Feeling happier and making the most out of life doesn’t have to mean big life overhauls.
There are also many little changes you can make and behaviors you can give up that will benefit you immensely in the long-term.
Think of it as a bit of behavioral spring-cleaning.
You’re probably striving for fulfilment in your career or personal life by making many conscious choices that you think will improve your wellbeing.
But what else could you incorporate – or rather let go of – that would make it easier for you to lead a happier life?
Ready to learn about the 8 behaviors you need to ditch?
1) Staying in toxic relationships
First up, wasting your time with people who don’t value you or otherwise bring you down is something that has to go if you want to make the most out of life.
Life is short. Time is scarce.
Wasting that time with people who belittle you or otherwise compromise your self-worth is one of the first things you should be giving up, if you want to live life to the fullest.
Don’t let the jealous or the selfish drag you down and impact how much you get to enjoy life.
2) Always saying yes
And as for the people who you do keep in your life, learning to let go of the need to always say “yes” will get you places.
People-pleasing tends to involve putting the needs of others before your own and saying yes to chores or errands without hesitation. This usually comes out of a desire to win favor and seem helpful and kind.
However, it’s hugely detrimental to our own sense of self and our relationships.
Lacking boundaries and being willing to do anything you’re asked even if it’s inconvenient to you just leads people to feel like you’re a bit of a doormat.
They know they can ask whatever they want of you and you will always answer.
This detracts from healthy reciprocation in relationships where there needs to be a give and take.
So drop immediately saying “yes” to friends, family, colleagues, or whoever else asks for your help.
3) …always saying no
But don’t also turn them away if they ask for a favor!
It’s hard to find a middle-ground, I know.
But whilst you need to cease saying “yes” to everything, you also need to avoid saying no to everyone as well.
Maybe you’re guilty of this, maybe you’re not. It’s still one to be conscious of.
Whilst you might adamantly be working on giving up your people-pleasing behavior, know also when you do need to go the extra mile to help out those around you.
We can all be tempted to politely decline lending a helping hand when it’s inconvenient to us, or even just deciding to drop out of social plans because we’re tired.
But if you’re the type to avoid trying out new experiences because you like hanging out at home or you’re too tired, consider saying yes for a change.
Gauge where you sit in between the contradictions of needing to say “yes” or “no” more often, and start putting yourself out there.
4) Making up excuses
Ditch the white lies and lame excuses and start getting honest with yourself. And everyone else.
If you make mistakes or something doesn’t go according to plan – ditch making dumb reasons to try and get yourself out of hot water.
Didn’t finish a project on time? Don’t blame your cat’s health.
Late to a meeting? Don’t say that the traffic was crazy if it wasn’t.
Forgot to text someone back? Don’t tell them you’ve been incredibly busy if you’ve really just been a bit lazy at replying.
If you ditch the excuses, it’ll help shift you into gear and avoid actually making those mistakes as you’ll no longer have the safety of white lies to hide areas where you’re being a bit lazy.
5) Keeping clothes that no longer fit
A small but mighty change you can make is to bin all those tight jeans and figure-hugging tops you’ve kept lingering at the back of your wardrobe since the 2000s.
Let’s face it – you’re probably not going to get back down to that size.
Even if you do, you don’t need that extra pressure of an armful of clothes hovering over you reminding you of a past body whenever you get dressed in the morning.
Chances are they’re all out of fashion anyway.
No, those rhinestone-clad, low-waist jeans aren’t making a comeback anytime soon…
And if they are, you can get a pretty penny reselling them and using that money to purchase clothes that fit, that won’t make you feel bad about yourself.
6) Getting involved in gossip
You’re an adult – you don’t need to be in on who’s sleeping with who or who’s been saying what.
There are so many other things you could put your time towards that would better benefit you and those around you over getting involved in gossip or drama.
Other people’s business isn’t your concern, nor should what you’re up to be a source of interest for other people.
So stop getting nosey and involving yourself in irrelevant gossip, and start focusing on areas where you can actually make a difference.
7) Believing in unrealistic expectations
As much as I’d like to, I can’t click a button and turn off the filter that social media has tried to apply to the world.
You know how you now tend to stare in the mirror and wish your skin matched the Instagram filters, your nose a little smaller, your teeth whiter.
The sooner you realize and accept that 1) social media perpetuates a false reality, and 2) life simply isn’t perfect, the better.
Chasing happily-ever-afters won’t leave you fulfilled.
Nor will pasting an ideal on a person you don’t really know and putting them high up on a pedestal they’ll never realistically be able to match.
Don’t cancel your dreams and accept the worst in people, but be realistic in what’s achievable and what’s reality.
Otherwise, you’ll just be setting yourself up to fail.
8) Dwelling in the past
Lastly, live in the present, not the past.
This might be easier said than done.
Plus, we hear so many contradictory statements about how our past shapes us.
But we also shouldn’t let it control us.
You can acknowledge how past life experiences or trauma has shaped the way you are today, but the key is in not letting it control you.
In the words of Joe Dispenza who is renowned for this method of thinking; “we can’t create a new future while we’re living in our past. It’s simply impossible”.
Fulfilment doesn’t happen overnight.
You’ve likely built up a pattern and a tendency to dabble in a few of the above.
We’re all guilty of it.
You’re also more likely to stick to ridding yourself of these behaviors if you choose an area that you think has a particular effect upon your life and start tackling that.
As a result, trying to rid yourself of all these behaviors tomorrow will likely lead to feeling overwhelmed and throwing in the towel before actually making a difference.
Change works best when built up gradually, so work a little everyday towards eliminating one behavior you consider the most impactful, and you’ll see progress in no time.