Good habits I picked in my mid-twenties

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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?

Implementing habits

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It takes time to build habits. This is what I know from experience, not because I read it from a book. I also believe that the time to implement a certain habit is different from person to person. It depends on one’s determination, it depends on the context, on what motivates you to implement a certain habit, it also depends on the you at a certain time. See? There are so many external conditions that might make you decide that this is not the right time or even give up in the middle.

There were many times when I thought I succeeded in implementing a new habit and it made me so proud. But I get bored quite easily, and I am always searching for new and more efficient ways to implement good habits and improve my life. I guess we are all searching for what’s best for us and this is in itself a great achievement. You are doing great even if you are not where you want to be yet. Remember that all great things need time. And great is different from one to another. For me great is what is important to me, what makes me feel good and what I really like doing for a long time.

I think I found my own way of discovering what habits I can implement for a long time. Of course, it also depends on my own determination and the effort I put in, but I want to live more freely and to do more of the things that I really like. And the first step to know what you really like is to try everything. Do you really like something because it looks cool and it make you seem like a cool person when you talk to others about it? Or you like it because it makes you feel more like yourself or a better you? Well, this is what I try to do.

Back at the part where I was talking about my own way of discovering what habits I can implement for a long time… I don’t really remember when I started doing it, but one day I decided to establish one big goal that I would focus on for a whole month. This is how I came up with the one month goal idea. I think this works best for me because I have more time to transform it into a habit for a long period of time. However, I am not trying to transform all these goals into habits, because it would be impossible to do so many things regularly at one point. The idea is to challenge myself and discover how far I can go, or what I like to do.

Whenever I think about what I want to do for the next month, I think about what I need to improve next, about things that I would like to try etc. I decided to continue this one month goal idea this year as well, because I really like the way it helps me to find out more about myself. For January I chose to do one month daily workout with my friend because I wanted to motivate her to exercise hoping this would help her to sleep better. At the beginning we would send photos to motivate each other, but after 2 weeks we would stop sending photos, but continue working out daily and talk about it. We also promised to eat 3 times a day, but some days were more hectic than others and eating 3 meals was our promise for the next day.

However, working out daily made me realize that I like to work out, but because I tend to get bored easily I would soon give up. As I promised myself to become a more active person and to exercise more, I thought that for the month of February I should try to replace my yoga routine with dance. This is how I realized that I really like to dance and since February I could dance daily for about 30 to 40 minutes without getting bored even for one minute. I was surprised that I liked it so much and I would see how certain parts of my body became more flexible. Dance is so much fun and I do it without thinking that it is another form of physical exercise. Dance is my happy time with myself.

For the month of March I decided to spend more time blogging and to actually post one blog post per week. You might have already observed that I’ve been more visible this month and I am curious to see if I will be able to keep this habit from now on and for how long. My goal is not only related to posting weekly, but also to learning more about SEO and blogging in general. I love how it went until now and I am curious to see how I will improve from now on.

It’s still March, but I can tell you that I already thought what I want to do for the month of April. I observed that my French speaking skills got rusty, so I decided that I will try speaking daily for one month. This is not something difficult to do, because monologue is one of the methods I use to practice speaking in other languages, but somehow French was not really my priority. Well, speaking in French will become my priority for the next month.

These are the goals I focused on since the beginning of the year and I am really pleased that I can see progress and new ideas that came with practicing these habits.

I wish you can achieve anything you decide on and enjoy the process.

Until next time, sunny days.