5 Bad Habits I Quit in 2021 | Leverage Ambition

2021 was a stressful time for us all. With constant health safety pressures, media that prolonged our constant fear and unnecessary stress, and even more things for us to do for our daily survival have been plentiful and a bit maddening all at once. With the new stresses in living in the daily world, I decided I need to make some serious changes in my life to improve my health and well-being. These changes were mainly for my overall health and clarity. I knew there were things I needed to quit, but did I really? The answer is yes. I needed to quit the things that were not serving me anymore and leave them behind if I wanted to be the best me I could be.

confident woman standing with wineglass and cigarette
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

So here we go! Hang on to your hats, ladies and gentleman, as here are 5 bad habits I quit in 2021!

  1. COFFEE – My good, old friend coffee had to go, and like a bat out of hell it went. I was addicted to coffee and couldn’t go without it. I tried weaning off coffee on the weekends only. This was really bad as I was extra special cranky on the weekends, and then would just perpetually warm up during the week again. So coffee was not doing me any real good it seems. I was drinking it with a ton of milk and sugar too, which really packed on the lbs in a seriously insidious way. I started drinking coffee after having twins and it really helped me survive the day. How do I take my coffee? Empty now. But I used to take it with half coffee, half almond milk, raw honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. I’d microwave it for 3 minutes, which would make the almond milk a bit frothy on top. My high bottom with coffee was my 3pm daily hissy fits. Just as 3pm hit, I was exhausted from the highs and lows. And it was not like the normal tired. I started needing a nap during the day like a 2 year old and I had no idea why. It turns out I was drinking WAY too much coffee throughout the day to get things done at work, but didn’t realize the after effects until much later. I would drink way to much coffee, and not prioritize hydrating with water throughout the day. This would make my skin looked super dried out, which would then lead to me buying all of these useless moisturizing creams that only worked for an hour and then made me look older than ever. I knew then after massive shopping face cream sprees that I needed a new routine, and pronto! So I quit coffee. It was really tough at first. I really missed it when it was gone at first, as it had become an essential part of my daily breakfast routine. I had headaches here and there and was a bit moody when weaning off of coffee. After all the major brainwashing from coffee companies over the years, like Folders, nothing came closer to home like coffee. I had a ton of it, and ended up donating some to my neighbors, and then unopened coffee grinds were spread out on my roses outside. I must say they look really good now. Coffee has become the American staple upon waking up, but we don’t need to cave into the madness. Drink a cup of coffee and you can conquer the world, they said. Well for me, I noticed that coffee was addictive and unnecessary. Instead of coffee I replaced my morning coffee with Lipton tea, and it’s been working out well for me. My moods have evened out, and I am much healthier than before.
  2. ALCOHOL – This was an interesting one to quit, as I never kept alcohol at home but did find the time to drink at client meetings and events. I did do the occasional happy hour at work too. Even with one drink, my body would feel the difference. I used to be able to handle beer in my 20’s, but in my 30’s it just made me bloated and hungover even with one. Then I tried wine. Wine was good until it wasn’t. After having too many glasses of low grade wine one night I decided that wasn’t for me either. Then when that drink played out, I upgraded to margaritas. The problem was I only liked them with salt, and the salt along with the tequila was also making me dehydrated and unstable. The final drink I thought I could hang with was the skinny margaritas. It was great at first because they were always watered down so I thought I could have more. Unfortunately these also made me dehydrated the morning after, so one day I decided to quit. I thought it would be much harder than it was and I find my moods are more even Steven now, with a new pep in my step that makes me feel happy and free.
  3. REFINED SUGAR – Many of you have heard my Paleo Diet story, that first started off with a few rounds of the Whole30 diet. The Whole30 diet is a refined sugar elimination diet that is meant to do in 30 day intervals. Those that are addicted to sugar really see how powerful sugar is once testing out the Whole30 diet. You do get sugar withdrawal headaches, however your mood and overall well-being improve as time goes on. I now follow the Paleo Diet, which they call the caveman diet. I don’t eat any refined sugar, and I have replaced it with more natural things like Paleo banana pancakes with raw maple syrup and clarified butter. If I crave ice cream I freeze a strawberry and almond milk puree, and it’s just as delicious as strawberry ice cream from the supermarket. If I get a sugar craving, I have sugar free candies that I can pop in my mouth for a quick fix. Otherwise quitting sugar was probably harder than coffee, but my moods are more stable and I feel healthier every day I am without it. Diabetes also runs in my family, so I need to be safe through making healthier food choices that will benefit my longevity and extend the time with my family.
  4. NOT EXERCISING – I would make every case possible not to exercise. Kids, husband, time, work, you name it. I would come up with every excuse not to take care of myself. I would find myself saying things like, I have too many OTHER things to do then take care of myself. I started to try and find fun ways to exercise that made me feel like I was dancing or doing anything but the dirty word exercise. So I joined SoulCycle. The music was great, and I loved the feeling free vibe. Then I tried hiking. It was so much fun. I would make music mixes before I went, which really motivated me to hike and enjoy the great outdoors. Yoga has been really fun as well, and I can do it in the convenience of my own home with my kids too. It’s really fun to take a break, and after every workout I try to end it with a 5 minute mediation of gratefulness to remind me that I am in this for me.
  5. NEGATIVE PEOPLE – It turns out that when I really looked who was around me, I wasn’t too pleased. I found that I was really surrounding myself with negative, unhappy people that were really bitter and ungrateful about life. I found that their negativity had a negative influence on me as well, and I had no idea until my husband told me that I was different. I had no idea I was changing for the worse, but when I was hanging out with these people afterwards I was glum and depressed. I realized that this had to change, and change quick. I moved away from those friends that truly did not have my best interests in mind, and moved over to more healthy friends that I admired and wanted to truly emulate. As my friend choices improved, I naturally did as well. I became more hopeful, more energized, and more invigorated and motivated to be my best me. And I am proud of my progress and the success that has made me a better me.

What things have you quit in 2021?

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