20 Habits to Change This Year
Inspired by my 24th birthday, the new year, and this article from Hello Giggles, I’ve been working on my own list of habits to quit, start, or change this year. The Hello Giggles article focused on bad habits to break, but as I started writing my own list I found the bad habits restriction limiting and quite negative. I could think of many more good habits that I should start than bad habits I have. I always find it more motivating and productive to focus on the good things you want to happen, not the bad things you want to go away.
I’m sure you can relate to some of these, and maybe you’ll also make a commitment to changing some of your habits this year!
Mindless TV eating
Pretty much all my spare time is spent sitting (lying) in bed watching TV & movies. I also spend a lot of my spare time eating. I just love food, guys. This means I am guilty of the big bad food habit- mindless TV eating. When you watch TV while eating, you just keep eating and eating and eating because you’re not paying attention to it. I need to start caring more about my food, cooking meals instead of constantly snacking, and sitting down at a table to eat like a civilized person.
Being “just in time” for work
I am that person, guys. I’m always running late. I always push the limit of how much time I have to get ready whether it’s for work, an appointment, or a friend coming over. Of course, a boss calls you out on always bring five minutes late, but you know it’s really bad when you’re friends are constantly telling you “Come on, Teeeesh! Let’s gooooo!” I think this is a simple act of being mature, responsible, grown-up, all that good stuff. How hard is it for me to leave home 5 minutes earlier in the morning? It’s not hard at all, actually. So I need to get my ass in motion.
Keeping my apartment clean
I hate cleaning. I love a clean and organized space, but my cleaning moods come few and far between. It’s only when I know I have company coming over that I look around and think how embarrassed I would be for someone to see my overflowing bins and piles of dirty dishes. This is an everyday habit that I have to get into. Just tidy up a little bit everyday, and then I don’t have to spend an entire day of my weekend cleaning, or speed-clean before a friend stops by.
Compulsive Checking Disorder
This is what I have dubbed my incessant need to re-re-re-check my phone, refresh Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Even when it’s 7am on a Sunday, and I know that no one is on the Internet, I will still pick up my phone every five minutes and go through everything. Sometimes it’s a symptom of being stuck in a public place with nothing but my phone to keep me company. I need to be aware of how often I go back to social media sites throughout the day. It’s not like I’ll miss anything. In fact, it’s better the less I check because then when I do, I can take a break and scroll through Tumblr for five minutes instead of seeing one new post at a time because I’m going back every five minutes. I’m sure I’m not the only one suffering from CCD, right?
Choosing TV over any other activity
I need a physical and mental break when I get home from work, so I go straight for bed and turn on my computer/tv to watch whatever old series I’m currently re-watching. But after a couple episodes of chill out time, I could step it up to watching a new movie, reading a book, or even, if my brain is up for it, writing. I need to learn that TV is fine for a little bit of chill-out time and break-from-work time, but re-watching Friends is not how I want to spend my life.
Cheating on my vegan diet
Okay, I’m admitting it officially. Over the past four years of my veganism, I have occasionally slipped back into mere vegetarianism. It’s the cheesey snacks, guys. They are my weakness. I also regularly ignore “milk ingredients” on some of my favorite food staples. It’s time I not only stopped “cheating” but, more importantly, found some healthier options for my snacks and meals.
Daydreaming about ideas instead of working on ideas
I’m a daydreamer. That may sound romantic in songs, but it actually means that I would rather basically nap, playing out scenarios in my head than, say, write down some ideas that I could actually do. Instead of dreaming of winning an Oscar, I should sit down and work on my web series. Because the web series is happening, and the Oscar won’t happen without everything that comes in between your first web series and your first feature film. The good news is I got my acceptance speech down pat. ;)
Letting Facebook give me a false sense of closeness with long distance friends
A while ago I realized that it had been a very long time since I had had an actual one-on-one conversation with one of my dearest friends. I blame Facebook. I didn’t realize it for so long because I see her updates in my feed. We like and comment on each other’s stuff. But that’s not friendship! I need to stop relying on Facebook and instead make an effort to text far away friends more often and make some Skype dates.
Spending extra money immediately
I don’t make a lot of money, okay? I make enough to live on but I can't seem to save up for anything big. Whenever I have some money left over after rent & bills, I think of what I can check off my wish list like a new camera, a new TV, or a winter wardrobe. I need to resist spending for a while, so I can see some savings build up and get excited about the really BIG things I’m saving for (like moving somewhere warmer!)
I know, what a cliché resolution-type thing. It’s true, though! I used to read so much more as a teenager. I could go to a bookstore, browse the Teen Fiction section and come out of there with a couple books about teenage girls that I would absolutely love. Since growing out of the teen fiction time of my life, I find it harder to find books I want to read, particularly fiction. I guess I just don’t know what I like. I currently have quite a few books I’ve picked up recently to read, though. New ones like How to Be a Woman and old ones that I want to re-read like The Host and Jurassic Park.
Say "Yes" more often
I don’t need to go nuts about it like in Yes Man, but I need to start taking some risks and opening myself up to new experiences. This includes little things like trying a new food to big things like getting out of the house and meeting new people. I mean, the worst that can happen is I endure an experience that I don’t like. At least it’s an experience.
Stop biting off more than I can chew
I’ve always been a girl that “dreams big” but sometimes I attempt something I can’t follow through with. This is everything from downloading movies that I think I want to see but never watching them to starting projects like blogs or videos that I don’t continue. I think this is because I just want to do so much, I tend to get ahead of myself in the process and put something out there before I’ve thought through the entire process. I’ve been doing really well with planning and consistency with The Unicorn Hunt, so perhaps I’m already on my way to curbing this habit.
I just really want to stop using “lol” and “was like” when texting. I’ve never been a bad texter that uses “2” and other weird abbreviations. I do generally type “ha ha ha” if I’m actually laughing, or “BAH! HA HA HA HA!”, you know, depending on my actual laughter. But I find myself adding “lol” to the end of texts to make sure that the tone is lighthearted. Instead, I (we all) need to just write clear, more descriptive messages that create their tone with words. Remember words? I also don’t know why I constantly write stuff like “And then I was like “Go away.” and he was like “No.”” When I could write concisely, using the return button and colons to type a conversation like a script. Me: Go away Him: No. (What does it say about me that I chose that interaction as a sample conversation?)
Overcome my fear of the phone
I'm only okay talking on the phone with my parents. I don't have to worry about awkward silences or being embarrassed. I'm okay using the phone at work because I just have to be professional. But every time my phone rings, I stare at it in terror and try to work up the courage to answer it but by then it's gone to voicemail. What’s the worse that can happen, Tish? Come on.
Drink more often but drink less at a time
My friends and I don’t party or go out much (read: ever) so the few occasions a year when we have a party with drinking, I tend to over-do it. I want to be more of a grown-up about alcohol and less of a college kid (not that I was ever a binge-drinking, partying college kid). I want to learn to make cocktails, try new drinks when we go out, and generally drink more often.
Watch more new movies, less old tv
I always have an old tv show going as my “background watching”, but more often than not, I just plop myself down in bed and just watch that show that I’ve watched a million times already instead of doing things with it on in the background. I have some weird backwards sense of my attention span. When I think of watching a movie, I look at the clock and think “Oh, that’s two whole hours, I dunno…” but I will sit down to watch that background show while I eat and then never stop watching it. Three hours later, nothing has been accomplished, but I could have expanded my mind with a new movie experience instead of dulling it with an old tv experience. I’ve started keeping track of my movie watching this year (I’ve been keeping track of my old-tv watching for a year already, to avoid watching a show too often and ruining it) and so far I’ve watched 11 new movies and 2 old movies. I’m working my way through the 40+ movies that I have but haven’t watched yet at a pretty good rate, I think.
Make an effort to make Internet friends/connections
Like many introverts, I turn to the Internet to live most of my life. However, I manage to be an introvert even on the Internet. Even Internet socializing is exhausting for me. I find it hard to connect with people on the Internet because you have to really put yourself out there and be vulnerable. I could reply to someone’s tweet, or comment on their blog post and never hear back because they are like a super-popular Internet famous person who doesn’t have time to mingle with lowly non-Internet-famous people. I don’t understand how people make friends on Twitter. How can you begin any sort of relationship with 140-character bits of conversation back and forth? I have been tweeting at cool people and making more of an effort to comment on blogs that I like, though. I have one Internet friend, and I honestly cannot remember how we became friends.
Make an effort to make real-life friends
Not surprising that this is difficult for me since, as I said, I am an introvert. And so are my friends. I don’t know how people meet new people other than through people they already know. So, my problem with that is that my friends also don’t meet new people to introduce me to. We each live in our own small world. I have found it so hard to make friends since high school/college when you’re forced to spend everyday with a bunch of people, so you can slowly make contact and build something up. How do you make friends with strangers you just meet? Right now my friend project is making friends with a girl at work. First step: inviting her to hang out. In person. Outside of work. I hope I can do it...
Since the Internet has become such a big part of my life (circa high school) it’s hard for me to imagine anything mattering that isn’t Internet-able. If it doesn’t get Instagrammed, or Twittered, or blogged then did it really happen? Obviously, this is an unhealthy way to think about life. I need to start making time for hobbies and activities that I enjoy, but are not exactly “shareable”. Things like practicing on my keyboard that I got for Christmas, craft projects that are just for me (not DIYs), etc. Not everything I do has to be Internet-able. I can at least show my real-life friends what I learned to play on the keyboard, or the pillowcase I sewed.
Bring the laptop to bed ;)
This may sound like a bad habit; being so lazy that I won’t get up and sit at my computer desk, but this actually makes me more productive. I’m writing this in bed right now, actually. I do like to sit down at the computer and get work done sometimes, but after a while my butt is like “Get off of meeeeee!” and I need to go be horizontal in bed for a break. But when I bring my laptop into bed, I can rearrange myself to get comfy and last longer on the computer. The real reason I’m reluctant to move my laptop anywhere is because for a laptop- it’s not so portable! When it’s at my desk, it’s plugged into two hard drives, my TV, and my stereo. So to use it in bed I have to transfer anything I’ll need from the two hard drives onto the MacBook itself and untangle some cords to keep it plugged into the TV & stereo (because I may be working, but I can work with an old TV show or music playing).