We all have bad habits. Some of them are small and inconsequential, some not so much. However, no matter what the habit is, if it stops you enjoying your life or life with your family or friends, it’s time to give it up. So here, in no particular order of importance, are the ten most common bad habits and the most effective ways to break them.
Table of Contents
Common Bad Habits and How to Break them:
Smoking is by far the worst bad habit you can have. It is completely disgusting, it makes your clothes and breath smell, and it will kill you, so why do tens of millions of people continue to smoke? Because it’s really addictive and extremely difficult to give up.
So, how to do it? Well, I’m no expert so I can’t offer medical advice but vaping is certainly a good option and according to a recent study from the NHS in the UK, a great deal less harmful than tobacco (1).
2. Fast food
Is fast food as bad for you as smoking? Probably not, but if you are looking to be overweight and die younger, fast food is a great choice. Unfortunately, there are no saving graces when it comes to fast food.
You can’t claim that it’s nutritious or contains your daily five. You can’t even claim that it’s easy or cheap since there is no way it’s cheaper than buying real food and cooking is not really difficult to do if you make an effort. So just say no to fast food.
3. Social media
Social media seems to me to be similar to gossiping or spreading rumors. Sure, it may be fun if you’re that kind of person, but does it really add any quality to your life? That was a rhetorical question.
The answer is absolutely not. Social media is one of the biggest wastes of time of your day. The solution to social media is clear – delete your accounts, re-engage with the real world, and start living again.
Related: 10 Tips to Stop Being Manipulated by Social Media
4. Watching TV
After social media, watching TV might be the next biggest waste of time. Television has no saving graces either. Okay, I know what you’re going to say and you’re right. It is educational but the problem is that no one stays for long watching educational programs.
Eventually, you’ll move onto ‘Get Me Outta Here. I’m an Idiot’ or ‘The Bachelor – I Can’t Find Myself a Husband in the Normal Way’. Just say no to TV and pick up a book, you’ll benefit much more in the long run.
5. Credit cards
Credit cards are like plastic crack and should be treated in the same way. In fact, if your government actually cared about you, they would make credit cards illegal and save millions of people from going into ruinous debt.
However, this not going to happened banks and credit card companies lobbied your government to get rid of usury laws. This is an easy habit to break. Cut up your plastic, pay off your debts, and never apply for another credit card… EVER.
6. White sugar
White sugar should come with a government health warning. Like smoking and fast food, white sugar will eventually kill you. It will kill you because you become overweight and have a heart attack. Or you will end up being diabetic and it will kill you that way.
There are no benefits to eating white sugar so stop. Use sweetener when you can and if you can’t, avoid the food that contains it.
7. Drinking soda
Soda is another horrible habit that’s time has come. Do you remember that urban myth about how, if you put a tooth into a container of soda, it will disappear by the next day? Well, that’s complete nonsense, I’m afraid. However, it doesn’t mean that soda is a health drink either.
It contains a great deal of sugar. In fact in the UK, when the government told Coke Cola to reduce the sugar in its drink, the company refused and now has to pay a sugar tax. The good news is that now it’s more expensive, fewer people in the UK drink it.
8. Working too hard
We have talked a lot about obviously bad habits but let’s look at something that would seem like a good habit, and that’s working hard. I am pretty sure you have heard the phrase ‘Nobody lying on their deathbed ever wished they had spent more time at the office’ but if you haven’t, think about that.
If you work too many hours, stop. Decide on a time to finish work and finish at that time, no matter what. Your partner and kids will love you a lot more for it, and you’ll like your life a lot more too.
9. Spending too much
Are you one of those people that have too much month at the end of your wages? Well, you’re not the only one. On average, most people in the west spend 110% of their wages each month, which is completely ridiculous. If you’re one of those people, you need to get your spending under control.
Cutting up the credit cards is a good place to start, and then working on all your other debts. Getting out of debt is one of the best ways of getting out of the habit of spending too much.
10. Recognizing bad habits
To finish off this list, you should understand that bad habits don’t happen overnight. They become bad habits over time. You need to recognize that you are forming bad habits and stop before they become habits that are hard to break. Look at your life and decide how to fix the ones you already have and then learn how to avoid forming new ones.
Everybody has bad habits so don’t beat yourself up because you do too. The point is not that you have them but how to get rid of them. If you can form a strategy that allows you to break the bad habits you have and another strategy to stop forming new ones, you will be on a good path. Finally, work at one bad habit at a time. You do not need to get rid of them all at the same time.