10 Habits to Ditch in 2016

image: Imaxtree

image: Imaxtree

From incessantly worrying about things out of your control to checking your email every two minutes, certain habits have a tendency to weigh you down. Approach 2016 with a new mindset and prepare for a healthier and happier year.

Don’t Be a Slave to Technology

According to an Edison Research study, approximately 58 million social media users check their social media accounts “several times per day.” While it’s important to check email and keep up with your friends, constantly treating every free moment as a Facebook-Twitter-Instagram-Snapchat check-in opportunity can eat up valuable time spent doing other, more worthwhile things. Feeling an urge to connect? Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member.

Don’t Worry About the Future

It’s easier said than done, but it boils down to living in the moment. Imagining possible outcomes to future occurrences equates to predicting the future — a power no one can claim. Of course, a measure of anxiety is normal, but worrying about, for example, what someone might say in response to a calamity that hasn’t even happened yet is both counterproductive and stressful. Remind yourself that irrational fears about the future may never even come to pass, so any time spent thinking about them is simply wasted. Give yourself permission to focus on the present — and nothing more.

Don’t Neglect to Wash Off Your Makeup

It’s a skin sin right up there with skimping on sunscreen and popping blemishes. Though an exhausting day is usually the culprit when you wake up the next morning with raccoon eyes and foundation all over your pillow, it’s just not worth the trauma your skin goes through in the long run. Get into the habit of removing your makeup as soon as you get home. If you need a little nudge, remember that your skin renews overnight. Add a nourishing treatment to your routine to see beautiful results that last.

Don’t Say Yes to Everyone

It’s so tempting to be “that” person — the one everyone can count on in a pinch, who’s always there no matter the situation. Often, though, that “yes” comes at the expense of your own needs. Whether you change plans to accommodate someone else or agree to perform a task at work that you’re not entirely comfortable doing, you may find yourself dealing with this scenario as a matter of routine. Address why you’re always saying yes. Is it a fear of appearing rude or engaging in a conflict? Then train yourself to say no when you want to. A simple, “No, I can’t” is certainly acceptable, but a gentle, “Now isn’t a good time for me” also works.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

A research study by the NPD Group found that 31 million Americans skip breakfast every day. It’s easy to understand why the most important meal of the day is passed over; mornings are harried and hectic, and there’s precious little time available to scarf food down. If time is a concern, prepare your breakfast the night before or on Sunday in advance of the work week. Smoothies, overnight oatmeal and fruit parfaits are all ideal make-ahead dishes. Breakfast fuels your day and gives you the energy needed to perform your best, so it’s vital to make it a priority.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up for Eating Dessert

Deprivation is no good, and neither is overindulgence. But there’s a happy medium in there — a world where it’s completely OK to eat dessert and not guilt out over it. So you ate a couple cupcakes at the party, enjoyed a donut for breakfast or treated yourself to some ice cream after work. Moderation is the key, so feel free to indulge in your favorite decadence without the guilt.

Don’t Be a Cyber Stalker

This is a temptation roughly on level with a batch of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Unlike sweets, though, tracking down your ex on Facebook probably won’t put a smile on your face. On the contrary, it can quickly transform from habit to obsession. Ask anyone who has successfully stalked an ex and made it a daily activity. It’s not conducive to anything that contributes to your own well-being and may even lead to depression. At the very least, it’s an unrewarding time sucker that doesn’t deserve your attention.

Don’t Avoid Exercise

You don’t have to train for a marathon or commit to a rigid early-morning workout every day of the week, but a commitment to your physical health can make a world of difference both physically and mentally. Increased activity, whether in the form of a sport, a class at the gym or a walk around the neighborhood, will boost your energy and metabolism as well as improve your mood.

Don’t Skimp on Sleep

Quality sleep is a valuable commodity. It’s only after a restless night that its value skyrockets. Suddenly, you regret reading just one more chapter on your Kindle or texting back and forth with your BFF for an hour before bed. It’s not just the artificial light that can affect sleep, though; other factors, like consuming caffeine late in the day, stressing about the day’s events and exercising before bed can also cause a lack of shut-eye. Nip problematic bedtime habits in the bud and enjoy the benefits of being well-rested.

Don’t Procrastinate

It’s so easy to derail your efforts at work and at home when you’re a chronic procrastinator. Deadlines loom ever closer, a pile of mail sits unopened on the front table and a doctor’s appointment goes unscheduled for weeks. Eventually, procrastination becomes a regular part of your life. Make small changes to reverse the habit, like crossing items off a to-do list, doing the most difficult chore first or setting a timer while you complete a work task. Find a method that works for you and stick with it.