General Question

mirifique's avatar

What single change in your habits/behavior has improved your life the most?

Asked by mirifique (1511 points ) February 13th, 2009

Something you actually were able to adhere to long-term, so not a resolution you tried for 5 weeks and gave up on. For example, working out 5 times/week (didn’t say it wasn’t a lame example) for an entire year which raised your self-esteem and your world has never been the same since, etc.

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48 Answers

steelmarket's avatar

Getting more sleep. Which required breaking some old habits, as well as getting a Sleep Number mattress!

Sakata's avatar

More assertiveness. That and porn

eponymoushipster's avatar

not making coffee at 11pm at night. thus allowing for more sleep, and (typically) being in a better mood, therefore.

jrpowell's avatar

Stopping smoking….

I still smoke.. But it is only a few times per week. Compared to 30 per day.

marinelife's avatar

My Fluther habit has had a big impact.

chyna's avatar

I stopped smoking 2 packs a day cold turkey 20 years ago. Not only were there life changing habits, but I hope my health will be better because of that single decision.

Blondesjon's avatar

Quit smoking, cold turkey, two years ago this month. No relapses.

jonsblond has been without for over 5 years

How does it alter my life? I might get to stick around just a little longer…then again, maybe not.

Dog's avatar

Great question.

Realizing that I could take control of my life. That just because my father was
company man did not mean I had to be in a cubicle or the basement.

That I could do what nobody
else in my family as able to do-put myself through college and
work in a career where I did
not have to be belittled or
shunned for advancement by politics.

It took 5 years but I defined my life and so far I have not ended up in a dead end job. Hopefully the economy will still sustain me- but oddly enough- even in worst case scenario I end up like my Dad at least I know I raised the bar for the next generation.

LindaDT's avatar

Writing every day.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I haven’t done anything like that yet. Maybe today.

DrBill's avatar

Quit Smoking

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Not being afraid to call it like I see it, whether or not anyone agrees or disagrees with me.

chevelle's avatar

Quit smoking 6 1/2 years ago and I haven’t aged a day since!

o0's avatar

I increased crazy / random behavior. I am totally serous. Breaking the constant nagging cycle of life has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. try it and you will see. I started by putting peanut butter on my pizza, now i walk a new place everyday. Who knows what will happen next!

Milladyret's avatar

1: Quit smoking.
2: Losing lots of weight.
3: Working out.
4: Getting an education.
5: Realizing WHO I am and what I stand for! But that last point there is a work in progresss…

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

getting rid of the ‘little shits’ I thought were my friends and realizing the difference between real friends and fucking idiots. Surrounding yourself with the right kind of people might not help you live longer, but it will make the years you have worth living.

augustlan's avatar

Realizing that I could take charge of my own life. Not letting my past interfere with my future.

jonsblond's avatar

Not being embarrassed when I fart in front of my husband. Why stress over something so silly?

Seriously, not smoking for almost 6 years now. I’m so proud of myself for not picking one up for this long.

mirifique's avatar

I’m not sure if answering your own question is a flunder (Fluther blunder), but for me it’s actually been running for 6 days a week for the past 7 months. I’ve lost 25 pounds and am addicted to the incremental improvement.

jonsblond's avatar

@mirifique lurve for flunder, me like :)

augustlan's avatar

@mirifique Totally acceptable! I like flunder, too.

mirifique's avatar

@jonsblond and @augustlan Thanks guys… :)

IBERnineD's avatar

understanding that I am allowed to relax! I can look at things rationally and I assume my blood pressure is thanking me. :)

May2689's avatar

Get up my ass and start working out. That helped me tons…
stop smoking
SLEEP, sleep sleep sleep
remember to eat
and most importantly, remember to breathe

onesecondregrets's avatar

Started caring about my future, compared to only living in the now.
Became a rotating wallflower/participator rather than just one or the other.
Stopped drinking drinks with calories.
Reintroduced positivity into my life.

nebule's avatar

getting out of abusive relationships and going to counselling…can’t speak too highly of it.

Jack79's avatar

Keeping my mouth shut in a fight has helped me salvage my last relationship. I’m getting pretty good at this. Though I’m turning into my dad, who, like everyone else’s dad, just lets his wife nag him, order him and insult him, and completely ignores her. I think this is how men actually turn deaf after a while.

janbb's avatar

Learning to like myself has been the biggest and best change I’ve ever made. It took many years and a lot of work.

Grisson's avatar

I changed from thinking my wife wanted me to ‘do things for her’ to understanding that she wanted me to ‘do things with her’.

Nimis's avatar

Letting go of people who brought more bad than good
into my life—regardless of how much I cared about them.

@Grisson Wise man.

Grisson's avatar

@Nimis Wise wife, actually.

Nimis's avatar

@Grisson Reminds me of this quote from The Cosby Show.

[Cliff Huxtable, spoken to his wife]
You are a genius. And I am a genius for marrying you!

Jeruba's avatar

@Grisson, wise man with a happier wife, I’ve no doubt. Assuming that you do—?

cak's avatar

The single most important thing? Realizing that asking for help really isn’t a bad thing. it’s ok to admit that you really cannot do everything, all of the time. I was horrible when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I refused to ask for help. Cancer wasn’t going to kill me, my stubbornness was. I collapsed one day, out of sheer exhaustion. I woke up in the hospital – I had been neglecting my already compromised health. I made myself physically ill.

My husband was very clear, ask for help or he didn’t want to hear one single word about pain, fear or anything to do with cancer. He said he loved me very much, but wasn’t going to stand for this behavior. Enough said.

hearkat's avatar

For me, it was the conscious effort to be a genuine role model for me son rather than a “do as I say, not as I do” parent. This is far easier said than done, especially in my case. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and was deeply entrenched in the victim’s mindset. I had no self-worth, and I was cynical and pessemistic. I made poor relationship decisions, which resulted in me being a single mother.

When my son was in Middle School, he had witnessed way too many bad things and he was depressed and talked about hurting himself. I got us both into therapy and on medication (this was before they said the SSRIs could make suicidal ideations worse in kids). Still, I was mired in that mindset, and my life went from bad to worse… I was unemployed, uninsured and headed for bankruptcy.

I can’t pinpoint a moment when I chose to change, or any catalytic influence, such as a book. All I know is that about five years ago, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and to appreciate all the good fortune I have. I began looking for every little thing I could find that was positive in my life… the physical health of my son and I, having food and shelter, having intelligence and education. Then I started expressing gratitude for any little good thing, like a green light or close parking space when I’m in a hurry.

This was the beginning of a change in me, and in my son. Over time, I learned to stop hating myself for events that not only happened in the past, but were beyond my control—why did I feel ashamed? I learned to accept myself and forgive myself the mistakes I had made over the years.

The hardest part has been learning to love myself unconditionally, with the same devotion that I have for my son and for the men I have loved. But with time and patience and the blessing of my most recent relationship, I am closer than ever. I have recently modified my diet and started working out for me, and I feel really good and have been losing weight gradually, which is healthier and more likely to last because I am not depriving myself. There are still areas that I need to get into order, but I know that each day is a gift, and another opportunity for me to get closer to becoming the “me” I’ve been inside all along.

@cak: I appreciate the candor with which you and others share your experiences of dealing with serious health issues. I work in healthcare, and feel that seeing the hardships that others face helped me put my situation in perspective and see how lucky I am. It also helps remind me that “time is the space between me and you”, since I do not know for how long I will have the blessing of good health… so it behooves me not to take it for granted.

Thank you for being open about your personal journey and sharing such valuable lessons. Much love – and lurve – to you

Judi's avatar

Stopping eating out, giving up the burgers, fries and pizza, and regular exercise. At almost 48 I feel younger than I did at 40!
Now if we eat out it is only for really fine dining. If I am going to spend extra calories it had better be really really good. No more chain resteraunts for me!

cak's avatar

@hearkat – what a truly amazing turn around! A fair percentage of people wouldn’t make it out of where you were heading. Good for you for reaching for more. What love your son must feel from you – whether he lets you know it or not, he must know how loved he is. Accepting things that happened, but allowing them to be in the past and giving yourself the gift of moving on, is a freeing gift. One that few people allow themselves. They get bogged down in needing to figure out the past, to be able to move forward. Sometimes, you just have to let it go and forgive yourself and move on. You figured it out, good for you!

Good luck in your endeavors, I’ll keep you in my thoughts!

I wish people would be more open about their experiences with long term or sudden illnesses. Not just the medical part, but what it does in your day-to-day life. I don’t mind sharing, if it helps someone handle it in a more productive way, it really makes me happy. I don’t mind sharing my mistakes, if it helps someone else.

Baloo72's avatar

Cross country definitely improved my life. I now know that I can do a lot more than I imagined I could do before this school year.

hearkat's avatar

@cak: Thank you for your kind words. I do feel a great sense of accomplishment when I consider where my life could have gone. And I choose to speak openly about my experience as a survivor for the same reasons you speak about your illness… I hope to help others facing similar scenarios see that it is possible to go beyond survival and to even thrive despite having been victimized.

rickpoll's avatar

without a shadow of a doubt it is giving up drinking alcohol. Not only did it save my life but it gave me an entirely new perspective of life.

tabbycat's avatar

Walking to places whenever I can. Where I work, I’m about 1/2 a mile away from the bank, 1/2 a mile away from the hospital where I regularly give blood, a mile away from my mechanic, etc. etc. If I don’t HAVE to take a car, I don’t.

Not only is walking good exercise, but it makes me feel better about life. It’s a natural treatment for depression.

Judi's avatar

@tabbycat ; isn’t it funny how we get in the car to go to the bank which is across the parking lot?

90s_kid's avatar

I can name worse ones, but not better ones.

TheRocketPig's avatar

Quitting smoking probably for me… been over 3 years.

Also deciding to adopt pets… It’s good to have 2 fuzzy buddies that I can poke in the face whenever I want.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t know exactly how to describe it. But, my entire personality changed.
I guess it boils down to..

I decided to stop lying. To myself, and to others. It has made my life extremely enjoyable, and I’m never looking back.

jonsblond's avatar

@casheroo That is one of the best, if not best habits to overcome. Much lurve to you!

bluish's avatar

Not giving a fuck about what anyone else thinks about me and staying focused on what I want to achieve, no matter what.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Tithing and offering.

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