If you’re someone that likes to vent and offload I think it’s important to be mindful.
Think about things such as:
How many times have I vented to this person about the same issue?
Has anything changed or am I just repeating the same thing over and over again?
Do I want help solving this or just someone to sit and listen?
The answer to those questions might make you realise that you should spend more time solving your problems than you do talking about them. Your answer might also inspire you to ask before you vent instead of dumping on someone and apologising after.
As much as I think it’s totally fine to want someone to just listen without trying to offer advice, I also think that people have the right no not want to hear you talk about your problems, especially when you’ve gotten into the habit of carelessly dumping on someone over and over again.
Happy New Year!
It’s gotten to a point where many people shun new years resolutions (goals, plans, intentions etc.). They assume they won’t last so don’t see the point in bothering.
A common example of a new years resolution is to lose weight.
After indulging in an abundance of rich and unhealthy food over the festive period a large amount of people rush to the gym in January hoping to losing weight. However, I think the reason this tends to fail time and time again is because it actually works a little better when the focus is on the action instead of the outcome.
What if your new years resolution was to create a weekly exercise routine that you enjoy and then stick to it?
As much as it is important to have a clear goal, if you’re more focused on the end result than what is required to achieve it, you’ll probably end up giving up.
We often unknowingly run from doing the work that is required because we’re more focused on thinking about what we want than carrying out the actions to get us there.
Focusing on the action tends to result in habit building. Once these habits are ingrained into your routine they eventually become part of your everyday life which makes reaching the goal much easier.
Towards the end of 2020, I wrote a post sharing how I’d planned to stop daily blogging. Not long after, I changed my mind. I’d realised that I wasn’t ready to give up daily blogging yet because I enjoyed it and it challenged me. I also felt proud knowing I’d committed to something challenging that I didn’t have to do.
If you’re a super keen reader of this blog you’ll be aware that over the past few months I’ve become incredibly inconsistent with posting daily. As time went on it got worse until November 2021 when I stopped daily blogging altogether and only published a total of 7 posts.
I’ve never been hard on myself for skipping a day here and there but when it’s a regular thing, there’s clearly an issue.
The issue is that I’ve been doing something I no longer want to commit to. I used to wonder how long I could carry on daily blogging for without actually considering that it’s okay for me to just stop.
In 2022, I’ll be dropping from 7 posts a week to 3 which feels like I’m making things way too easy but I also think it’s okay to not put too much pressure on myself. I guess I just realised that I didn’t want to daily blog anymore. However, I’d identified myself with being a daily blogger so much and expected that I’d do it for much longer that it’s been difficult to admit that I want to stop.
Around 5 years ago or whenever it was that bullet journals became all the range, habit trackers were an incredibly popular thing to have. You’d create a list of habits that you wanted to keep track of for the month and then put a cross in the box when you did it and left it blank when you didn’t.
Bullet journaling didn’t actually work that well for me. In theory it was a great tool to stay organized but in reality I couldn’t commit to keeping up with it. However, years later I decided to return to using a habit tracker. I was at a point where i wanted to add some new habits to my daily routine and I thought a habit tracker would help me stay motivated.
I wanted to see if having a chart with what I did and didn’t do each day would make me better at implmenting habits I felt would benefit me. After less than a week I noticed that I was making more of an effort to carry out some of my new habits because I liked the feeling that came with ticking them off. It was also because they were easy to do and didn’t take much time.
On the other hand, the things that were more time consuming were much harder to get into. This is because once you get that ‘good feeling’ for crossing a few things off, you don’t have to do more work in order to feel good. This reminded me that I need to just take action and do the thing instead of using the idea of needed to be motivated in order to get it done.
When you’re ready to change, you’ll feel it.
It could be a change of city, job, relationship, diet, hobby, hairstyle or routine.
Taking the example of work, perhaps you’re no longer passionate and motivated to achieve the things you once aspired to. Maybe in the past when you were stressed you had the motivation to get through it because it would be worth it in the end whereas now you feel the complete opposite.
Or with your morning routine, you may have had a set of 7 things you’d do every morning before starting your day. Then, all of a sudden that feels like a waste of time and you realise you’re happier to strip it back to just 3.
When you get the feeling that it’s time for change, it’s it’s important to go with it because it won’t go away.
It’s the old case of what you resist persists. And so if you don’t jump when you feel it’s time for a change, life will give you a push.
Most of us have at least one habit that we know is unhelpful, in fact perhaps you can clearly see how at times it hinders your life. However, you choose to do nothing about it.
You’ve accepted the habit as part of who you are instead of it being something that you’re open to changing or even just working on. But mostly it hasn’t caused a big enough problem in your life for you to consider it to be something that needs to change.
Perhaps you’re habit is lateness. You’re always always late everywhere you go to the point where it’s now expected.
Then, one day you being late causes a significant negative implication to your life. You lose out on something important, miss out on money or ruin a relationship.
It’s only then that you truly consider that you might need to work on your punctuality. Up until that point there were no consequences for your lateness, it was simply just an unhelpful habit. But when you lose a job because of it you realise that actually it’s a bad habit because your life has been negatively affected as a result of it.
I think one of the main reasons that old habits are hard to break is because we’re used to them. When you’ve been doing something for a long time whether it’s beneficial to your life or not, it can be difficult to just let it go.
Even if you know it’s not good for you, you get sucked into the feeling of familiarity and allow the habit to continue.
But, what if you forced yourself to change, what if you made a choice to do something different and uncomfortable? Doing that allows you to open yourself to the possibility of a new life where you do thing that align with the kind of person that you want to be, rather than contradict it.
Overcoming a habit that is hard to break is joyous because you know it wasn’t easy but you did it anyway.
When you’re on a particular journey moving from an old way to something new, there is always a chance of regression. And sometimes we almost allow it to happen unnessicarily because we tell oursleves that it’s just part of the process when really, it doesn’t have to be.
It’s possible to keep going without falling back into old ways.
When you’re on the new path and you haven’t seen the effects of your change, you may find yourself wondering if it’s worth it. That is often when you regress and turn to the habits of your old self that are no longer helpful.
Two things to keep in mind are why you decided to make the change to begin with and the benefits of sticking with it, even if they take some time.
I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.
Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.
None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.
So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.
There could be habits you have that you have carried with you thorough your life for so long that you aren’t even aware the impact they have on your life.
Perhaps, you assume that those habits are ‘just the way you are’ rather than them being something you could change.
Sticking with what you know is easy, comfortable and familiar even when it negatively impacts your life.
And so you do nothing.
That’s why I’m such an advocate for regular reflection. In doing so you’re able to identify the habits you currently have and understand how they impact your life. It could be something like you always wanting to be right because you believe that you know more than most.
This may result in people not wanting to engage in conversations with you because you’re now seen as closed minded, someone that is not open to other points of view. In turn maybe you’re unable to develop close relationships because your desire to always be right pushes people away as they don’t feel respected and they find you frustrating.
Identifying that bad habit and deciding to let it go could be the catalyst to solve many of the problems that you regularly encounter.
Of course, it rarely feels good to know that you’re the problem as it forces you to take responsibility instead of the playing the blame game. But in the grand scheme of things perhaps it is much better to know that the problem begins with you and your bad habits because that way you know that the problems can end with you too.