5 Things I Quit Doing This Year and Didn’t Miss
Bad habits about food, money, technology, and lack of mindfulness
As the year comes close to its end, I took some time to reflect on my year, and especially the habits I changed or the decisions I made regarding my daily life. I found out 5 things that I quit and didn’t regret at all!
I love everything made out of chocolate. I love pastries. Cakes.
However, I don’t like what sugar does to my body. All of it’s hidden effects. That’s why I progressively reduced my sugar intake, without totally avoiding it.
First of all, I pay attention to the amount of sugar contained in my breakfast cereals, trying not to exceed 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams of muesli. I buy compote without added sugar, 90% cocoa chocolate, and keep my soda consumption to a minimum, allowing it on special occasions only.
In a nutshell, I think twice before eating anything too sweet.
I have observed several positive effects, such as experiencing fewer cravings, feeling more energized throughout the day, and maybe dropping a bit of weight.
2. Buying unnecessary things
At the beginning of the year, I was a bit more materialistic, without being a compulsive buyer. However, I enjoyed going to the mall when I was bored and often ended up buying a few more clothes to stack on my already bending clothing pile.
Then, I saw the Minimalist documentary and started reflecting on my buying behavior. I realized I bought a bit more than needed in several areas, whereas I could save more money and keep it to buy things that I really needed, or choosing quality over quantity.
I started asking myself one question before buying anything: is it adding value to my life? If the answer was yes, then why not.
I also sold some of my possessions, and I now feel happier with less. I know I can pack a small suitcase for even a month without feeling that something is missing. It’s liberating!
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci
3. Spending too much time on my phone
One day, as I checked my phone, a notification appeared. It contained stats about my use of it during the last week. I found out that I was on my phone for more than 3 hours per day! It was truly electroshock. 3 hours per day are 21 hours per week, almost as much as a full day and night! I realized how much time I was loosing on social networks, scrolling, again and again, to end up seeing nothing but uninteresting content.
I decided to set a daily 45 minutes limit to all these social apps. Each time I reached the limit, a notification appeared. Moreover, I started trying to be more aware of my use. I interrupted my movement several times before grabbing my phone, realizing that I had nothing to do on it but checking one more time if I had received emails, texts or Instagram likes.
I have also found out that I enjoy using my phone way more after not touching it for a long time.
4. Eating more than my hunger
I already said it: I love food. I love this moment when everyone seat down around a table, enjoying tasty food.
However, I often ended up eating a bit too much. I had difficulties stopping myself as soon as I felt full. I didn’t overeat. But I ate a bit too much when I could have stopped before.
I started building a better habit by bringing mindfulness into the whole process. I learned to enjoy every bite, carefully tasting the food, and slowly chewing it. Now, I’m always the last one to finish my plate. And I am able to stop almost as soon as I feel full (no one is perfect!)
5. Worrying too much
My mood could be ruined in a matter of seconds by small worries, and I had the biggest difficulties bouncing back.
Being more in the “Now” allowed me to stem this problem. Mindfulness is a way to bring you back to the moment. Realizing that right now, everything is fine.
Problems have to be handled one after the other, at the right moment. If it’s not the right moment, then leave it alone and enjoy the moment you’re in.
I am a firm believer that the New Year is not a moment for making resolutions. Resolutions can — and must—be taken all year long when you feel that something needs to change. No need to wait for one special day. Change happens now, such as life.