Not only do people make new resolutions at the start of the New Year, but many are also looking to drop bad habits. A toxic habit can be an insidious force in your life — you'll keep falling into its trap, and pretty soon, it'll become second nature and you won't even notice it. Instead, when unfortunate events happen in your life, you'll wonder how they all came about without realizing that you set them up by indulging in bad habits. Nip these bad behaviors in the bud before they spiral out of control:
- The "later" mentality. Organization expert Peter Walsh says the one habit you should drop this year is procrastinating. Walsh says it's the small steps that need to be done to stay on top of clutter. This mentality applies to all areas of your life. For example, that work task you've been putting off for weeks or months? Instead of holding it off until "later," working on it step by step will get you to your end goal faster.
- Saying "yes" to everything. If you're a people pleaser, learn to say "no" to people this year. It's one thing to do a favor for a friend or co-worker, but remember not to overextend yourself. Learn to delegate better at work and be honest with people. There's always a nice way of saying "no," so don't worry about hurting people's feelings.
- Unhealthy addictions. Moderation is the key to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Assess your addictions — be it things like sugar, smoking, shopping, or reality TV — and figure out the best one to work on this year. Addictions can be costly to your health and your wallet, so for a better 2013 and beyond, choose one unhealthy addiction to drop.
- Self doubt. Insecurities can hold you back and set negative thought patterns that will make you feel blue or give up easily. They can also sour your relationships with people. For example, you may be overly sensitive to what others say, and this may impact the way you interact with them. To remove self doubt, go on a self-improvement journey this year. Try attaining new skills and hobbies so you'll start being more confident of your abilities and do things like meditate to calm yourself.
- Living in the now. Everyone throws around the popular catchphrase "you only live once" and uses it as an excuse for short-term indulgences. It's true that life is short, but remember that it's usually the long-term approach that achieves the biggest accomplishments and goals. Saving up for the dream vacation to an African safari may take longer than an impulse shopping spree, but it'll be much more fulfilling.