My perspective on work and studying was for a long time wrong and even self-destructive. That toxic perspective wasn’t only self-built, but also induced by my parents. Without meaning harm, they made it look like no matter how much I studied or worked, there was still place for better and more.
In time, I had built so many bad habits in so many activities I would do, that I got so burned out a little too soon, if that makes sense. Studying until late in the morning, trying to volunteer for as many activities as possible (there is always a societal pressure and competition that makes students so insecure in regards to their future and that they should built experience even before starting to work if they want a good job), doing your best in school and, if possible, find also a part-time job, all these will take the life out of you.
Looking back, I have realized that I worked harder, not smarter. Doing too many things just to fill that resume and look better than your competition, getting to feel what burnout is in your college years (this period is supposed to be the best of one’s life), didn’t make me have necessarily better jobs offers or a better salary. And when I am telling you about all the hard work I’ve done, it’s not because I try to boast, it’s because I realized how wrong it was and I tried my best to change my ways.
Trying to change your own toxicity is very difficult. One day you might become enlightened and finally accept that you’ve been doing things the wrong way. You would start talking about change, but how you do that is the most difficult part.
What helped me the most was finding the problem and establishing a goal that I would like to reach. Let’s say that I realised that I lost so many good sleep hours because I was indulging myself in watching Kdramas until late in the morning and than going to school or work. I tried different methods like setting an alarm with 15 minutes before the hour I wanted to go to bed at, or even stopping the show I was watching in the middle (the episodes usually end with the most intriguing part and it would be a pity not to check the next episode, right? :))
Now, because I have talked about my bad habits and a poor perspective when handling different activities, let me dive deep into the part where you can see what I have changed into good habits and how I did it.
1. No more wasting sleeping hours
As already mentioned, I used to do this a lot. Watching Kdramas was my kind of clubbing. The majority of students loved clubbing, I loved bingewatching Kdramas. When I felt stucked or tired because of studying or when I stressed too much about what I would do later in life, I would watch Kdramas and my worries would enter into a sleeping phase. It was some sort of a break from worrying or studying.
However, this tired me even more, because if you want to study a lot and also bingewatch Kdramas, all in the same day, you need to sacrifice something. And in my case, that was sleeping hours. I think I am still tired after all those years of sleeping so bad.
The good part is that I stopped doing it and trying to care more about my sleeping habits. At first I would set alarms, but after a month, I got tired of them and continue to do my thing. Then I would stop in the middle of the episode and go to sleep. This method still works.
At some point I imposed myself to stop watching Kdramas for a week to check if I was addicted. That worked too. I also started reading books before going to bed, but that’s a bit difficult for me, because I can’t seem to concentrate on books when I am tired. After beginning my health care plan, I started prioritizing sleeping hours and somehow it became natural to go to sleep at reasonable hours.
2. Resist the urge to check my phone before the bed.
Somehow, this is related to number one. I used to do it very often, but again, after I started to prioritize my sleeping hours, this habit felt so bad that with patience and practice I could control and even give up on it. Also, the fact that I would feel tired during the day was a big motivation to stop tiring my eyes and my mind before sleep.
3. Resist the urge to do shopping by impulse
I bought too many useless things on inpulse. In most of the cases, I bought things that I thought I needed. After watching multiple times how my money go to the trash, and also after trying a more minimalist lifestyle, I started to work on finding what I really need and also prioritize my needs.
Now I work with list that I plan in advance. I prioritize my needs and I also list the things I want. Most often I take them off of the list because I don’t actually need them. It works best planning in advance, because it help you to save money and time and to shop in an organized manner. Prioritizing also works when you want to stay on budget.
4. No more promises on impulse
I used to promise on impulse, not thinking about the consequences or that I might not be able to keep that promise. All I could think of was to make that person feel good at that time or maybe even make myself feel good. Not anymore. I think twice before making a promise so I won’t disappoint anyone.
5. Prioritize my health
Though this is the most important, I left it on purpose at the end, because I feel I am still not doing it right. I have changed a lot my perspective concerning health problems, but I feel I still have a long way to get where I want. I am however grateful to myself that I make efforts to improve my ways and to take care of myself more and better.
These are the most important habits I picked in the last years with a lot of discipline and after trying all kinds of methods and routines. How about you? What good habits you picked that you are proud of?