Note: This post is written by Jane Dizon
Experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit, but recent studies show that there isn’t really a definite number of days. However, the most recent research found out that the average time to develop new behaviors is two months. That’s at least two months! So don’t get discouraged when three weeks in and you still don’t see that new habit as a lasting one. Actually, some people take up to six to nine months.
But how about the opposite, that is, breaking a habit? Not just habits — bad habits. As it turns out, forming and breaking a habit is like give and take. In order to stop a bad habit, you have to create new ones (hopefully good ones!) to replace it.
Here are five bad habits to throw away to upgrade your everyday life and become a better person.
1. Snoozing Your Alarm Clock
Apparently, the very first thing you do everyday is a bad habit. This is you trying to bargain yourself some five to ten extra minutes of sleep. This is a difficult behavior to stop since you’re battling a strong enemy — your body.
But pressing the snooze button can be bad for you later. Ideally, you’d want to let your body clock know when to feel sleepy and when to start waking up. By habitually setting different alarm times and pressing the snooze button, you’re not waking up at the same time everyday so simply speaking, you’re confusing your body.
Instead, try to sleep at the same time every night and actually wake up when your alarm goes off.
2. Skipping Breakfast
Yes, you’re sleeping and waking up on time, but you skip the most important meal of the day. Studies show that those who eat their breakfasts tend to have healthier habits. Eating breakfast has a lot of benefits to keep you going throughout your day. It boosts your cognitive function and it makes you more lively and energized.
Spare a few minutes in the morning to eat your breakfast. There’s a wide range of healthy food options you can buy so there’s no excuse for you.
3. Oversharing on Social Media
You know, when you prefer sharing a moment on your Facebook rather than sharing it to an actual human being? Sounds very familiar. It’s easier to type your feelings into words and post them publicly than be true to yourself.
Did we lose the concept of privacy? Letting people know you for who you are and not what emoji you used in your status? There’s a thin line between sharing and oversharing. Think before you share and make sure you’re spending more human hours than your phone or computer.
4. Spending Money You Don’t Have
Also known as paying the minimum each month on your credit card because, well, that’s all you can pay. Having a credit card is not a privilege but a huge responsibility that can affect your life later.
Could you imagine working hard everyday just to pay your debts? Pay for something you bought months ago you already lost interest in? Use your credit card only when you know that you can pay for it.
5. Watching TV First Thing in the Morning
When you wake up, your mind’s fresh and it’s like a sponge ready to take in and absorb anything that touch bases with it. It is an opportunity for you to fill it out with things that matter the most instead of TV commercials that are crafted to manipulate you on doing things the advertiser wants you to.
There are tons of things you can do in the morning. Eat your breakfast, cook while listening to your favorite jam, read a good book. Basically, control how you start your day and don’t let anyone or anything do that for you.
The key takeaway here is: Get rid of a bad habit and topple it off with a good one. Don’t despair if it’s not working right away as it takes time and patience. Lots of patience.
Have you ever had a bad habit you were able to change? What was it? When did you decide to change it? How did you change it? Share your story on the comments’ section below.
This article is written by Jane Dizon in collaboration with FREE Branding & Digital. FREE is a branding agency in Edmonton, Alberta. They are experts in marketing and communications, website design and development, brand strategy, and advertising.