Life is full of choices, both good and bad. On a daily basis we all make small decisions that will eventually determine the trajectory of our whole lives. Rarely do we make decisions that we know will ruin us forever. However, we may choose to do something to gain attention or make ourselves look better in the eyes of others. Although these choices may appear insignificant, they have the ability to ruin our happiness and turn us into someone we never thought was possible.
Below are 10 common lifestyle choices that people make that often lead to unhappiness and regret.
1.) Obsessing over what other people think of you
This is a lifestyle choice that can become an unhealthy obsession! I’ve been here! For years (including my childhood), I constantly worried what others thought about me. If someone looked at me the wrong way, made a comment in my direction, laughed when I walked by, or didn’t stop to talk to me, I would become overwhelmed with feelings of worry and self-doubt. I would make myself sick obsessing over how to make other people like me. What a total waste of time and destroyer of happiness!
After college, I determined to start on a new journey of confidence and self-acceptance. I made a conscious effort to stop reading into things and looking for signs of what others thought about me. These two habits had controlled my life and hijacked my ability to truly enjoy my personal journey. One thing that I learned was the value of looking confident on the outside – even when I didn’t feel it on the inside. By doing so, people started to treat me differently – with more respect. Over time, I was able to internalize this confidence – resulting in a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Confidence starts with you. Take these steps to start appearing more confident and learn ways to boost your confidence internally. You will have a much healthier view of yourself and the ability to make decisions based on what you want, not what others think of you.
2.) Letting others take advantage of you
Are you a “Yes Woman” or a “Yes Man”? Do you agree to do things for other people even though you don’t want to! By doing so, you are willingly allowing others to take away your happiness! Choosing others over yourself is one of the major reasons that lead to work burnout and cause your life to spiral out of control.
Be selective with the things you take on and let others know when your workload capacity is maxed out. If it is difficult for you to say, “No!” to people, then start practicing! Go to your local mall or an area where you know there are a lot of salesmen. Walk by their booths and practice turning down their advances and sales pitches. Look them in the eye and say, “No, thank-you.” This will help to build up the confidence to turn down someone’s attempts to get you to comply with their request.
NEVER feel guilty for turning someone down or admitting that your workload capacity is maxed out. When it comes to your personal health and happiness, never be afraid to say the word, “No.”
3.) Never finishing what you have started
Like most people, I’m sure you have amazing goals and dreams! However, do you accomplish any of them? Are you the person that starts the fitness routine, but gives up? Do you make New Year’s resolutions, but never keep them? Everything you start always gets put on the back burner to “finish someday”. There is no better time to KILL this habit then today!
My solution for a healthy lifestyle: buy a fridge calendar. I started charting my workouts and eating choices on the calendar each day. I had an accountability partner who checked in on me every day. If I didn’t accomplish my goal, I would feel the guilt!
At the end of the day, your strong will is the only thing that will help you fulfill your goals! Read some books on the topic that you are passionate about and RESEARCH! Educate yourself on how to fulfill your goals and then start today!
4.) Choosing the wrong friends
Friends have the ability to make or break your happiness. If you choose friends who are negative and self-centered, you are destined to be miserable. You will be affected by their negativity – either by becoming unhappy or becoming a pessimist yourself.
Perhaps your friends are crazy partiers and heavy spenders. Their bad habits will rub off on you and damage your health and financial stability.
It is a difficult decision, but you need to walk away. You need to leave them and their negative lifestyle choices. I know it can be difficult, but there are successful ways to make friends as an adult.
5.) Not taking any time for yourself
Never taking any time for yourself not only affects your mood, it also affects your health! Overlooking your own personal needs will cause stress and resentment to build up in your life. Schedule some time to do something that makes you happy, relaxed, and fulfilled. Whether it is a date night, warm bath, trip to the spa, or a walk around the block, find some simple ways to effectively relieve your stress levels and boost the happiness in your life.
6.) Staying in a job that you hate
Several years ago, this was me! I was stuck in a job that I hated, but I convinced myself to stay for all the wrong reasons! Day after day, I would walk into work dreading the next 9 hours of my life.
Perhaps you also have a list of reasons that have stopped you from leaving your job. I get it – sometimes circumstances don’t allow you to just quit your job when you feel like it. But you can take the steps to carefully and successfully leave your job! With over 1/3 of your life spent in the workplace, you deserve to have a career that you enjoy (at least a little bit)!
7.) Choosing an unhealthy lifestyle
If you were born with a healthy, self-sufficient body, you are an incredibly blessed individual. If you are filling your body with junk food, sugar, alcohol, smoke, grease, and other unhealthy choices, you are slowly destroying your body’s ability to fight sickness and disease. Why are you making the choices that will one day limit your ability to enjoy life? Perhaps you weren’t taught how to live a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps you can’t beat your sugar and fast-food addiction. The key is to do everything in moderation, including diet and exercise. You can make some easy changes to start improving your health. These changes aren’t difficult, but they will make a big difference on your overall health and happiness. If your goal is losing weight, you can start taking small steps to start losing weight. It is never too late to take control of your health!
8.) Blaming others for your mistakes
Do you look for someone to blame when things go wrong in your life? If you do, you are playing the victim to circumstances that you created. Choosing the path of victimization will alienate you from other people and create a bad name for yourself. When you accept that you made a mistake or had an error in judgement, you will be surprised how kind and forgiving people can really be.
Embrace that you are an imperfect human being just like everyone else. You make mistakes and are not immune to making bad decisions. Choosing to just “be real” will attract people to your honesty and ability to “own your mistakes.”
9.) Spending your way into debt
Is your guilty pleasure shopping? Do you find yourself purchasing the latest trends or eating out every single day? If you are spending all your money or maxing out your credit cards, you are damaging your financial future making retirement impossible.
Start by creating yourself a budget. This is very simple because all you need to know is how much money you earn (after taxes) and how much money you spend. If you are a heavy spender, a budget will help you be aware of how much you are truly spending. If you are truly serious about your financial future, book an appointment with a local financial adviser – they are free! Sit down and discuss your goals and current spending habits.
10.) Allowing past hurt to define you forever
When you get hurt in life, it is easy to shut yourself off from others in an attempt to never allow yourself to be hurt that way again. Or perhaps you feel the pain every single day, but choose to internalize it, never showing others just how much you are hurting. Regardless of your situation, the only person you are hurting is yourself.
To heal, you must allow yourself to open up and grieve. Don’t internalize your feelings and allow the agony to turn into bitterness, hatred, or depression. Seek professional help, regardless of how trivial you believe it is. If it is causing you pain and hurt, you need to find a way to move past this time in your life. One of the greatest gifts you can glean from being hurt is the ability to take your pain and help others going through the same thing. Never let someone else’s actions destroy the rest of your life.
Life is far too short to live a miserable and unhappy existence. If you can identify areas in your life that you need to change, do it now! Don’t hesitate or say that you will start another time. Set a goal for yourself and find a way to achieve it!
If you have any questions about this article, just let us know in the comment section below! We’d be happy to help you out!