How To Ruin Your Day
- Snooze alarm 29 times
- Scroll social media and feel insecure because everyone looks so good and you haven’t lost those pounds yet
- Realise you're running late and hurriedly get dressed
- Skip breakfast because there's not much time left to start working
- Check for news updates and social media updates all through the day
- Get exactly 1 hour of work done in "the first half of the day"
- Spend 1 hour figuring out what to have for lunch
- In the end, pick the thing you always eat every day
- Take 2 hours to fully settle into second half of the day because you ate a little too much and you’re feeling sleepy now
- Drag yourself to the end of the workday wondering exactly what you accomplished today
- Try to workout but before that maybe watch one episode of that new series everyone’s talking about
- Oh look, it's 10 already! Maybe just heat some leftovers or instant noodles for dinner
- Eat while scrolling social media again
- Feel more insecure and try to post a picture of you looking good
- But these new filters don't capture your good side. Abandon the idea of posting something
- It's midnight now, but you can't sleep yet
- Maybe one episode won't hurt… it seemed liked an interesting series
- It’s 3 AM now. It’s time to sleep for real this time
- But you're hungry, so grab a cookie or a chocolate bar
- Sleep restlessly
- Repeat step 1 the next morning…
If you recognise any of the steps, don't worry, you're not alone.
I've been there.
Living on autopilot somehow leads to lowered standards and in extreme cases cultivates lifelong habits that are detrimental to our wellbeing.
While human beings are good at scanning for immediate threats and taking action appropriately, we aren't very good at noticing small things that could be very harmful to us over time.
Subtle things that take you off track and in a few short weeks become deep habits that feel impossible to shake off.
From the above list...
Habits 1, 12, 18 and 20 can lead to sleep disorders and poor metabolism.
Habits 2,5,7 13 and 15 can lead to anxiety, attention deficit disorder and other mental disorders.
Habits 4,8 and 19 could increase your consumption of processed food and lead to lifestyle disorders such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
And yet, no one's sounding the alarm to prevent us from destroying ourselves in this pernicious fashion.
But every now and again, a little voice pipes up asking us to change.
Like a little compass needle, even if everything is spinning out of control, maybe a tiny part of you wants to skip social media for a week or stop watching that series because it's overrated anyway. Maybe for once the voice is asking you to eat something healthy because the stuff you've been eating lately is making you tired instead of giving you energy.
But there's an arsenal of reactions to counter this voice…
"I'm not addicted, I can stop living like this anytime"
"I'll start this productive good habit thing tomorrow"
"Maybe I'll start this after I've finished this series, it's just starting to get interesting"
For once, pay more attention to that little voice.
Listen, really listen to what it's trying to tell you.
And give in, and do what’s good for you instead of just doing what feels good.
If it takes small bad habits to lead us to destruction, it's also true that small good habits can lead us to a better life.
The key is consistency.
It pays to get very serious about constantly picking what's good for you.
It may just save your life.