New Year, New You: 14 Bad Habits To Avoid in 2014

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New Year, New You: 14 Bad Habits To Avoid in 2014
Find out what it takes to be part of the 8 percent that succeed with their New Year's resolutions.

In January 2013, Forbes magazine reported on data found in a research article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology that only 8 percent of people succeed with their New Year's resolutions. Why such a low figure? We all seem to begin the year with the right intent, but somehow lose that momentum. Developing a new habit can take several weeks and consistent dedication. People often do not realize that their ultimate goal must be broken down into smaller doable pieces. Be aware that many diversions, distractions and time drainers can take you off track. 

Let's be a part of the 8 percent who succeed instead of the 92% who do not! Read on to learn just how you can achieve the success I know you're capable of in 2014.

1) Putting Things Off 
The best time to get something done was yesterday and the second best time is RIGHT NOW! Many people overestimate the time it takes to actually DO the task they are putting off. I have given clients an experiment to estimate the time it takes to do the procrastinating task, then record the actual time it takes and they are always surprised by their poor guess. Your best bet is to just do it and move on to another task. 

2) Lying Around All Day 
Life = Motion and it is time to get out from behind your desk, or get off the couch, and begin to move around. Walk, stretch, garden, play with the dog, or dance (by yourself or with someone you love). Try something and do it with enthusiasm! Trust me, you'll be happy you did it. 

3) Eating Less Than 3 Hours Prior To Bed
Please don't go to bed full — the negative side effects are substantial. It can cause weight gain, insomnia and heartburn so make sure you have a healthy dinner. If you're adequetly full, you won't have the urge to munch before you retire for the evening. 

4) Eating Poorly
Be concerned about what you put in your body. There is nothing "magical" about maintaining a healthy weight. Look at the food pyramid for guidelines on what to eat, and be conscious of portion size. If you are an "emotional eater", consider getting help to figure out how to cope more productively. 

5) Texting While Driving
What could be so important to put your life and the lives of others at risk? Nothing! Put the phone down, keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. 

6) Missing Appointments (Or Showing Up Late) 
If you set an appointment for anything, make sure to follow through. It's rude and disrespectful but if you can't control the circumstance, make sure to call and let people know. 

7) Using Excessive Technology 
If you could eliminate more than an hour a day of unnecessary electronic use, that would be amazing. But at least minimize this time drain of unnecessary technology in 2014.  While you're at it, try more phone calls and face-to-face communication instead of texting!

8) Drinking Soda 
Most drinks are filled with unnecessary calories, vast amounts of sugar, and chemicals. High-fructose corn syrup can be found in most beverages and has been known to cause serious health issues. Make sure you read ingredients before you consume a drink but we encourage you to stick with water this year. It's your safest bet! 

9) Negative Thinking 
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, it is probably true. So believe in yourself and your capabilities! Bring forth your positie energy into the world and you will see you are a lot more capable than you think. 

10) Saying YES to everything.
Be selective with how you spend your time, because this is the only finite resource on the planet. The inability to say "NO" can be a gateway path to depression, anxiety, resentment and other negative moods. Show yourself love and say yes to activities that you feel are worth your time. 

11) Giving Up 
When the going gets tough, it is time to get going. Push yourself to stay the course, even when it seems as though everything is trying to pull you off track. 

12) Hanging Out With Negative People
You start becoming like the people you spend the most time with. Choose your friends wisely and create stronger boundaries with negative family members. You will see a positive change once you rid your inner-circle of negative influences. 

13) Hitting Snooze More Than Once
Put your alarm (or phone) in a place where you need to get out of bed in the morning to reach it and then do not give yourself the permission to snooze. 

14) Sweating The Small Stuff
Remember, what seems like the "biggest problem ever” in the moment will become a speck of dust when you look back at this experience. Ask yourself, "How much will this issue matter five years from now?" If you may forget it happened or the long term effects are minimal, it's time to move on and stop dwelling on it!

Changing the tides of your personality and habits won't come easy but it is worth the effort. Start small and really think about just how benefiticial those changes will be. Good luck in 2014! I know you can join the 8 percent club. 

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Marni Feuerman

Counselor/Therapist

Marni Feuerman, Licensed Psychotherapist

Location: BOCA RATON, FL
Credentials: ACSW, LCSW, LMFT
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