Some small habits that you can change for the better this year
By Ash Sabinin, Contributor
It’s coming up on 2 years of dealing with Covid and social distancing has been required in most places, yet some people still think it’s ok to stand so close that people can feel their breath.
Many people make New Year’s Resolutions and often choose lofty, vague or hard-to-reach goals like “Be healthy” “Give up drinking” or “Travel more;” I think a better approach would be choosing small, manageable habits to work on throughout the year. Instead of setting potentially unattainable objectives and then getting discouraged when it doesn’t play out the way you envisioned, it’s better to find a few little things in your daily routine that you want to change. Below are a few bad habits that I find irritating and hope that everyone will leave behind in 2021.
To begin, this is a bad habit that I, myself, am also guilty of (but working hard to kick): leaving items in the wrong aisle in a store. We’ve all done it at least once in our lives, we pick up something and then at some point we realize we don’t actually want to buy the item and then comes the moral debate: do we make the trek back across the store to return the item to its rightful home or do we just tuck into one of the nearby shelves and walk away quickly. More often than not, people choose to just hide it amongst some other items and leave before anyone notices. Then some poor employee must find it and return it to its proper place when they probably have enough to deal with as it is. It may take a few extra moments so unless you’re really in a rush, just go put the item back.
A habit that I cannot stand is applying too much perfume or cologne. Since the implementation of masks, it hasn’t been as much of a problem, but the real issue is when I’m fully masked and yet, somehow, someone’s cologne is still so overwhelming that I feel the need to get some fresh air. How many pumps must they be spraying each morning for it to affect others so strongly despite wearing masks and social distancing? Also, how do they not notice? This is just one of those things that grinds my gears and if you notice people giving you a wide berth after applying your perfume or cologne maybe try scaling it back a bit.
This often goes hand-in-hand with the pet peeve listed above, but I find it astounding how many people still stand way too close to others in public. It’s coming up on 2 years of dealing with Covid and social distancing has been required in most places, yet some people still think it’s ok to stand so close that people can feel their breath. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people don’t respect my personal space but also just something I believe all people should have a common understanding of.
Another habit that needs to stay in 2021 is leaving your bag on a separate seat on the bus or SkyTrain. If we’re on a pretty empty bus or SkyTrain car, it’s not a big deal at all honestly, I do it too when I don’t want people sitting right next to me when there are other seats available. However, if the bus is crammed like a sardine tin and you’re sitting there with your bag on the seat next to you, you have essentially told everyone else standing that their comfort is a lower priority than your bag. Of course, there are exceptions to this but, as a general rule, just put it on your lap.
This is a more specific pet peeve in certain situations but when people start trying way too hard at singing well while hanging out with friends. Obviously, this doesn’t apply in some situations, like karaoke or concerts but this happened to me while celebrating new years day, where we were all listening to music and playing video games when one of us decides that this is their time to audition for The Voice and starts harmonizing with the song. Now not only do we now feel compelled to quiet our conversations to be respectful but also it completely changed the vibe and dynamic from just a chill hang-out to a performance with an (unwilling) audience.
While changing these small habits may not magically improve your life overnight, they will help you become more courteous and respectful of other people who are sharing the same space with you, which will, in turn, help you become a better person.