Breaking bad habits: How to stop progressing – Part 1

Before anything, let me get this clear. My goal is to inspire, educate and energize you. I hope you understand that the title has nothing to do with guiding you away from progress. It is completely contrary! The title of this article, as well as its content, holds sarcastic nature. You should do the exact opposite of the four suggestions that I discuss below. Perhaps, you can use these like a checklist to see how much your current lifestyle allows for unobstructed progress. 

Look, it is never easy to break bad habits. Sometimes, you need to talk yourself into it. Bring yourself to face the raw reality. Either you do it and grit your teeth until you achieve your goal, or forget about progressing, growing, and succeeding. You could just live your current life, as mediocre as it may be. I trust, however, that you are reading this right now because you are not satisfied with your life today. No matter how disturbing this is, it is actually good. If you have that itch, you need to scratch it. Do not settle for less. It will not stop bugging you. Brace yourself and let’s do it.

1. Scroll through social media pointlessly

There are two easily discernible social media classes: the consumers and the producers. The former is undoubtedly much larger than the latter. Why? It is easy and addictive to consume social media content, yet it takes much effort to produce it. To stop your progress in its tracks, you would need to make scrolling a day-to-day habit. And that is a piece of cake! All it takes is to pick up your phone when you feel blue and scroll down further and further, post after post, burying yourself under all this largely useless, attention-grabbing content. The producers are always super busy and immensely creative in making content that takes your mind away from your reality. 

Keep scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… (Image by Kirill Averianov from Pixabay)

Progress, on the other hand, is complex. Progress would require you to get on the other side of the lens and produce quality content. It would also demand consistency and waiting before you get to see any results. And who likes constantly putting in effort and having to wait? We are all addicted to fast dopamine. There is plenty of that around. What escapes us is that once you do have a consistent, routine social media practice, and once it pays off, you are laying the foundation for much bigger forthcomings that are then easier to achieve because you have trained a stronger you. 

“But what do I post?” Honestly, anything! There is a guy out there posting identical selfies of himself from the same exact angle on his way to work. He has more routine and consistency than you! On a more focused note, you can post something you consider valuable. Post knowledge and information people may find useful. Perhaps you are good at something, then post about that. It could be cooking, washing, running, stretching, gaming – whatever floats your boat. It does not have to be perfect quality content. The key is to establish that posting momentum first, then you can work on improvement. At least, you will exit the club of consumers and join the club of producers. 

2. Hang out with toxic people

Nothing sets you back in your progress as much as toxic people in your life. If you do not want to achieve, keep those people around you! They will gladly remind you how bad and unfair life can be and how any attempts at improving it are probably futile. And if you luckily happen to come across a highly driven individual aiming to tackle challenges and succeed, run away! God forbid that person infects you with ambition. 

No gas mask can save you from toxic people… (Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay)

If you do want to get infected with passionate fire, however, I have a dedicated post on how to get rid of toxic people. You might want to check it out! There is no point in staying friends with toxic people just to not be alone in life. Sometimes, being alone is much sought-after. Plus, you can always make new friends. People who will charge you with positivity and energy. People who are just as ambitious as you are, with whom you can align some of your actions to achieve that prosperity. A blog post on how to do that is in the making. Subscribe, so you do not miss it!

3. Stop exercising routinely

Those of you who do not exercise at all are in for a nice surprise. You are on an unmistakable path to zero progress! Sorry if that makes you angry, but the truth hurts. Our couch-potato, computer-desk world does not inspire at all – that is true. If we would time-travel thousands of years ago, most of us would be devoured by other species in a jiffy. So, how is exercise connected to prosperity? In 3 main ways: through discipline, health, and image. 

Routine exercise – putting in the effort to do something that causes you pain or discomfort – is the foundation of discipline. Any other routine task will look like a piece of cake in comparison. If you also manage to follow your exercise schedule closely, no matter what, you are bound to shoot for the stars. And progressing without discipline is close to impossible. 

Running – a great form of cardio (Image by roxanawilliams1920 from Pixabay)

It is no secret that exercise also contributes positively to your health, not only physical but also mental. How do you plan to progress if you are unhealthy? Any health issue can be a setback, and we are not getting any younger. Exercise will make sure you have the mental clarity that you need for ideas and brainstorming. I don’t know about you, but when I see a person grow into their 70s through consistent exercise, and look like they are a muscular 40, I am astounded. 

What about the image? This one may also be a little hurtful, but a real fact. Who do you think society sees as a more appealing human: an obese or a muscular person? Naturally, we are attracted to fit people. When they walk into the room, there is usually an air of dominance and greatness. It takes grit to build yourself up physically, after all, in comparison to letting yourself go and gaining those extra kilos. This does not only have to do with weight but with everything that makes up your image. If you take care of yourself and love yourself, people will do the same as they understand that you consider yourself valuable. 

4. Spend everything you earn

There is living on the edge, and then there is this. If you are not after progress, then spend until you run out of your monthly salary. Then, live minimally in anticipation of the next “round,” fearing to lose your only source of income. Why not make it even more exciting? Spend more than what you just earned, going into credit or depleting your savings (if you have any).

A potato-weight budget (Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay)

Granted, you might not earn a lot. Perhaps you cannot put away thousands of dollars every month. If you want to treat your financial situation smartly, however, you will be interested to create some safety cushion through an allocation framework. For example, no matter what your salary is you make it a godly commandment to put away 10-20% before even touching it. Slowly but surely, you will build up a budget. Why is this good? Because you did not have one before! Now, you can choose what to do with it. You can invest it, use it to validate your business idea or keep it for a rainy day. 

Here we are at the end of part 1. Now you know 4 great ways how not to progress, and you can learn the opposite. There are a lot of progress breakers in our world, so I will come back with at least one more blog post about this. If you subscribe, you will know when it is out! Watch this space, and stay safe. 


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