The more we review our habits, the more we realise how much they control our lives. Our habits define who we are and how we choose to live our lives.
Those who have healthy, inspiring and positive habits tend to create better results and have a better quality life than those who have destructive, unmotivating and negative habits.
Take for example someone who chooses to live a healthy life by engaging in regular exercise, eating foods that energises and fuels their body, and takes care of their mental, emotional and physical well-being — chances are extremely high that they will be in a much healthier state than someone who chooses not to do regular exercise or eat the right foods or takes care of themselves mentally, emotionally and physcially.
Good habits will lead us to living our best life, whereas bad habits will prevent us from living our best life.
In recent times, after learning more about the importance of getting good quality sleep every night, I started giving more attention to when I go to bed and how I prepare myself prior to going to bed. Previously, I had the attitude that if I got between five to six and a half hours of sleep each night, I’d be fine. Once I learned that not giving my body enough rest was actually taking years off my life, I had to radically change my sleeping habits.
My first focus to learn some techniques on how to prepare myself to go to bed. In her book, The Sleep Revolution, Arianna Huffington revealed that blue light is killing our sleep. Blue light refers to the light given off by our electronic devices. Previously, I had the habit of reading between 15 – 30 minutes on my iPad before actually going to sleep and was not aware that it was affecting the quality of my sleep.
The first change I made was to not have my iPad in my bedroom before going to bed. The other thing I did was not to have any visual stimulation such as looking at a computer or television screen at least 30 minutes before bed. While sometimes I don’t quite get 30 minutes, I aim for at least 15 minutes of no visual stimulation before bed.
My first goal was to aim for five sleep cycles every night, which is seven and a half hours. Just doing that has totally changed how I feel the next day. Some nights, depending on what has happened during the day, my quality of sleep is affected, but that is becoming an exception instead of being a regular pattern. As a result of getting seven and a half hours sleep every night, I have found it easier to increase that to eight hours, which is what I wanted to get to.
Interestingly enough, by getting more sleep each night, I have discovered that I am actually more productive, which has been a fantastic additional benefit. Not only do I feel better each day, I am more efficient and effective during the day, which is helping me be the best I can be each day.
In order to live our best life, we must remove bad habits and replace them with better, more empowering habits. Here are five habits that are not serving us and will prevent us from living our best life.
- Never taking time off. This is a big one for me as I tend to seldom give myself time out. The problem with this habit is that we do not give our minds and bodies a break from continuously focusing on activities, which means we do not allow ourselves to relax and recharge on a regular basis. We all must have time away from our day-to-day activities and pressures because it allows us to re-energise and refocus on what matters most.
- Over-promising and under-delivering. In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz described the first agreement as “Be impeccable with your word.” Whenever we do not keep our agreements or promises, we lose integrity with others and ourselves, which affects our self-confidence and self-esteem. Once we lose our integrity with someone else, it is very challenging to gain it back and it could take a long time for that trust to return. Therefore it is best to only commit to what we truly believe we can do.
- Being reactive instead of proactive. We have a choice to either believe that life is happening to us or life is happening for us. The belief we choose can have a major impact on the quality of our lives. Rather than allowing ourselves to be affected by external events or conditions, which most of the time we have no control over anyway, it will serve us a lot more focus on where we are going or where we want to be.
- Focusing on too many things at once. Our inability to stay focused on one thing at a time is one of the biggest reasons why people are not as productive or effective as they can be. In today’s world, staying focused comes down to distraction removal. The reality is over the long term, we will actually get more done faster just by focusing on one thing at a time.
- Focusing on one thing for too long. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that something we are doing is not working and probably will not work. Instead of thinking about how much we have already invested into it or how much we stand to lose if we change, we are better off cutting our loses and moving on, provided they are for the right reasons. We have to be willing to face the truth faster.
When we change our habits, we change our lives. If we change bad habits and instal better habits, we will change our lives in a positive way, which will lead us to living our best life. If we don’t, we will continue getting the same type of results we have always gotten.
Question: What is another bad habit that will prevent us from living our best life?
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