In this or any year, there are seven harmful habits you should strive to remove from your life.

However, the calendar shouldn’t dictate your progress. Don’t wait until January 1, 2023, to start your self-improvement journey – start now.

Regardless of the date today, the guidance remains the same: identify and eliminate, or at least minimize, these adverse habits.

1. Living Reactively

First on the list is the habit of living reactively, passively responding to whatever life throws your way.

To increase your productivity, you should instead plan your days intentionally, accounting for every hour.

If your schedule is already partially filled, determine what tasks will occupy your remaining time. Prioritize activities that align with your goals and will help to achieve them. Spend about 80% of your day focusing on such goal-orientated, ‘needle-moving’ activities, like reading a book, attending a webinar, or learning a new skill.

2. Blaming Others

Another counterproductive habit to abandon is blaming others. As Gary Vaynerchuk, the CEO of VaynerMedia, emphasizes, taking full responsibility for your actions and their consequences is a crucial step toward personal and professional success. The process becomes much simpler when you take ownership of your actions; it eliminates the blame game and allows you to focus on finding solutions.

3. Negative Self-Talk

Avoid negative self-talk, as your subconscious mind absorbs all the negative affirmations you give yourself. Instead, use words that are positive and uplifting to build your self-confidence. Try to spread positivity among others as well. When you cultivate a positive outlook, happiness and productivity follow.

4. Procrastination

The fourth habit to let go of is procrastination, especially when it comes to tasks you dislike. One strategy to combat this is the ODAE method – outsource, delegate, automate, or eliminate tasks as appropriate. Outsourcing is typically done to an external company or a Virtual Assistant (VA), while delegation involves passing tasks within your organization. Automation takes advantage of technology to perform repetitive tasks, and elimination helps you discard unimportant activities.

5. Spending Time Unproductively

Avoid spending too much time on activities that don’t advance your goals. This is especially relevant when it comes to time spent on social media, consuming content that doesn’t enrich you personally or professionally. Investing your time in tasks that directly contribute to achieving your objectives is important. Remember, the key to productivity is having a set of defined goals that provide a clear target for your efforts.

6. Trying to Be Someone Else

The sixth habit you need to discard is trying to be someone else. It’s essential to embrace your unique personality and strengths, to be authentically and unapologetically yourself. Like me, for example, I describe my podcast as a cleaned-up version of the Joe Rogan podcast, sans the $100 million Spotify contract or a hundred million downloads a month!

7. Believing You Have It All Figured Out

Lastly, rid yourself of the notion that you have it all figured out.

Life is a constant journey of learning and self-improvement.

According to Pareto’s Principle (the 80/20 rule), only 20% of people have things figured out, while the remaining 80% are still discovering their purpose.

Don’t be disheartened if you belong to the 80%. Instead, own your current position, whether you’re in the 20% or 80%, and maintain an open mind. Try new things, experiment, and remember: the process is just as important as the result.

As you prepare for the upcoming year (or any year afterward), I challenge you to evaluate your habits. Begin the process of ditching these destructive habits now and take proactive steps to live a happier, more productive life.

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