I am a fan of start doing, stop doing lists.
Stop for a moment and think about this.
What do you want to start doing?
Yes, give this some thought for a moment. Perhaps one or two things.
As we’ve entered the new year, I’ve heard women share many ideas: wake up earlier, read more, start a gratitude journal, each more vegetables, be kinder, go to bed earlier, keep surfaces in my house clean, work out three times a week, be kinder.
What about you?
Thank about it. Then, we’ll shift to stop doing.
Here we go! What do you want to stop doing?
Let’s assume you may want to stop some of the bad habits that have taken ahold of you.
What are the first one or two things that come to your mind?
This list is pretty robust when we’re dealing with a group of hundreds (or thousands) of women pondering their new year: stop eating sugar, eating at night, watching too much tv, too much social media scrolling, shopping online, yelling at my kids, going to bed too late, talking badly about other women, waking up grumpy…..
Let’s talk about some common ‘not-so-great’ habits to leave behind.
4 Habits to Let Go of In 2021.
To mix things up a bit, the first three habits will relate to things you’re doing, and the last one will relate more to your internal feelings.
As you read through these habits, I suggest simply deciding if these things resonate with you. Don’t force this. If you see yourself in the examples, it’s likely a bad habit that is following you around. If you don’t see it, you don’t agree, you’re not sure….zip right on by.
We’re not looking for problems here. Simply pausing to be conscious about what’s going on.
#1: Mindless Eating
My husband is a funny guy. He occasionally says to me, “Well, honey, I don’t eat for the same reason a lot of people eat. I eat because I like the taste of food.” “Seriously?” I respond? “You really think you’re different? That is why we ALL eat!” Right? Are you with me on this one?
Food can be so complicated. After all, it calls your name, right?
Where do you mindlessly eat?
- At the kitchen counter, standing up.
- While watching TV.
- While driving in the car.
- While standing next to the food table at a gathering.
- At the movie theater.
- At the office.
- While cooking dinner.
- While cleaning up the kitchen.
- While at a ball game.
- The appetizers at a restaurant.
- Your kids’ or grandkids’ leftovers?
Why do we do this?? I have a pretty good idea it’s not because we’re hungry.
It’s because Food. Tastes. Good.
Perhaps, also, it’s because we were conditioned or taught to eat at certain times.
One of my fond ‘grandma’ memories: When we were little kids and took car trips with our grandparents, grandma always packed the best snacks, including cold things in a cooler that fit in the car with us. As my grandpa backed the car out of the driveway, my grandma would ask cheerfully, “Okay, kids! Who is ready for some snacks?” That was awesome when we were kids. Not such a great lifelong habit. Boom! Car eaters! 😊
The bites and licks and tastes add up during the day. It’s pretty easy to be dropping calories in at 100 calorie increments by the minute or two.
Is this a habit you need to be paying attention to?
#2: Too Much Social Media Scrolling
Ladies, we are missing out on a lot of our wish list because of this darn scrolling!
Just this morning, I woke up at 5:30 and thought, “Awesome, I’m going to get up, work out and get my day off to a great start.”
Then, I thought to myself, “I’m going to take a look at a few things, maybe see if any of my kids posted some fun Instagram stories from the weekend.” A minute later I checked the time, and it was 6:15.
Ugh ugh ugh! So mad at myself. 45 minutes goes by in a FLASH!
Social media gets in our way of things:
- Time with our families
- Cooking healthy meals.
- Keeping our house neat and clean.
- Writing something.
- Advancing dreams!
Which of the above can you relate to?
And, here’s the kicker! It leads to the next two bad habits on the list.
#3: Online Shopping
We are surrounded by thousands of ad images on a daily basis. As we scroll, we’re bombarded.
It is too easy to “click and see.”
- “Oh, I wonder what this is:”
- “Do I need this?”
- “What will this quiz teach me about which variety will be best for me?”
You’ll know this is a problem habit for you if you cringe when you open your credit card statement(s) or if you’re exasperated by the amount of possessions you’re keeping track of, organizing and sorting through in your home?
Is this a habit you need to consider losing?
#4: Comparing Yourself to Others
Just today, I was scrolling through some interior designer Instagram posts with my daughter who is decorating her new home. As she was loving every single thing about one of the designers she follows, she said, “I am envious about everything about her!”
This designer’s home is stunning, her husband is handsome, her kids are adorable, and the family is color coordinated in every photo.
And please note: my daughter’s home is beautiful!
Instagram and Facebook alone can propel us into a place of discouragement as we look at family photos, vacations, the ‘fun’ being had, the cuteness of people, weight loss stories, extreme hobbies, and travel.
Can you relate?
It’s easy to look around and assume that others’ lives are progressing more smoothly and more happily than yours.
Almost everyone is fighting a private battle of some kind. You are not alone.
One of the things that can help you with comparison is to be doing something for yourself. Be making progress somewhere in your life.
That becomes the thing you think about and can feel good about.
What bad habits would you like to leave behind?
Have a wonderful week, and best wishes on making positive progress.
PS If you would like to be part of a community of women in midlife who are making progress and making friends on the journey, check out Accountability and Friendship for Success. Get your first month FREE to see what you think. www.aletanorris.com/AFSMembership Code 24OFF.