Ugh. Bad habits – they’re so easy to start, but so difficult to break. Nobody’s perfect, and I’ve definitely had my share of crappy habits this early in the spring semester. The good news is that I caught them pretty early, so I have the rest of the semester to fix myself up a bit. You might find that you got yourself into these habits too, or maybe you’ve had these habits for a while and are looking to break them. Don’t worry, I have your back (so I’m basically the human version of a Golden Retriever). I also have some tips on how to break these bad habits! So without putting you in too much suspense (this isn’t Pretty Little Liars) here are the bad habits I managed to get myself into this semester:
Leaving a mountain of clothes anywhere I feel like. We’ve all been there before: after a long day, we just want to come home, take off the clothing that bore the blood, sweat and tears of the day, get comfy and go to sleep. I return to my dorm pretty late at night on most days – even the days when I don’t have my 10pm class, so after running around, attending meetings, interviewing people and being a student, I succumb to laziness and just throw my clothes on the chair at my desk. So basically, I have zero regard for what can still be re-worn that week and what needs to be tossed in the laundry bag. I have been making comments all week about how much clothing is taking up space on my chair. What’s worse is when I need to actually use the chair (as more than just a place to put clothes) I just grab the gigantic pile and dump it on my bed instead. This, without a doubt, contributes to the clutter in your room and, I don’t know about you but this drives me insane (though, clearly not insane enough that I address is as it happens). I have officially gotten tired of not being able to find clothes when I need it, and just having a cotton mountain be the first thing I see when I open the door.
Solution: Putting a shirt on a hanger, it turns out, isn’t super difficult at all. Even if you don’t have time to completely ‘re-organize’ your closet at night, just folding up whatever you take off and creating a neat pile somewhere other than your bed is helpful. Also, I will start putting dirty clothes to wash as I take them off because throwing a shirt in a laundry bag isn’t that hard either.
Not washing my face at night. You’re probably thinking that this is so gross and wishing that I didn’t just share this with you, but I pride myself on being 100 percent transparent with you. =) So yes, I’m not proud of not washing my face at night (I assure you I wash it in the morning, though) but I’m addressing it as a bad habit. This stems from the same idea in my previous point: laziness as the result of exhaustion. At night, I sometimes feel so sleepy that I don’t want to wash my face or do anything that could potentially alleviate my tiredness other than sleep. So I pretty much just wipe off my makeup with makeup remover wipes, sometimes pat some toner onto my face and go to bed. That’s it. Clearly I have no shits to give when I’m tired as hell. I certainly wished I had stopped being so lazy months ago, because my quest to improve my skin has definitely faltered because of that. That should be motivating me to take care of my face day and night, but instead, I temporarily saw it as an ‘unnecessary’ process. Bad idea!
Solution: If, for whatever reason, you adopted this bad habit like I did, here’s a super simple solution: instead of washing your face right before you’re ready to go to bed, wash your face about an hour and a half before your intended bedtime. Often times, washing your face wakes you right up and you may not be able to fall asleep after doing this. Having a clean face means that you can guiltlessly fall asleep anytime while surfing Instagram or Yik Yak!
Eating chocolate literally every other night. There was a point in time not very long ago (literally last week) when I’d eat chocolate or any chocolate-related edible more or less every other night. Sometimes, I just had a long day and wanted to treat myself – because I am a firm believer in treating yo’self – other times, I just thought of that Kit-Kat bar as dessert after dinner of a vegetarian rice bowl. I also had fun with mixing things up a bit; on Monday, I might have a Kit-Kat bar; if Wednesday was particularly crappy, I bought a generous slice of chocolate mousse cake from my school’s mini bakery; and on a Thursday afternoon I might feel particularly adventurous and hit up the Red Mango on campus for spicy Aztec chocolate flavored froyo. I don’t need to be a nutritionist to know that consumption of this much chocolate is definitely not doing me any favors in the long run; it certainly gave me a sense of instant gratification, but honestly, that’s probably the worst type of gratification. I do not deny that chocolate is incredibly delicious in every way, shape and form, but moderation is definitely key.
Solution: I am actually doing very well with a little experiment I created for myself. It’s a bit of a surprise that I’ll be posting about in a few weeks, so you’ll know all the details of this in a few short weeks! In the meantime, I still have a solution! If you’re as tempted by everything that is good and chocolatey like I am, start by cleaning your kitchen, pantry, or room of everything that contains chocolate (no, not by eating it all!) Give them to your roommate, your siblings, or even just keep them hidden from sight. Next, find healthy substitutes for the Snickers bar you like so much. I began using grapes as a substitute for when I have chocolate as a snack. If you love having a scrumptious chocolate-glazed donut for breakfast with your coffee, try substituting the chocolate donut with maybe a plain old-fashioned donut (which contains less sugar) or even something completely different like my new favorite, the spinach foldover from Starbucks!
Convincing myself that curly fries go with everything. I fell into the habit of eating curly fries with almost everything – grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs – you name it, I will put curly fries on it (yes, even ice cream because why not). Curly fries are like the next best pick-me-up in my opinion (after my beloved chocolate) but they are rather greasy and not something that should be consumed every single night – especially not if you’re trying to get toned abs and arms! Yet, I am super guilty of opening my life up to curly fries. For others, it may not be curly fries specifically – you might have this habit with pizza or take out, or some other unforgiving food item.
Solution: Try to challenge yourself to try a new food item everyday. This is especially cool if you live on a campus with many different dining halls or if you live in an area with a bunch of shops or food stores. If you usually cook and don’t eat out, challenge yourself to try a new recipe every few days. Mixing it up can ensure that you don’t form any new bad habits with other foods that aren’t necessarily good for you. This will broaden your palette and encourage you to be a little adventurous with your tastebuds!
Leaving my dirty dishes there to rot for, like, a week. Okay, I have a busy schedule, so sometimes when I cook for myself in the kitchen, I’ll leave my dirty dishes just sitting in my room for more than just a few days – forks, spoons and all. There are very obvious reasons why you should never do this, including the fact that anyone who comes into your room may be slightly appalled by this. Sometimes, it’s not a time thing, though – I just don’t feel like doing the dishes at that time.
Solution: I know this resonates with most college students who dorm and like to cook in the kitchen, so – from one college kid to another – I have a solution for us all! If you don’t do your dishes because you don’t feel like it, try making scrubbing the crumbs off your plate a little more enjoyable by playing some music while you do your tasks. Music definitely makes everything more fun, and you can always look forward to getting in your daily jam sesh in the company of syrup-covered plates and crumb-speckled bowls. Another way to liven things up a bit is by doing the dishes with friends or roommates. This is an…interesting…way for you to spend quality time with your friends or get to know new roommates. If your issue is that you don’t have time to clean the dishes after dirtying them up, then try allocating time in your schedule specifically for cleaning up after yourself. Yes, your dirt is important too! Setting as part of your schedule gives you more of an obligation to the task, and we all know that scheduling things is basically like setting it in stone, so you pretty much have to do it. Keep in mind that this bad habit may not necessarily be washing the dishes specifically for you; it may be vacuuming your house/apartment, cleaning up your room, etc., but the ideas behind the solutions are the same.
Hopefully reading this blog post didn’t keep you back from anything like, say, doing the dishes! But if they did, at least you procrastinated productively while learning a little bit about what my life has been like for a few weeks (don’t you just love learning new things about people?) Tell me something about yourself –
What bad habits did you get into and how will you fix them?