What bad habit would you like to kick to the curb?

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I hate to admit this, but Reader, I vape. Which is just so embarrassing. I mean, could anything be less cool? I’m currently transitioning to the gum, though, so there’s that, and I’m curious about you. What behavior are you looking to modify?

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63 Thoughts on What bad habit would you like to kick to the curb?
    Mary
    7 Aug 2019
    6:20pm

    I should probably be seeking help about my denim obsession too. Booze and jeans.

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    Mary
    7 Aug 2019
    6:15pm

    I should probably drink less as I’m surpassing the recommended guidelines. Apparently women shouldn’t be drinking at all but for now, this is not an option!

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    Mae
    7 Aug 2019
    11:46am

    Watching the news (my husband’s addicted) and drinking two stiff gin and tonics every evening. I keep telling myself to stop.

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    Katrina
    7 Aug 2019
    11:55am

    I really should limit my time on Instagram and the internet in general. It’s such a terrible time suck and it depresses me to think about how much else I could do with the time.

    And yes, I’m aware of the irony of me typing this out at this moment.

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    Carolyn
    7 Aug 2019
    12:01pm

    I am trying to quit smoking cigarettes, so I’m curious what vape pen you use. I want to move to that and then the gum and stop! But I think I need to step down in this way. I’d love a recommendation. I stopped smoking several years ago… and then divorce… and then Trump and, well, here I am again. 🙁

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      mlinky
      7 Aug 2019
      1:32pm

      Carolyn, ignore the “best vape” sites that will come up if you google. Go to the newcomers forum on e-cigarette-forum.com. You will get all the info you need.

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    AC
    7 Aug 2019
    12:01pm

    Drinking diet soda and crystal light. Ugh! All those cancer causing chemicals. I also drink a lot of water, but can not seem to kick the diet soda thing though I know it’s bad.

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      AmyM
      7 Aug 2019
      12:39pm

      Have you tried fizzy waters? I used to have a wicked Diet Coke habit and finally realized it wasn’t so much the taste I was after, but the burn of the bubbles.

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        Andrea
        7 Aug 2019
        4:46pm

        Kombucha is also a good alternative. There are lots of great flavors.

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        JenM
        8 Aug 2019
        5:55pm

        100% agree with AmyM. I also used to drink way too much diet coke but began drinking fizzy water just to up my water intake and as a positive side-effect now barely drink diet coke anymore. Having said that, I am now a total princess about water and only drink still if desperate, I sometimes wonder if that is a new problem!

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    Lorraine
    7 Aug 2019
    12:02pm

    Check my phone when I wake up in the middle of the night. And, I wonder why I’m then up for hours. Genius

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    Kimbersam
    7 Aug 2019
    12:04pm

    Procrastinating. It’s a monkey on my back. Every darn day.

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      Stacey M
      7 Aug 2019
      12:34pm

      Yep, same here. Wondered if anyone else would say that.

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        Ruth Harris
        7 Aug 2019
        1:07pm

        Perhaps my recent post including recent research into the psychological roots of procrastination—including tips about how to (responsibly and effectively) fight back—might help!

        https://annerallen.com/2019/04/good-news-about-procrastination/

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          Rachel
          7 Aug 2019
          3:22pm

          Thank you! I am procrastinating on an overdue book right now, and this helped a lot! So much of my bad mood is because of the awful state of the country, which I can’t do anything about. So I may as well write.

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            Ruth Harris
            7 Aug 2019
            4:11pm

            Rachel, Glad to hear it helped. 🙂 Good luck with your (no longer overdue) book!

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    Tammy
    7 Aug 2019
    11:29am

    I pick and rip my nails. It’s a nervous habit that I can’t quit. Shiny pretty nails would be so cool. I should strive for that.

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      Lynne
      8 Aug 2019
      11:31am

      I am a long time nail biter and cuticle picker. I could stop for a while, but my nails never looked good. I started taking Biotin which helps, but even more, I got my first dip manicure in July 2018 and I have continued to get them regularly and my nails look great. I don’t pick my cuticles either. It’s a bit pricey for once a month, but it’s worth every penny to me.

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      Kirstjen
      7 Aug 2019
      12:31pm

      I was like this until I started to get weekly manicures. I went in the first time with absolutely shredded nails & cuticles that looked diseased. It has really helped, but if I go to long without the mani, I start chewing on those hangnails again. It’s been about 15-20 years, but my nails look wonderful about 99% of the time.

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        Laura
        7 Aug 2019
        12:35pm

        I am the same. I would still pick and shred my nails and cuticles to bits if I didn’t force myself to get a manicure every week. SNS powder manicures have been a lifesaver – the polish makes the nails too thick to even attempt to pick at the cuticles. It is a tough habit but definitely breakable!

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    Mouse
    7 Aug 2019
    10:33am

    I need to eat less. I don’t mean diet; I’ve been lucky enough to never have done that. I was a little person with a high metabolism all my life, could really put away food and I LOVE food, but then…..menopause. Now I really need to re-set my idea of how much I can eat and balance sugar and alcohol: would I rather have a glass of wine with dinner or dessert? (answer: WINE) I’m a pretty healthy eater and have no weird shame/guilt thing about it (luck: Italian/Greek mother), and I think I can still eat pretty much whatever I want, but I just have to EAT LESS. Oy.

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      Rebecca
      7 Aug 2019
      11:44am

      Oh my gosh, that is me exactly!

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      Eloise
      7 Aug 2019
      10:55am

      SAME!!

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      Jendan
      7 Aug 2019
      9:17pm

      This is me! And now I’m around food all the time at work. Marvelous food. Made by chefs who teach famous chefs how to cook. I need to put down the fork!!!

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    c.w.
    7 Aug 2019
    10:56am

    I would love to get refined sugar out of my diet. I eat well, but when I come east for the summer the folks I’m around have a tendency to eat sweets so I do too. I believe (without any science to back up my theory!) refined sugar is as addictive as alcohol or tobacco. I was told by my doctor (years ago) that older women (those entering and established in menopause) have a greater desire for sugar than our younger selves––something to do with tastebuds losing their…well, I suppose you would say…taste. Its always something, right?

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      liz
      8 Aug 2019
      6:53am

      It is an addiction and as evil. I do, however, believe it is much easier to break the habit.

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      Betsy
      7 Aug 2019
      4:00pm

      Absolutely agree about the sugar addiction. I can go for months without added sugars (candy dessert etc. ) but the minute I slip that monkey is on my back again.

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    Viajera
    7 Aug 2019
    10:59am

    I don’t like it when I waste time. “Waste” of time though is a whole thing. For me what it often involves is whether or not I am feeling alert. If I can’t be awake, shouldn’t I be asleep? Of course there can be a third state, where I’m a little spacey but kind of enjoying it. But the fourth one is just a “blah” state, and that’s the time that I feel I may be wasting. (I blame allergies mostly. Hay fever.) And then there is when I bore people on the intergoogle…

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    Margaret
    7 Aug 2019
    11:12am

    I should probably drink less but as long as the current president is in office, I don’t see that happening.

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    Candy
    7 Aug 2019
    11:22am

    Spending too much time on my phone or tablet checking Facebook, Insta, Twitter, feeling bad about friends’ vacations that I’m not having, reading the news and getting P.O’ed and stressed, swearing I won’t do it any more for the sake of my health, and then an hour later picking up my phone and wash rinse repeat.

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      lorea
      7 Aug 2019
      11:26am

      Ooh, good one. My habit when stressed is to check the newspaper headlines on my phone. Could there be a less effective stress-management strategy? (I ask myself.)

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    lorea
    7 Aug 2019
    11:23am

    I finally succeeded in quitting biting my nails a few months ago. (I was priming my porch and the primer got AAAAAALL up under my nails; I couldn’t bite them without ingesting god knows what chemicals.) But then I had some manicures with polish. (So exciting at age 53! I couldn’t get over how shiny and pretty!) An overly enthusiastic manicurist buffed my thin nails down to flimsiness and they bent and broke off as I moved on to filling and sanding the front hall. I began nibbling again to “even” them out. I MUST QUIT AGAIN. I NEED THE SHINY PRETTY NAILS.

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    Joyce Acosta
    7 Aug 2019
    11:11pm

    Sugar…there is no moderation.

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    Lynne
    8 Aug 2019
    11:40am

    Diet coke and sugar are two bad habits I need to kick. I’ve never smoked, I’m not a big drinker, but I love my diet coke and sugar. I agree, some of the diet coke is the carbonation, it settles my stomach in the am, but while I like fizzy water, it isn’t quite the same…

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    Lori in Toronto
    7 Aug 2019
    3:56pm

    Checking Twitter first thing after I wake up. It has not done wonders for my moods since roughly November 2016…

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    suzynk
    7 Aug 2019
    3:53pm

    Definitely fantasizing about old boyfriends. It’s weird because in reality, I don’t want to be with them – but I think I create the drama in my head just because it’s something to do? Does that make sense? My husband, for me, is truly the best person in the world. I adore him, he adores me – perhaps the routine and normalcy of everyday life pushes me to look for distractions in my head. Anyway, my husband doesn’t deserve that…I wish I could just shut it off.

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      Heather
      7 Aug 2019
      4:55pm

      Well, here’s a question (more for yourself than I feel a need for an answer): why? If you’re in a monogamous relationship with your husband, not acting on these fantasies, and not constantly bringing them up/comparing your husband with these guys, is it bad to fantasize? There are some lovers in my past with whom I had great sex but who were terrible boyfriends, and I do find myself fantasizing about them occasionally in a sexual way. It doesn’t mean I’m not glad to be rid of their otherwise lousy asses, it’s just I’m remembering good sex. That doesn’t impact my relationship with my current partner, who is also very good at sex.

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    Melynda
    7 Aug 2019
    4:11pm

    I feel you on the cigarettes! I finally quit smoking in 2004, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I was on the gum for about 5 years afterward. I finally quit the gum when the Sweets and I spent a month in England. I’d packed tons of nicotene gum in my suitcase. (I wasn’t sure if they sold it there.) But one day on a hike I forgot to bring the gum. I was so sick of always having to remember to bring the gum with me — I’m a little bit absent minded, and I was constantly getting stuck without. So I quit cold turkey right there on the spot. The Sweets said “Noooooooo! You’re going to ruin our vacation!” But I quit then, and I’ve been quit ever since. So take heart and be kind to yourself. It will happen eventually when you least expected.

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    Sarah
    7 Aug 2019
    4:07pm

    I hesitate to ask, but what exactly IS vaping? I see people doing it all the time, but I’ve never been sure if it’s like smoking cigarettes or weed? Would love any information before I embarrass myself in front of my millennial coworkers.

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      Heather
      7 Aug 2019
      4:46pm

      I think both/either? I am guessing Kim vapes tobacco (but if she’s vaping weed, no judgement).

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        Kim France
        7 Aug 2019
        8:28pm

        Tobacco.

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    nicole
    12 Aug 2019
    3:42pm

    i kicked a two decade smoking habit from 1 session with a hypnotherapist in NYC. best $ i ever, ever spent. i’ve never had a thought about smoking since + that was well over 12 years ago.

    therapist is in NYC + is still working. i would be happy to share her contact with you. foolish to have a habit that decreases your lifespan, my fellow 3/3’er.

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    mlinky
    7 Aug 2019
    1:30pm

    I started vaping 10 years ago, when I had my last cigarette. I was a pack a day smoker for 40 years and never intended to quit smoking. My doctor was, and is, thrilled.

    Why are you embarrassed about it? Don’t blow big clouds. As to harm, it is essentially the same technology as fog machines at rock concerts, and nicotine, on it’s own, is no more harmful than caffeine. Don’t do it if you have vascular issues.

    The news has been full of misinformation about vaping…follow the money. Most of it has been from groups supported by pharmacy companies, who get $200/month from Chantix and Nicorette, but $0 from vapers. The tobacco companies want to get vaping approved ‘their’ way, with additives, etc.

    Read the actual studies, not the misleading headlines.

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    Liz
    7 Aug 2019
    1:58pm

    I just want to say how much I love this community. You’ve all exposed your deep, dark secrets – many of which are mine also! A no-shame and judgment-free zone. Thank you ❤️.

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    EW
    7 Aug 2019
    1:41pm

    Everyone: ME TOO.
    Closet vaper: no one knows! but still it need to go.
    Lifelong chronic cuticle picker – but getting better. yes manicures help.
    Reformed procrastinator. I’m all lists now…make it manageable; no beat ups for not finishing right away..
    Former sugar junkie. Now I’m all keto.
    Former perpetually late person with occasional relapses
    Recovering news/internet junkie. 2018 fixed that for me.
    Shopping: Now that’s a pleasure. There’s nothing like just meandering through a store with no agenda or goal, just looking.
    Goal: I’d like to stop being so focused on the next thing and be more present, mindful. Some weeks pass by and I don’t remember much – I feel like I’m not paying attention b/c I’m focused on that next thing to accomplish/do/have/see…gotta slow down and smell the roses (cue Ferris Bueller)

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    7 Aug 2019
    1:56pm

    Sitting on my couch watching Netflix or Amazon Prime while playing games on my phone. Get out of the house, woman! Pick up your knitting! Tidy up or do some laundry! Oh, the things I could do (but don’t)…

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    Jenny
    7 Aug 2019
    2:25pm

    Goofing off on the internet while on conference calls at work. Checking my phone every 10 minutes to see if The New Guy has texted me. Obsessing for 30 more minutes about what he said or didn’t say. The last time I dated, phones were plugged into walls. Text was printed on a page. I have no antibodies for this kind of stuff.

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    Kirstjen
    7 Aug 2019
    12:29pm

    I would really like to eat less unhealthy food and I’d like to spend less time doing meaningless stuff. By meaningless, I mean communicating with friends via social media, rather than actually seeing them IRL.

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    Jenn
    7 Aug 2019
    12:30pm

    Being consistently late. Whether it’s just an “acceptable” couple minutes or unacceptable where I’ve had to forfeit a long-awaited hair appt. The reason for this is so ironic: I hate waiting for other people! So I try to time it perfectly where I will not be wasting any time waiting around for something/someone…but then i show up late to something which wastes other people’s time! Definition of me being my own worst enemy.

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      KimF
      7 Aug 2019
      4:29pm

      I used to be the opposite, I’d leave way too much time and then be waiting around. Waze (and google maps) has really helped to predict exactly how long it will take to get somewhere. I now arrive right on time.

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      Viajera
      8 Aug 2019
      12:53pm

      Have you tried bringing a book, and then the being-early time isn’t wasted? Also when possible I try to meet people somewhere pleasant so they aren’t mad if I’m a bit late. Bc being a bit late or a bit early is pretty hard to avoid ime.

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    Francine
    7 Aug 2019
    12:35pm

    I don’t smoke, never tried drugs, rarely drink and am pretty moderate in general. But Shopping. I love it. Everything about it. In store, online, I love it all. Had some issues with it for sure. But I’m MUCH better now, primarily because I don’t have as much money, HA! Otherwise, I’d say I’d love to be less short-tempered with my kids.

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      Karen
      7 Aug 2019
      7:59pm

      Omg yes shopping. I used to listen/read the news…and now I just can’t. Now I surf the web looking for the perfect “X” and buying it. It has to stop

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      Emily TL
      7 Aug 2019
      3:33pm

      There is no shame in a bad habit. Good for you for putting the spotlight on it. Here’s my current top 5.

      1.Mindless or stress-eating/over-eating. Which I am doing Right. Now.
      2.Shopping.
      3. All the bad habits that flare up my insomnia (screen time, caffeine, sleeping late when I actually can sleep.
      4. Sacrificing my health for a job that really doesn’t mean that much to me but pays.
      5. Disconnecting from friends and family.

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      AmyM
      7 Aug 2019
      12:44pm

      Was going to say pretty much this same thing. Shopping is my outlet for channeling stress and I can’t resist a “bargain.” (Even though I know nothing is a bargain if you don’t really need it).

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    Tona Sawyer
    7 Aug 2019
    12:41pm

    This seems silly but I would like to reduce the amount of time I spend (on my hair) getting it ready in the morning….the process etc. I live in New Orleans, so it’s very humid here and makes hair styling a big challenge for this Southern girl. I would prefer to save that for special occasions. I also need to stop going out for lunch and brown bagging it a few times a week. 😉 (I suppose if I were rich and famous my two luxuries would be a stylist and a chef!)

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      D.Morgendorffer
      7 Aug 2019
      5:23pm

      I’ve been thinking about your comment and remembering my hair in Louisiana. I didn’t know my hair was capable of wave definition until I left the state. I feel for you on that one.

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    Cyndi Colzani
    7 Aug 2019
    12:54pm

    I’d like to stop excelling at self-criticism.

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      Heather S.
      7 Aug 2019
      6:09pm

      THIS! i came here to say this! sure, the self-diagnosed dermatillomania isn’t my favorite thing, and i fully own my epid dawdling tendencies, but MAN am i shitty to myself in my own head, and i’m *V* tired of it–but also i can’t seem to quit? 0_0

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        Heather S.
        7 Aug 2019
        6:11pm

        *epic dawdling -___-

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          Viajera
          8 Aug 2019
          12:57pm

          There is a great scene in “The Tao of Steve” where he talks about productivity. Worth a watch.

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    Rose
    7 Aug 2019
    12:56pm

    I’m a vaper too. I’ve always been a “crisis smoker,” and I started smoking again last winter during a little life crisis. Then I switched over to vaping and I’m still at it, though the crisis is long over. It’s just too easy…so discreet and non-smelly; I love that hit of nicotine, so energizing yet soothing; I’ve lost weight….so it’s kind of hard to see the downside or get motivated to quit, but I started keeping a log of my vaping and cutting back very gradually, day by day.

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    y.k.
    7 Aug 2019
    1:29pm

    Woa! VAping?! i’m surprised b/c i associate that with teens – i mean – it’s all like mango flavored etc right?
    🙂
    my worst habit of many is definitely procrastination – specifically paperwork, eg filing, rebalancing investments, shredding old tax docs, checking if a refund came in, fighting an insurance claim – i hate it all. i never procrastinate when it comes to haircuts, exercise, getting clothes tailored…
    then there’s reading/ watching Trump news. i get an automatic spike when i see kellyanne, tucker, so many to choose from!. so too often i’ll torture myself.
    and i guess exfoliation is a bad habit now so add that…

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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