Thousands of years ago, playwright and author John Heywood popularized the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” People use this phrase to illustrate how creating valuable work takes time, as can be seen by the long journey of master crafters. But James Clear, author of best-selling book Atomic Habits, warns against purely relying on time to be an expert. He says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” The bricks were the small steps taken that resulted in Rome becoming one of the most influential cities in human history.
For individuals, their bricks are habits — a set of behaviors repeated regularly. Top-performing students usually have the habit of studying and reviewing their notes daily, even if exams are still far away. Successful entrepreneurs have the discipline to stick to their routine, whether they’re in the mood or not.
However, the same is also true for bad behaviors, which become habits. Eating donuts once in a while is fine, but gobbling dozens every week can build up and wreak havoc to the body. It will increase your risk of getting diabetes and other health problems. You might as well get it over with and start discussing your funeral arrangements with your loved ones.
Here are some unhealthy habits everyone should watch out for:
Changing diets often
A quick search on the internet would yield numerous kinds of weight-loss diets. Some diets focus on lowering or increasing the percentage of food types on the plate, like the paleo, ketogenic, and the Dukan. Then, there are diets using time as their primary criteria, with intermittent fasting as the most popular.
Due to all the choices, people tend to shift from one diet to another in hopes of finding that silver bullet for weight loss. This yo-yo dieting, especially if done abruptly, can lead to health complications such as slowed metabolism, higher body fat percentage, and loss of muscles.
Popping painkillers like there’s no tomorrow
While it’s tempting to grab for the nearest painkiller to alleviate discomfort, relying on them too much can lead to addiction. What’s worse is your body might need higher doses for the drug to be useful as it gets used to it. There are also side effects to contend from minor ones like indigestion to more alarming issues like ulcers and stomach bleeding. It might be better to try alternative pain-relief strategies before deciding to get over-the-counter painkillers.
Keeping your phone as a sleeping buddy
One’s phone is almost an indispensable tool in today’s modern world. Everyone takes it everywhere, from the bathroom to the bedroom. This dependence is dangerous because scrolling through your phone when you’re going to sleep can disrupt a lot of body functions. The brain will be distracted from the stimulation and will find it hard to wind down. You’ll be tossing and turning with sleep being a coveted dream. If possible, have a curfew for technology at least one hour before bedtime and make the bed a phone-free zone. Inadequate sleep hygiene is as bad as smoking packs of cigarettes every day.
It’s easy to underestimate the power of small daily actions. Still, they remain the key to reaching big goals, whether they’re for the better or worse.