Hours of sitting can seriously take a toll on your health, both physical and mental. Get up every 45-60 minutes, even if it’s just to get the mail (natch, don’t toss it on the counter) or use the restroom. If you’ve got a longer break, walk around the block. If you find it tough to take these breaks you might consider a standing desk.
4. Bargain shopping
Most of us can’t resist a good sale, but if you find yourself buying things you don’t even need just because it’s a bargain, it’s not good for your mental or financial health. It also adds a lot of unnecessary items to your home, and contributes to clutter and overstuffed storage spaces. Begin by unsubscribing to emails and catalogs that arrive regularly. “Hide” ads on your social media channels. Delete saved passwords to your favorite, “Let me just look at what’s on sale” websites. And before buying anything, ask yourself, “Do I truly need this? How will it be used? Where will I put it?”
5. Creating clothing piles on a chair or exercise equipment
If you have not seen the chair or treadmill in your bedroom for awhile, it’s time to break this habit. You may need to go cold turkey and remove that piece of furniture from your room if the temptation to put clothing on it is hard to resist. Without that eyesore your bedroom will have less clutter and your clothes have nowhere else to go but your closet, dresser, or hamper, where they belong!
6. The snooze button
The inventor of the snooze button probably has no idea what havoc it has wreaked on people’s mornings! While there are some who do use it properly—hits it once, then gets up at second alarm—there are far too many people who don’t. They hit it repeatedly until 30 minutes have passed, or they turn it off and don’t actually get up. Whether your smartphone is your alarm clock or you have the old-fashioned kind, move it far away from you. Far enough that you have to get out of bed to turn it off.
7. Neglecting your doctor appointments
When is the last time you had a physical? A dentist appointment? An annual exam with your OB-GYN? Being busy is no excuse to neglect your physical health—you will always be busy. January is an excellent time to make all your necessary appointments for the year. That way they are on your calendar and you can schedule around them. Can’t remember all the appointments you should make? We’ve got a super guide on self-care appointments you need.
#RealTalk…we all have habits that need breaking or changing, that keep us from being the best version of ourselves. Habits are not easy to break, so cut yourself some slack if you don’t achieve your habit-breaking goals in record time. The key is to want to do it, and to keep trying. Perseverance will eventually pay off, and one day you’ll have changed that habit and not even realize it. Good luck to all of us!