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Kicking the Clutter: Don’t let bad habits control your life

Unhealthy habits have the power to control our mental and emotional state, making us feel overwhelmed, and stuck.

Unhealthy habits might reveal the unflattering side of ourselves. They could include smoking, drinking or procrastinating.

Unhealthy habits have the power to control our mental and emotional state, making us feel overwhelmed, and stuck.

When we experience the pleasure of a certain habit our brain remembers and expects us to repeat the same experience. Drugs and alcohol are perfect examples of pleasurable bad habits.

Kicking negative behaviour patterns requires a lot of determination, awareness and commitment.

Become aware of daily habits

It’s always easier to break the habit if you are aware of the consequences and how it affects your life. The possible consequences can be, you forgot to pay your hydro bill and the services are cut off.

Also, your habits can negatively affect the rest of your family, creating unhealthy relationships. Awareness brings acknowledgement. Unless a person realizes they have a problem, there is very little anybody can do.

Are you easily discouraged?

Going through difficult times, the death of loved ones, divorce and not being able to cope with a situation can bring an overwhelming sense of failure and despair. When this happens, we can fall into a cycle of negativity, thinking that giving up is the only option.

Do you compare yourself to others?

Comparing yourself to others is a toxic habit more likely started in your early childhood years. Parents might have compared you to siblings, teachers may have compared you to classmates, and bosses to their favourite employees.

This comparison creates a feeling of resentment toward those who have a nicer house, better car, or higher income, or whatever else we value.

Stop the blame game

I played that game. Blaming others for the life I had chosen was a way to survive. It ruled my life for many years.

Bad habits we accumulate can last a lifetime and fulfil a need that may not be met any other way. Someone who has psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive substance consumption for better habits.

Many of our bad habits serve as a stress releaser, addictive and dependable. Alternatively, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because habit replacements are not working out.

The need to do it all

People who are looking to break bad habits might feel a need to change everything in their lives, even things that are working. This kind of all-or-nothing thinking is a sure recipe for failure.

Commit to one habit for 30 days. Breaking habits takes time and energy. Put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one. Finally, organize your home to be your sanctuary for learning and leisure.

I will leave you with my favourite quote: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” ~ Jim Ryun

Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in the qathet region and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to