As the saying goes:
“Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny”. (Samuel Smiles)
Bad habits can impact you in all kinds of ways (usually negative) – and they can be the sole reason why you feel down in the dumps about your life.
Think you’re veering off the path to your true destiny? Here are 10 habits you need to say goodbye to ASAP if you want to reach your full potential in life.
1) Constantly snoozing early alarms
Many successful business owners and entrepreneurs swear by the 5am or 6am rules (the notion that you need to wake up early to start your day right).
Granted not everyone is an early bird (me included). But constantly snoozing your alarm by 10 minutes isn’t actually going to make that much difference to your sleep.
But it will make a huge difference to your day.
When you wake up early, you have more time to exercise, meal prep, read, enjoy morning hobbies, or work on your side projects.
But sleeping in that extra 10 minutes to an hour every day isn’t going to get you there. And it’s a bad habit to get into if you want to start doing more with your life.
2) Giving in to procrastination
We all procrastinate from time to time. When it’s occasional, it’s not a huge problem. But when it’s a habit, it’s a bad one to have.
Experts say that we procrastinate for three main reasons: we’re overstimulated, overwhelmed, or anxious.
People with depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety tend to procrastinate the most. And since procrastinating doesn’t actually feel good, it can make you feel worse about yourself when you’re already low.
Procrastination is a hard habit to kick, but once you manage it, you can start performing better in your work, academia, social life, and personal life.
3) Minimizing your successes
If you constantly find yourself saying, “It’s not that good” or “Let’s not make a big deal out of it” whenever you achieve something – then this is a problem.
Experts say that celebrating your achievements can boost confidence and increase your motivation. It also encourages more positive feelings and a positive mindset.
Positive self-talk is a powerful thing. It boosts your motivation, improves self-esteem, and can even reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to experts.
But putting yourself down all the time has the opposite effect – and it’s a habit you need to kick to the curb if you’re not achieving your full potential.
4) Expecting things to happen for you
I once worked with a guy who was very, very smart. He had great career prospects, but unfortunately, he just wasn’t willing to put in the effort to get himself there.
He would openly admit that he wanted these things to come to him, rather than search for them himself.
As you’d expect, this wasn’t a good mindset for him to have. It also wasn’t going to get him to reach his full potential anytime soon.
Sometimes, it’s not always so obvious that you’re waiting for things to come your way.
You’re just “Waiting for the right person to come along before doing X”, “Hoping that your boss will finally recognize your efforts and give you that promotion”, or “Waiting for your teacher to tell you to start that essay now”.
When really, you need to take control of your own life and get what you want by yourself. Because not everything is going to just fall in your lap.
And if that’s what you’re doing on a daily basis – whatever the context is – it’s a bad habit to have.
5) Avoiding doing things alone
How many times have you not attended a gym class because you didn’t want to go alone?
Or didn’t go to an event that you really wanted to go to because your friends weren’t interested?
Or even stayed in on a beautiful day because everyone else was busy?
It’s understandable why you’d want to experience things with other people. After all, we humans are social creatures!
But skipping out on things that’ll make you happy because you don’t want to go alone is a bad habit to get into.
Learning how to be alone is an important part of adulthood. More often than you perhaps would want to be in your life, you’ll be on your own. And relying on other people to do things with you won’t always work out for you.
It’ll lead to you missing out on finding your true passions, hobbies, and interests – and the only person it’ll impact in the long run is you.
6) Not exercising or moving your body
Exercising is one of the most basic human needs. I think we all know it’s important to move our body (for at least 30 minutes per day, according to experts).
But it’s very easy to get into the habit of not exercising.
Research shows that when you don’t exercise, it can negatively impact your mood, productivity levels, and (of course) your general health.
Just getting out for a walk, trying to go for a run, or doing at-home yoga is a step in the right direction. And it can make a big difference in improving your mind, body, and soul.
7) Going days without leaving the house
With remote working on the rise, it’s pretty easy to spend all day, every day indoors.
And while it’s nice to have a lazy day sometimes, it isn’t actually good for your health.
Experts say that staying indoors for long periods can negatively affect your mood and sleeping habits. It can also weaken your immune system.
Plus, the lack of fresh air can also lead to headaches, fatigue, and issues with your concentration levels. Which, naturally, isn’t going to help you reach your full potential – no matter what you’re doing.
8) Leaving everything to the last minute
Many people claim to work better under pressure – pulling all-nighters to get that assignment done in time.
Or booking plans the night before in the hopes a table is still available.
But, even so, these aren’t good habits to have. There’s a lot that can go wrong when you always leave things to the last minute.
And rushing to get things done by a tight deadline leaves you open to mistakes (sometimes pretty big ones). It also won’t lead to you producing your best work.
Which is exactly why it’s a habit you need to say goodbye to if you want to do better in life.
9) Dwelling on regrets and the past
The past is in the past, we all know that. But it’s still easy to let it creep into your daily life and ruin the present moment.
Experts say it’s important to acknowledge our regrets and process things from our past – particularly if they’ve caused us trauma.
But they also say you should close the chapter and move on once the processing is done. Otherwise, you’re constantly ruminating on things you can’t change (that probably don’t make you feel good about yourself).
And dwelling on those things, rather than drawing a line under the sand and moving on, isn’t going to help you in the future.
10) “Winging it” all the time
There’s a time and place for winging it – and every aspect of your life isn’t it.
Sometimes, it’s good to go with the flow and see where the day takes you.
But always going through life without a plan isn’t going to help you reach your full potential. It probably won’t help you reach even the simplest of goals.
Like if you wanted to go for a walk that day, starting your day without a loose plan of when you’re going to fit a walk in will probably leave you skipping the walk.
The same rule applies to any exercise, life admin, studying, work, hobbies, socializing, or personal projects you want to achieve.
If you don’t have some form of plan for what you’re going to do that day and when you’re going to do it, you probably won’t end up doing anything you really want to do.
Our habits form the basis of our everyday lives.
They are the sole reasons why we find success in work, study, and our personal lives – and they are the biggest drivers behind us fulfilling our potential.
When you develop bad habits and don’t ever ditch them, the only person you’re impacting is you.
And chances are, those bad habits aren’t making you feel good about yourself.
They’re also likely leading you to fall behind on your goals, work, studies, or even your hobbies.
And the sooner you get rid of them (and replace them with better habits), the faster you can start living the life you really want to live!