20 Habits to Quit In the Next Year

A few things to sweep out of your regular routine

Who knows where we pick up bad habits? They rarely seem like good ideas the first time we do them. Often, it's just the path of least resistance; something we did once because it seemed easier than not doing it and, the next thing you know, it's part of our day-to-day routine.

But it doesn't have to be.

This isn't about shaming anyone or holding up a measuring stick to see where the shortcomings are. Instead, it's a reminder that life is simply too short to weigh it down with unnecessary clutter. And while some of these habits are easier to break than others, all of them get in the way of the wild, radical lives we were created to live out.

1. Comparing Yourself to Others

Social media has made this an easy habit to cultivate, but sitting around wishing you were traveling Europe with your old college roommate or that your job was as cool as that guy's from church is a recipe for misery. Kick the habit of wishing your life was more exciting and go out and live it instead.

2. Putting Off That Project You Keep Meaning to Start

Whether it's a novel, a painting, a new porch or even meeting the neighbors, you'll feel much better once you just get going on it. Schedule it in if you have to. Set aside a day, an afternoon, even half an hour, and just start.

3. Wasting Food

About 40 percent of all food in the U.S. gets thrown out instead of eaten. A lot of us are contributing to that waste just out of habit of buying more food than we need or simply not using everything that's sitting in our fridges.

4. Waiting for the 'Next Big Thing'

Life won't begin when you get married, get your dream job, move to a new city, finally take that trip around the world or anything else. Life is made in the big events and the small moments.

5. Being Critical Without Being Productive

There's nothing wrong with pointing out things that need change, but it can become a bad habit if you don't also work to help make the changes happen.

No matter how many great points are made, arguing in the comments section doesn't change anyone's mind.

6. Getting Into Un-Winnable Arguments on Social Media

Let's face it: No matter how many great points are made, arguing in the comments section doesn't change anyone's mind.

7. Saying You'll 'Read More' When You Have Time

Unfortunately, you're never going to magically have more time. You'll have to make a habit of making more.

8. Saying You'll 'Pray More' When You Have Time

This is another one where discipline is the real trick. Making time in your schedule is difficult, but the results will change your life.

9. Sleeping Till Noon on Saturday

Weekends are precious, and they're best enjoyed when you're well-rested, not oversleeping.

10. Living Paycheck to Paycheck

The reality is, you won't always be able to put money away. But whenever possible, saving money—even just a little, here and there—is a habit your future self will thank you for.

11. Talking Down to Yourself

You're not a failure, you're not dumb and you're good at what you do. Don't just kick the habit of thinking badly about yourself, work to replace the negatives with positives.

12. Watching More Than an Hour of TV Per Day

In the age of Netflix, with a lot of great television out there, it's easy (and fun) to binge once in a while. But if this becomes a regular activity, it's time to find a new hobby.

13. Making Your Phone the Last Thing You See Before You Go to Sleep ...

A 2008 study found that people who sleep with their phone close by take longer to fall asleep and spend less time in the deep stages of sleep.

14. ...Or When You Wake Up

Siri doesn't have to set the tone for your day.

15. Worrying About Things That Are Outside of Your Control

Worry can easily consume your life, but it can be controlled. Start by surrendering the things that no amount of worry can change.

16. Checking Twitter at Every Available Moment

There's a better use for those little pauses (in line at the grocery store, at a red light, etc.) than checking status updates. Pray, think of ways to help make someone else's day or maybe even just be still for a second.

17. Skipping Breakfast

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It's the most important meal of the day, and it also provides you with a little time to take stock of your emotional and spiritual life before the day gets away from you.

Add a little patience to your spending habits and make sure you're buying things that add actual value to your life.

18. Impulse Shopping

Add a little patience to your spending habits and make sure you're buying things that add actual value to your life.

19. Keeping Tabs on Exes via Facebook

Past relationships should generally be just that: in the past. Keeping tabs on former flames can be invite a lot more trouble than it's worth.

20. Beating Yourself Up If You Don't Get Over Every Single Habit

These are all things worth working on, but none of them are worth kicking yourself over. God isn't going to run out of grace for you, and you don't have to run out of grace for yourself.

9 Comments

Ray Hartsfield

60

Ray Hartsfield commented…

Love it. If I could add one more...

#21: Face and deal with your baggage before you take another step.

Lots of people carry baggage from family issues, exes, and life experience into marriage relationships and it causes MAJOR issues. I can say that, because I did it, unfortunately. My lack of willingness to deal with my internal turmoil caused some major turbulence in our marriage.

Check out more of our story here...

http://themeaningofrepentance.blogspot.com/2014/04/pre-existing-conditio...

Steve Cornell

344

Steve Cornell commented…

You hit me with #2 and then I got to #20 and felt better. :) Excellent practical list! I take a bit of a different approach to inventory with 10 considerations that reach deeply into our lives. Check them out here: 10 Point Inventory, http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/10-point-inventory-time-for-r...

Lim Seonyoung

69

Lim Seonyoung commented…

#6 is so true I find when I am talking with atheists who are on my blog. No matter how many points either side makes, no matter how many times we capitalize all of our words or throw in negative words, nothing really changes.

Great list! Thank you.

http://healingfromgod.com/

James Mitchell

2

James Mitchell commented…

Breakfast is not necessarily the most important meal of the day!!! Other than that, I agree with much of this list. Oops! I violated #6, I suppose.

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