18 Things to STOP doing this year if you want to be happy.

How was your year? If you’re like most people, the past 365 days had both highs and lows, memorable and enjoyable experiences and profound challenges. But I’m guessing that there are still some things that you didn’t get to accomplish as you intended; chief among them feeling HAPPIER!

But before you jump into the new year with high hopes (but few changes) and repeat the cycle all over again, I’m going to share with you 18 things you MUST stop doing if you want to finally be genuinely and blissfully happy.

I’ll cover the first eight in this blog, and share the next ten with you very soon!

1. Make assumptions.
Too often, we shape our perception of the world – and our place in it – based on assumptions, not facts or even tangible evidence. Unfortunately, those assumptions are usually skewed negative, eliciting our equally negative thoughts and reactions and setting off a spiraling chain of events from there. However, if we only took things at face value and avoided making assumptions – good or bad – we avoid prejudicing our thoughts and responses, allowing us to clearly and correctly navigate whatever life throws at us.

2. Engage in negative self-talk.
Imagine if you grew up with your mother, father, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, and others constantly berating you and putting you down. What profound psychological damage would that cause, manifesting itself in your unhappiness throughout life? Now imagine if someone much, much closer to you did the same thing, not only through childhood but every day for the rest of your life – you! It’s true – negative self-talk is one of the most devastating things you can do, as you’re constantly diminishing, sabotaging, and destroying your happiness.

But within mere weeks or even days you can completely reverse the pattern – leading to huge, positive changes in your happiness – and your life! Contact me at EQcoaching.life and I’ll show you how.

3. Say (and think) that we don’t have enough time.
You do have enough time. You have exactly 24 hours in each day and 365 days in each year, the same as every man, woman, and child that’s walked the earth, some of whom have achieved unbelievably great things.

I know that these days, people is busier than ever with work, family, children, keeping a home, etc. But no matter how consumed you are, you still have time to work towards your goals and dreams, as well as invest in your own health and happiness. Stop making the excuses and mismanaging your time, prioritizing the wrong things and not planning.

Even if you have only one hour to yourself every day, half-hour, or just a few minutes, you could use this to meditate, workout, read positive books, or focus on achieving your ambitions.

4. Be a slave to smart phones and social media
2018 is going to be the year that we finally reverse the trend of incessant and indiscriminate smart phone and social media use (or abuse). Countless studies have proven the negative effect from overuse of screen time, craning our necks to look at our phones and devices, and the huge social detriment that comes with less focused human interaction. But before we can implement rules for our children and try to curb their behavior in order to protect them, we have to start with ourselves. Set some ground rules for when, where, and how long checking social media, email, browsing through smart phones, etc. is appropriate, and when it’s not. You’ll find that your automatic response is probably to reach for your smart phone, so keep track of when you break these rules at first, and even give yourself some sort of fine or penalty. Once you have weaned off of being a social media automaton, implement some fair but firm rules with your family, too, starting with all phones and devices collected and locked away for certain periods, like dinner time.

5. Stress about things that haven’t happened yet
Whether by nature or nurture, we’re wired to make sweeping, grand assumptions in our lives, even when presented with the smallest trigger, and then stress about them as if they were actually real. In fact, it’s estimated that about 95% of the things we worry, agonize, and lose sleep over never actually happen! I know it’s easy to get carried away with our thoughts and envision the worst-case scenario, but the problem is that your mind can’t differentiate between real and imagined threats, so the physiological impact on our bodies and systems is the same. In 2018, let’s pledge that we have enough stress in our lives without creating 95% more – wouldn’t you agree?

6. Not prioritize our health.
In 2018, I’m going urge, plead, nudge, yell, scream, encourage, compromise, nag, and even order you to start investing in your health more! I know, I know: you’re about to make excuses why you can’t exercise more and eat better. Just take those excuses and throw them in the trash, because 2018 is the year we stop playing the helpless victim when it comes to our health and weight loss. Trust me; you’ll thank me for this one day
because it takes WAY less time and costs MUCH less being healthy now than it does to be sick down the road.

7. Not play every day!
Have you ever noticed how happy kids are, like every single day even just going about their daily routines? Sure, their smiles and laughter may be due to the fact that they don’t have to work and pay bills (ughhh adulting!), but we can actually learn something from them: it’s important to play every day. No matter how hard you have to work or how many responsibilities and obligations you have, you can always find a way to bring some joy and child-like play time into your life, whether joking with coworkers, going to the gym and playing a sport, or by celebrating and having fun with family on a regular basis. Leave time for play, and you’ll be exponentially happier in 2018 (despite the adulting)!

8. Not set goals AND implement them the right way.
“I want to make more money.
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want to have a better social life.”
These are some of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make, year after year. However, the main reason they are so common is that people rarely accomplish them!
Don’t take it personally – it has more to do with HOW you’re setting goals than your lack of discipline, care, or desire. Basically, you’re setting yourself up to fail with goals like that.

Instead, any goal should be incredibly specific, abide by a timeline, be broken up into smaller milestones, and then daily (or more frequent) action steps. Finally, share these goals with an accountability partner, who keeps you on track.

So that goal of “I want to lose weight” suddenly looks like:

“I want to lose 10 lbs. by June 1. I’ll do so by losing 1.25 pounds per month or more until then. To do that, I’ll go to the gym 4 times a week, either in the morning before work or after work. I’ll also cut out all fast food, soda, and eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, including bringing my lunch to work 4 days a week, which I meal plan on Sunday nights. I’m sharing this with YOU to keep me on track, and I’ll report in weekly with my progress.

Just be rephrasing and specifying your goals in that format, you’re 99% more likely to achieve them!

Now, get busy setting your goals for 2018, and I promise that we’ll bring you the remainder of these 18 things NOT to do if you want to be happy very soon!

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