Blame it on the lessons we’ve experienced in our lives or the upbringing we’ve had throughout them, but we all have a set of habits that make us who we are (and sometimes stop us from who we want to become). From tidying up your space every night to snoozing your alarm every morning, there are some habits you’re proud of — and others you wish you could get rid of.
With our increasing age comes our ability to not only acknowledge our traits, but also to distinguish the ones that hinder us. While the only thing harder than forming a habit is breaking one, the reality is that your commitment to do so is what makes it possible. To enhance the happiness in your life (and prove the quality of your character), here are 10 habits to break before the age of 30.
1. Saying yes when you mean no
Nowadays, it seems like your to-do list accumulates as quickly as your feelings of anxiety (at the thought of having to accomplish it all). With deadlines and workout routines to meet, you can’t imagine picking up another side project and babysitting your friend’s toddler — but somehow find yourself agreeing to it anyway.
While it’s nice to satisfy the needs of others, you shouldn’t have to do it at the expense of your own. In order to avoid putting too much on your plate, recognize your priorities and remind yourself that you’re only human — and should be treated as one.
2. Basing decisions off what others want
Similar to ignoring your own wishes to fulfill the wants of others, the concept of making your decisions based off anyone but yourself is disheartening. Although it’s natural to seek acceptance from your loved ones, it’s unnecessary to give up what’s important to you along the way. In the end, you’re responsible for your own life and the people who are on your side won’t make you compromise who you are to live it.
3. Checking your phone during a conversation
We’re a society dependent on technology and we aren’t afraid to show it. While you can’t help the fact that your group chat is blowing up and that your inbox is filling with sales reminders, you can hold off on reaching for your phone to check. The irony of constantly being connected online is that we tend to lose our capability to create these moments in reality — make a change by tuning in when you’re with people and turning off your notifications until you’re alone.
4. Dwelling on the past
Nothing will weigh you down like the constant guilt that comes from thinking about everything that went wrong in your past (and what you could’ve done differently to fix it all). To put it honestly, the only way you can change the past is by fixing your attitude about it. Before you begin spiraling into the darkness of self-blame, you should recognize that the events that have led up to this point in your life have happened for a reason — take comfort in the fact that these lessons shaped who you are right now and that you’re exactly where you’re meant to be because of them.
5. Making impulsive buys
Like most things in life, your mom was right — you didn’t need that five-story doll mansion as a child and you also didn’t need that new vanity mirror (that doesn’t fit anywhere in your home) as an adult. Maybe you’ve never been an expert at controlling your spending, but there comes a point in time when you should at least be mindful of it. While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something nice every now and then, it’s a great idea to think about your purchases, budget your money, and recognize the difference between wanting something — and actually needing it.
6. Skipping meals (and not drinking enough water)
Regardless of if you have a morning routine that has you meditating at 6am or running out the door right before 8am, life can be chaotic — and our health tends to be sacrificed as we try to stay collected through these moments. Whether you skipped your lunch (to meet a deadline) or swapped out water (for two shots of espresso), your need to always meet your responsibilities is shown through your willingness to overlook your health.
To avoid not eating, try to prioritize your schedule to fit in food or prep your meals beforehand. Although skipping meals to save time may seem convenient, feeding your body to perform well is crucial.
7. Comparing yourself to others on social media
Social media — the place to witness the success of your peers through different filters and catchy captions. At the swipe of your finger, every insecurity you’ve ever felt is confirmed by Laura’s new car that she purchased on her own and Hannah’s new boyfriend she went to Norway with. Although it’s great to support your friends, it’s also difficult to not compare when their highlight reel seems so much greater than yours.
At this point in your life, you probably know everyone’s journey is different — thus, it’s unfair to base your value on the standards of what other people (with completely different priorities than yours) are doing. So the next time you’re feeling discouraged by what’s on your screen, allow yourself to witness someone’s moment and realize that your milestones will be just as special.
8. Feeling guilty for not being where you imagined
The only person who is holding you back in your life is you — and the timeline you’ve set for yourself. From being 27 and still living with your parents to being 29 and still single, it’s normal to assume that where we pictured our lives at a certain age isn’t necessarily where it is when we turned that age.
Even though it’s great to envision what you want in your life, this mindset should be general ideas and not set goals. By trying to live your life according to a plan, you’re naturally going to be disappointed — life is unpredictable and it’s not so much how you can stick to your plan, but how you can adapt to the circumstances in order to still get there one day.
9. Keeping toxic people in your life
Many of the moments in our lives aren’t meant to last forever — and neither are the people in them. Amongst the friends you’ve made, there are probably some who probably cause you more stress than others. Whether it’s her need for constant validation or her inability to pay you back (ever), you continue to keep her in your life due to your duty as a friend. Although this is admirable of you, your life is busy and the time you do have to yourself should be filled with those who bring you more happiness than headaches.
10. Forgetting to call your family
It’s too often that we grow older and realize too late that we should’ve put in more effort to get to know our loved ones. Regardless of how close you are with your family, they hold a significant role in who you are and continue to shape who you will be. In the end, we’re only as busy as what (or who) we make time for, so answer your mom’s call, text your brother back, and take your dad to lunch. While these may seem like small gestures, they’ll be enough for you to continue to build a bond that will last and be proud of the effort you made to form it.