Everyone talks about habits you should give up or things you should start doing. But the truth is that most of us have a limited number of hours in the day and an unhealthy addiction to things that aren’t great for us.
Instead of quitting cold turkey or trying to force another morning routine into my life, I found it much easier to switch habits.
I’ve replaced six terrible habits with six better ones, and I can honestly say that these small changes have made me happier and happier.
1. Tumblr for Twitter
I spent Much From browsing time on Twitter. I deleted the app, but simply logged back into the browser on my phone. When I’m distracted or struggling, I find my fingers crossed I open a new web browser and type R. Autocomplete quickly takes me to my least favorite place on earth.
I realized that this habit makes me miserable. I also realized that I would find it difficult to quit smoking. Instead of stopping completely, I replaced one vice with one less vice. Tumblr is now my favorite time saver. I moved the Chrome app on my phone, which I was actually only using for Twitter, and replaced it with Tumblr. My well-trained thumb is taking me to a new place now.
Tumblr is not as addictive as Twitter, nor is it harmful. It doesn’t make me angry or sad like Twitter does. It’s filled with the most outlandish memes, and even the ads are comical rather than outrageous.
You probably don’t love memes as much as I do, but no matter what the poison is, there is bound to be a less harmful alternative. I recommend Tumblr as a doable trade-off.
2. Read to write
It’s kind of weird for a professional writer to say, isn’t it? but it’s true. In the evening, I enjoyed writing an essay or a client draft while sitting next to my partner on the sofa. I love writing, so I never felt like working.
But do you know what I found? I was getting upset, and my mind was spinning a million miles an hour, thinking about what to write next. I was sitting in bed an hour after my laptop shut off and unable to sleep.
It made me happier (And more productive, because I was getting more sleep) when I replaced this habit with a more relaxing reading habit. I’ve always been a big fan of reading, and now I average 3-5 books a week. I stick with fiction (fictional stories give me a lot of essay ideas) and even though I sometimes stay up late to finish class, I at least exercise my brain in a different direction.
I miss writing sessions late at night, but I usually like to read my book.
3. Drawing for scrolling
I’m a millennial, which means that when my partner and I sit down to watch The great british bakesor when gluttony You are On my own, I usually have my phone in my hand at the same time. It’s hard for me not to pass.
I know I should give up this habit entirely, but instead, I’ve replaced it with something else that will keep my hands occupied: painting. Recently, I started embroidering.
This helps me focus on and enjoy the content I’m watching while avoiding awful scrolling, whether on Tumblr or Twitter. In addition, I get a beautiful painting or piece of embroidery from it. If you find yourself picking up a phone even while watching a laptop or TV screen, find something else to get your hands on.
4. Community to share
As someone who makes a living online, I live by the numbers. Views count on your video. The number of followers on my Instagram account. How many subscribers have subscribed to my newsletter.
This was making me miserable. First, I didn’t get this job because I like numbers, but because I like helping people. Secondly, with numbers, you can always compare yourself and come up with a deficiency, regardless of your profession.
Instead of counting numbers, I tried to use social media for what was originally intended: connections. I do this by ignoring follower numbers and trying to build the community in other ways, like responding to Instagram stories, connecting through Twitch streams, focusing on YouTube comments, creating my newsletter, and making friends with other writers. It helps me focus on the individuals behind the numbers.
5. Daily weekly running
My mother came to visit me at my new home in Boston. While she was with me, I noticed that she ran every odd day.
“Mom why?” I told her from the sofa, putting on her shoes, to go out on a particularly cold, humid evening after a tiring day of moving furniture.
“Removes the decision. I don’t have to worry about the three days I’m going to do it. I just know I’m going to do it. I don’t stress because I know it’s on my list, just like brushing my teeth,” she said. Then I headed into the freezing mist.
I started doing the same thing and found that it was completely free Owns To do something every day without making a decision. I’m no longer afraid to run, and I don’t panic about whether to do it today (cold, wet) or wait until tomorrow (maybe the weather will be better). I just did it.
This made me happier, not to mention healthy. If you want to build a habit, get rid of the burden of daily decision making and simply commit to doing it every day. I love and look forward to my runs. I don’t always go too far, but I do it every day.
6. Calls for text messages
I used to love texting. It was very comfortable! It was very low pressure! Perfect for teen flirting and casual keeping in touch with friends.
But the older you get, the less convenient it becomes. I forget to reply. They forgot to reply. I would like to respond but am embarrassed because it has been two weeks since I saw their text and it was so shameful to say “Oops! I just saw this!” It was so hard to keep up with all the things going on in each other’s lives.
So she did something that 17-year-old Zoe would never have dreamed of. I started picking up the phone and calling the people I care about. I usually just send a text to coordinate phone calls. I call family members, friends, my partner, and my grandmother.
If you really want to build a connection, ditch the Splenda relationship and go to the real thing. Switch text messages for calls and see how much happier you’ll find yourself.
Building habits is never easy
You either have to make space in your life for a new habit or find a way to fill the empty space to drop an old habit. I find the exchange to be a much more manageable way to build a better life that I love.
These six little trade-offs can be applied no matter who you are or where you are in life, As long as you are attentive To know how you feel during harmful habits and have a clear picture of what kind of future you want to build for yourself.
Zuli Rani He is a reader and writer who believes in the power to change the world through the written word. You can find her writing at ZulieRane.com, post selfies and art to Instagram at zulierane and tweet a bad pun at Twitter in zulierane.
Image courtesy of Michael Fallon.