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Easy steps to make these four bad habits less bad

Bad Habits
Image: Shutterstock/lassedesignen

We all have crappy bad habits,* and I’m not here to tell you to give them up in favor of 5Ks and cleanses.  Look, I’ve never met someone who said, “A stranger on the Internet told me to give up all my bad habits and I did and now I’m a living god!” If I could make you all living gods I would, but sadly I can’t. However, if you’re going to keep your daily indulgences anyway, why not make them marginally better?


Don’t lie to me and say you’re drinking Jägerbombs for your heart health. We all have our reasons for drinking. Perhaps it’s because booze is sterile, and you like the taste. I’m not one to judge.

If you are having a tipple, wee dram, or are engaging any other drinking euphemism, at least recycle your containers. Glass bottles and aluminum cans are highly recyclable, so even if you’re punishing your liver, you can spare the environment. With slightly more effort, you can get your beer in a reusable growler, which looks classy even though it’s a big jug of beer.

Beyond feeling good because you’re buzzed, you can check out the charities and missions of the companies that make your drink. Most of them care about the environment, local communities, horses, whatever, and you can bask in the vicarious glow of giving money to a company that gives to good causes for you.

Junk TV

Maybe it’s not really okay that the best part of your day is yelling at Family Feud contestants, but if it is don’t give it up. Life is a rich tapestry that includes people who say hamsters lay eggs, and you have the right, the duty even, to watch them fail on TV. Just stand up occasionally.
Sitting for long periods of time is correlated to poorer health outcomes, so you might as well stand once in a while when you watch your junk TV.

Standing around for no reason can feel awkward, so I recommend making a game of it. Maybe stand whenever Judge Judy enters the courtroom or whenever a character speaks with stirring patriotism. If you’re feeling ambitious, stand and applaud to really get your blood moving.
I suppose you could exercise while you watch crappy TV, but I find that it ruins the experience of letting my brain relax into mush.

Ordering Delivery

Sometimes, what you have with your favorite delivery joint goes beyond a simple monetary exchange. What you have is a relationship.
Yes, the food is unhealthy, and yes, it’s more expensive than cooking. But you’re committed to each other now, and I’m not going to tell you stop seeing the purveyor of grease and salt that makes you happy. I do have some relationship advice, though.

If your delivery place does well let them and the rest of the world know. Shout it from the rooftops, or preferably, give them a good Yelp! review. When conflict arises, as it does in any relationship, don’t bad mouth them on Twitter without talking to them first. How will they know that it hurt when they discontinued the Eric Cartman Combo without proper communication? Treat your delivery place with respect, tip their drivers, and they’ll do right by you, too.

Online Porn

Stop frantically closing your tabs. Unless you’re at work, then close that sh*t quick.

Porn is a fraught topic, and I’m not going to make a case for or against it here. The fact is that porn consumption is common. If you do watch porn, the least you can do it pay for it instead of bootlegging or file sharing. There are those who say it’s so easy to get for free that paying is for suckers. Well, I could easily win a fistfight with a baby, but somehow, I’ve managed to never punch a baby.

When you pay for porn, you’re also paying the people who create it. If there’s a company, director, or performer you want to keep seeing, it makes sense to pay them to keep doing what they’re doing. You can even support feminist pornography with your dollars if that’s your jam. You get what you pay for, and if you watch porn anyway, it might as well be good.

*Now, if what you have is an addiction, please seek help.

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