Breaking Bad... Habits: 9 Things I Aim To Do Less Of In 2019

01. Wasting Time

why? Time is such a precious, finite resource and I am a chronic complainer that there is never enough. Yet when spontaneous, unoccupied moments present themselves I find myself stuck in a quicksand of meaningless tasks, like fiddling on my phone or reshaping my eyebrows. The result is massive amounts of guilt and shame because God knows there are a million other things I could be doing that would benefit myself and those around me.

how? Create a B-list of items that are low priority, separate from the daily to-do list, for when unanticipated free time arises. I’ll turn to the list and pick a task that fits the mood and hopefully avoid the deep, dark crevices of instagram. Or unfortunate brows.

02. Undervaluing My Husband’s Time

why? Simply stated, I feel like my agenda is more important than his. It’s not nice, and certainly not true. When he tells me he’ll be down in 30 minutes, 99% of the time he’s down in 20, happy and ready to pitch in. When it’s my turn to log off at a promised time, you know I’m scrambling down the stairs at the last second and usually not so eager to hit the ground running in regards to the non-work and non-me activities. Selfish, I know. That’s why it’s on the list.

how? Take a deep breath and up my consideration game to show the man of my dreams that I respect his time. I’m going to start ending my alone time ten minutes prior to cut-off in order to regroup and get out of me-time mode. This will help me shift focus and jump back into the mix with a positive attitude.

03. Prioritizing business over personal every time

why? it’s just not necessary. sometimes it is the right choice, and that’s okay. that comes with being a hard worker and dedicated businessperson. but losing that discretion and always choosing work is not smart, nor healthy. i don’t always recognize how much my family suffers when they have to take a back seat to my work time and time again.

how? get off cruise control and stop making all invitations from work an automatic yes. i need to retrain myself to pause and assess before leaving whatever it is i’m currently doing in the dust. the common sense is there - i’m capable of making the right decision. but like most things, i just need to slow down. if it’s urgent, i’ll go. if it can wait, it’ll be there when i’m finished being a good and present wife and mother.

04. Letting stress control my emotions

why? relinquishing control to stress (and there will always be stress) makes me unpredictable, unpleasant, and it upsets our happy vibe. i don’t let it overpower me too often, but when it happens it’s not a pretty picture. the situation creeps up on me before i can see it coming and usually results in some sort of meltdown. sometimes i get impatient and then i’m short with the kids. sometimes stress makes me feel sad and inadequate and then i’m in a weird funk that no one knows how to handle. and of course there’s anxiety, too. it’s just all the ugly stuff that happens when you’re disconnected to your own self.

how? recognizing the signs and knowing when to abort! like i said before, it’s impossible to eliminate stress entirely, and i can handle most of what comes my way. it’s when i feel fire in my veins that i need to get out of my head and focus myself on something positive and productive. whether it’s switching tasks, taking the kids outside, or retreating to target - getting myself in an environment where i can see clearly and regain control will help keep stress in the passenger seat where it belongs.

05. attempting curated perfection

why? it’s not authentic and it takes up way too much time (point #1 coming full circle here). i preach authenticity in both my personal life and my career, so why do i spend wasted hours picking filters and sorting through images to make sure i appear flawless to utter strangers? i don’t have a firm answer. i guess because as much as i try not to, i get swept up by comparison and feel the need to have the perfect house, the perfect family, and a pretty instagram feed. but those feelings are fleeting and leave me unfulfilled and mad at myself for losing my stance. so no more weakness when it comes to this!

how? time limits. if i need to post on social media, i’m setting a timer. if i’m browsing feed or online window shopping - timer goes on. the more exposure i have, the harder this is to overcome. a true less-is-more scenario. and if you’re looking for an ig profile that’s meticulously planned out and whose grid could pass for a work of art, you won’t find that here. and i’m 100% okay with it.

06. living outside of my means

why? well for one, it’s financially unsustainable. at least without going into massive debt or having no retirement plan. but i’m not just speaking in terms of money. time plays into this as well. my husband brought this to my attention the other day when i pitched a new d.i.y project stating “...and it won’t even cost $100!” he said it’s not the money that makes him skeptical, it’s the time commitment. a big ‘a ha’ moment for me. maybe i don’t have the means to randomly adopt projects as they spark my interest. just like i don’t have the means to replace our living room rug of one year because i don’t like it anymore and i think it stinks. baby steps though…

how? be realistic about my resources and practice discipline. no secret solution on this one, just a bit of self control. staying on top of #5 will supplement this perfectly.

07. Snoozing The Alarm

why? It’s a useless habit. Some part of the morning routine inevitably gets skipped and it’s not good for anyone. It’s not like those extra 15 minutes in bed hitting my phone are enjoyable anyway. Why is this such a struggle?

how? Ditch sleeping next to the phone. start Keeping it somewhere out of reach, where I have to get out of bed and WALK to silence it will most likely do the trick. This will also help limit the late-night screen time.

08. Neglecting A Bedtime Routine

why? doing so Leads to the above issue and makes it difficult to disconnect from the day and transition peacefully into sleep mode.

how? I don’t take off my makeup or wash my face before bed and I’m not going to start, so don’t bother suggesting some sort of skin care regimen. (If you want to know why or have strong opinions about this - email me.) I also don’t give myself a bedtime, but on this I’m willing to compromise. Implementing a bed time with less screen time (since the phone will be across the room!) and some ritual of self-care - reading, meditating, a massage exchange with the hubby - will give me a reason to end the day at a reasonable time and settle in to a good night’s sleep.

09. Romanticizing Alcohol

why? i love a good happy hour and everything seems more fun with a drink in hand, right?! well it hit me the other day when i was drinking club soda out of a wine glass (and enjoying it tremendously), that most of the time we partake in drinking i don’t even want the booze. i just want the party vibes that come with it. we always have alcohol in the house and it feels like a celebration anytime we pop a top, but why? really why. i’m sure it goes deep into my upbringing or something, but i’m curious about finding a way to disengage the association of ‘fun’ and alcohol. don’t get me wrong, i’m not giving up a nice glass of wine with a meal or a sip (or two) bubbly when a toast is in order. i really do enjoy the taste of the beverages, just thinking about lifestyle choices and what’s behind some of my routines.

how? think about why we’re pouring and question whether or not I actually desire the taste and effects, or am I just in the mood to be festive. i’ve never struggled with F.o.m.o. but for some reason passing on alcohol when everyone else is imbibing seems like i might miss something, other than the hangover. well, here’s to being less of a “i’ll have what she’s having” type of gal and more in tune with what actually suits my fancy!



Rebecca Backer