I recently went through a “habits revamp” — I took a close look at my habits and asked myself which ones I wanted to keep, which ones I wanted to discard, and which ones I wanted to replace.
Tagged With bad habits
Here at Lifehacker we talk a lot about how to form good habits and how to break bad habits. But this tip is about how to switch out the latter for the former and streamline the whole process.
I know from neurosis. Seconds before writing this post, I heard “Hey Soul Sister” come up on our office’s playlist. I saw a visitor sitting someone from outside the company sitting in the lobby, and my bad broken brain thought, Oh no, what if she’s here for an interview and thinks our company is the kind of place where everyone likes “Hey Soul Sister”? Great job, brain. So I’m grateful for this recent Harvard Business Review piece “How to Stop Obsessing Over Your Mistakes”, which gives strong advice for breaking a pattern of excessive negative thinking.
Unless you're a masochist and/or sociopath, you probably don't indulge in bad habits by choice. Instead, it's usually something you "fell into" and can't seem to navigate your way out of. This infographic explains the psychology behind bad habits along with some tried-and-trusted tips to help you break them.
“If I was setting up curriculum at a university,” says engineer Foone Turing, “I’d make an entire semester-long class on the Challenger disaster, and make it required for any remotely STEM-oriented major.”
Because, says Foone, the disaster was a lot less random or simple than people tend to think. In a thread of 102 tweets, which you can read in essay form here, Foone explains the real reason behind the Challenger disaster, the 2003 Columbia disaster, the sinking of the Titanic—and the last time you melted down from anxiety.
iOS/Android: Choosing how to use spare moments on your phone can feel like dieting. You might find yourself choosing Twitter or Facebook every time, mad at yourself for never cracking open Kindle or Instapaper. Fighting this habit takes a whole arsenal, so here's one more weapon: Turn off all your "bad" notification badges and turn on some good ones.
I have a bad habit. On Saturday nights, after a few glasses of Chablis and a night of doing nothing, I take a trip through my online wishlist looking for something to buy. It's a costly habit that's filled my home with with cheap books, expensive Gundam model kits, and a few E-Mount lenses I haven't exactly gotten around to using.
Android: We all have bad habits, whether it's smoking or biting your nails or buying crap you don't need. Some habits are harder to break than others, of course, and while this app won't do the hard work for you, it might help you along the way.
You pick up your phone, glance at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, then peek in on your email. By the time you're done with that, it's time to see if anything's new on Facebook again. Then, you realise an hour has passed. Researchers call this a "ludic loop". Over at Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker digs into Adam Alter's Irresistible for a solution.
Dear Lifehacker, I've been a smoker since I was 14. I'm now 22 and I consider myself to be smoking hot (pun intended). I've heard that smoking cigarettes can age you prematurely. However, judging by the before-and-after photos I've seen, most of these people were pretty rough to begin with! Will smoking really ruin my good looks, or will I just go from a 9 to an 8.5? (I whiten my teeth professionally, so that's not a problem.)
Everyone wants to quit their bad habits and start good ones instead, like a half-hour of exercise instead of sleeping in, or drinking water instead of soft drink. But more often than not, you'll stop halfway into your resolutions. The reason, Gretchen Rubin says, is poor self-assessment before you get started.