If you are struggling with procrastination and boredom, this is a list of strategies that can help you turn your life around and fix common bad habits.

What Are The Most Common Bad Habits In 2022?

Nov 28, 2022

2022 is the year of the Great Resignation and "quiet quitting." After years of global pandemic and economic unrest, people are rethinking their lives like never before. This year will be a time of profound transformation as people let go of their past conditioning and manifest a new reality. We are in the process of continual, painful but necessary self-examination and releasing old ways.

Of course, change begins in the small minute-by-minute activities - our habits.

If you feel dissatisfaction with your life on any level, extracting the bad habits and replacing them with new ones is a necessary first step. When we change our habits, we can dramatically alter our lives. 

How do you know if something is a bad habit?

Well, there are a few signs.

For starters, you’re probably doing it more than once. A bad habit is something you repeat over and over again without even realizing it (or trying to stop). Second, if your behavior hurts other people or yourself—even if it’s unintentional—it might be time to make some changes.

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Some bad habits are easy to spot while others aren't. The most important thing to realize is that even if you don’t think a bad habit is hurting anyone else, it could be harming you. It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts and behaviors, but breaking free from them will make you a much better person overall.

Here are a few ways to know whether something you're doing is holding you back.

Doing things that slow you down in life

If something is holding you back, it’s not helping you.

When we feel stuck in life, it's often because we've become complacent doing things that don't really challenge us. Most of the time, bad habits are to blame.

There are other times when we pour an enormous amount of time and energy into tasks, jobs, and relationships that go nowhere. These are things that don't really match our values, but we keep doing them anyway because they feel familiar and comfortable. We might think they’re important because other people say so or they pay the bills, but if it’s holding you back, it’s a bad habit.

Doing things that add no value to your life

Things like wasting time on social media and watching TV can be a big problem for some people. It's easy to get sucked into a vortex of doing things that don't matter, but it’s not healthy or productive. We need to take control of our time and energy by doing things that are important to us, things that make us feel empowered.

Doing too much of a good thing

Hard work and exercise are great habits, but if they become things that help you avoid major issues in your life, then they've gone to the dark side of bad habits. The same is true for people who stress over eating healthy because they think it will help them lose weight or help them live forever.

Balance is important, and good habits will always contribute to that balance. So if any good thing in life starts to detract from the other good things in your life, it's time to make a change.

Doing things without realizing it

If you're on autopilot and don't even realize what you're doing, then it's time to take a step back and look at your life with fresh eyes.

Many bad habits stem from a lack of intentionality. If you don't know why you're doing what you're doing, then it will be difficult to change the habit. Take some time to think about why you do what you do, and then make a change. If you're not sure what your intentions are, ask yourself why. Then ask yourself if that reason is still valid in your life today.

Doing things to help you forget

If you find you’re constantly distracting yourself with food, television, or other activities in order to avoid dealing with your problems, then start asking yourself why.

Filling your life with distractions could appear like productivity or adventure to others, but deep down, you're unhappy. You know that you're not really living. You're just going through the motions, and that's not good enough.

Good habits help you face challenges head on and make you more resilient in the face of tragedy, loss, and discomfort. Bad habits diminish you as a person and keep you running from the things you're afraid to confront.

30 of the Most Common Bad Habits

This list is by no means exhaustive, but you might struggle with some of the activities listed below.

Bad habits can be difficult to break, but it’s important to remember that they don't have to be permanent. If you have a bad habit that you want to break, don't be afraid to try something new. It may take some time for these new behaviors to become second nature, but eventually they will take over and old bad habit won't stand a chance.

1. Smoking and illicit drugs

These are common ways for people to cope with stress in unhealthy ways. They are bad habits because they can cause medical and mental problems and interfere with your day-to-day performance.

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2. Overeating

Overeating is another unhealthy coping mechanism. It may be a way to distract yourself from stress, or it could be that you're eating because you're bored or sad. To stop overeating, try to identify why you eat in the first place. If you realize that food is your drug of choice when feeling stressed out, then try some other ways of dealing with those emotions instead.

3. Saying “yes” to everything

Doing as much as possible can help you get ahead, but it will also leave you feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. If you're constantly saying “yes” to things that other people want from you, then it's time to start saying “no.” It might feel scary at first, but once you realize how much better your life is when there aren't dozens of commitments hanging over your head every day, then you'll finally feel the freedom to build a life that makes you happy.

4. Not taking time for yourself

Similar to the bad habit above, withholding personal downtime is a big mistake.

Taking time for yourself is important. It's not selfish; it's vital. If you don't take the time to recharge your batteries and renew yourself, then you'll run out of energy very quickly and end up resenting everyone around you. Or worse, your body could force you to stop with injuries or stress-induced illness.

5. People pleasing

It's easy to fall into the trap of people pleasing. You want everyone around you to be happy and like you, so you bend over backwards trying to make it happen. But this is a bad habit that's very hard to break because it makes you feel good in the short term.

It's a form of self-sabotage. You're not being true to yourself, so you end up feeling deeply dissatisfied which can lead to depression and other bad habits.

6. Procrastinating

Procrastination is a habit that's easy to fall into when you're stressed or overwhelmed. Your brain has learned that the best way to get rid of the stress or anxiety caused by a task is to avoid it by doing something else.

Like a car payment, you can't defer for forever - interest will accrue and if you put off payments long enough, your car gets repossessed. Procrastination works the same way, and the only way to beat it is to commit to getting it done. You can't just put it off until tomorrow, next week or whenever you feel like it. Instead, make a plan and stick to it - no matter how much resistance you feel.

7. Road rage

At the heart of road rage is reactivity and stress. You can't help it if someone drives recklessly or an accident occurs on your way to work. You can find ways to self-soothe (breathing exercises, counting down from 100, listening to calm music, etc.) and not let the chaos around you bring you down. If possible, consider new routes to work or public transportation.

8. Staying up late

You may think that staying up late will give you more time to get things done, but the truth is that it makes you less productive. It may also feel relaxing to decompress from a long day with social media or TV. But research shows that those activities deplete your willpower and lower your sleep quality if they extend long into the night when your body needs rest.

9. Sleeping in

Everyone needs extra rest after a week of hard work, so sleeping in isn’t always a bad thing. But if your routine is to sleep your entire morning away or snooze your alarm until you have 10 minutes to get ready for work, then you are setting yourself up for failure in life.

Consider giving yourself plenty of time in the morning to wake slowly, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, read, and develop a soul-nurturing morning routine.

10. Not getting enough sleep

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that sleeping between 7 and 8 hours each night can help boost your immune system and improve brain function.

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11. Doing every day differently (Avoiding routine)

Routine and predictability does wonders for your body, mind, and emotions. A life defined by impulsiveness and spontaneity might seem fun at first, but it will take its toll on your body over time.

12. Being a workaholic

Overwork isn’t healthy, either. It can lead to high blood pressure, poor mental health, and insomnia. Also, it will damage critical relationships in your life - relationships you need to be happy and fulfilled in life.

13. Excessive drinking

Alcohol is a depressant, so it can make you feel more relaxed and happy in the short term. But over time it can destroy your liver, kidneys, brain cells, and immune system. Drinking too much can also make you prone to accidents or poor decision-making.

14. Bad hygiene

This is a common reason people get sick. Poor hygiene can cause various infections and diseases, such as the flu or colds. It’s also not very attractive - no one wants to be around someone who smells bad or has greasy hair.

15. Staying indoors

Never venturing outside is a bad idea. It’s important to get some sunlight and fresh air every day, as this helps your body produce vitamin D and serotonin, which are both necessary for good health.

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Staying indoors can also make you feel depressed, which can lead to other health problems.

16. Lying

Lying feels like an easy solution in the moment, but the reality is that you will breed distrust with people around you. It also keeps you from learning key communication skills and being authentic, both of which are necessary for success and happiness.

17. Oversharing

We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another, but it’s important to realize that not everything needs to be shared with everyone. Give yourself boundaries and respect the privacy of others. Oversharing can also lead to people not wanting to spend time with you because they feel uncomfortable around you. You can come across as overbearing, self-absorbed, heavy, or a gossip.

18. Talking too much (in general)

You should listen as well as talk. If you are constantly talking without stopping to hear what others have to say, it can make them feel like they don’t matter or that they aren’t being heard.

19. Getting defensive

When someone criticizes you or tells you something that hurts your feelings, it’s easy to get defensive and turn the conversation back onto them. This is an unproductive way of dealing with conflict and can make other people feel like they can’t trust you or speak openly with you.

20. Listening to respond

When we listen to respond, we are not really listening at all. We are waiting for our turn to speak and then when it comes time for us to talk, we don’t really hear what the other person says, instead using their words as fodder for our response.

It's very difficult to nurture deep connections with others or be a leader if you only ever listen to respond. Active listening requires you to ask questions, withhold sharing your perspective at first, validate others, and then offer concise, relevant feedback if necessary.

21. Blaming others

When we blame others, we are not taking responsibility for our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Blaming allows us to ignore our part in the problem and avoid growing as an individual. When you blame someone else for how you feel or what has happened, you are really just trying to make yourself feel better by avoiding any uncomfortable self-reflection. 

Blaming is a way of shifting the focus away from your behavior so that you don’t have to deal with any potential consequences or repercussions of your actions.

22. Avoiding conflict

You might feel like avoiding conflicts is a good way to keep the peace, but over time it will cause problems in your relationships with others. If you don’t address issues as they arise, they can fester and grow bigger than if you had just talked about them in the first place.

23. Hoarding

If you are a hoarder, your life is likely filled with clutter and chaos. You might think that the more stuff you have around you, the more secure or happy you will feel. However, the truth is that hoarding creates an environment where it’s hard to move around, be productive, and feel at ease in your home or office.

24. Eating junk food

Most people know that eating junk food is not good for them, but they still do it. The reason is because they enjoy the taste and feel of junk food—it gives them a quick rush and then leaves them feeling satisfied. Unfortunately, this satisfaction only lasts a short time before you start craving more junk food again.

25. Being disorganized

Being disorganized can cause a number of problems in your life. You may have trouble making decisions, keeping track of important information, and finishing projects on time. And if you’re searching for something when you need it most, the stress can be overwhelming.

26. Being rude

Being rude is one of the easiest ways to alienate people and make yourself look bad. It’s also one of the easiest things to fix: all you have to do is be kind - treat others with the same respect and empathy that you would want.

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27. Overthinking

Overthinking can be harmful in a number of ways. You may worry too much about things that are out of your control or agonize over trivial details and fail to see the big picture.

This can be detrimental to your mental health, and it will most certainly hold you back from reaching your full potential.

28. Dwelling on the past

The past is the past, and dwelling on it won’t change anything. Instead of focusing on what could have been, try to look forward—you never know what great things might be just around the corner!

29. Not exercising

Exercise is important for your physical and mental health. When you exercise regularly, it can help relieve stress and improve your mood. It can also boost energy levels, improve sleep quality, and increase confidence.

30. Not drinking water

Drinking water keeps you hydrated and boosts energy levels. It can also improve digestion, reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, and increase weight loss results. Failing to stay hydrated can increase your fatigue, cause indigestion, and even lower your mood.

Conclusion

It depends on the person, of course. What feels wrong to one person might not be wrong for another. The spirit of this list is to help you identify bad habits so that you can eliminate them from your life.

Bad habits are hard to break, but they can be broken. You aren't stuck with these bad habits forever, so don't let them hold you back from reaching your goals.

Want to know where you stand in the five values of life tied to happiness (your five cores)? Take this two-minute Core Values Quiz to get your core score in the five values of life.

For more gamified habit hacks to build momentum in your life, follow me on IG, FB Group, and Tik Tok.

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Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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