Getting rid of bad habits can be even more difficult than creating new habits. Therefore, it is not a surprise why a lot of people just rather “accept” and embrace the way they are.
However, the truth is, every person can work on him or herself to become a better human being. Although, I admit that it is easier said than done. Why? Because most of our actions are a reflection of our habits.
Usually, we form habits unconsciously, to perform tasks efficiently without having to deliberate every single time about the actions we must take in certain situations.
According to Psychology Today “Habits are built through learning and repetition. A person is thought to develop a habit in the course of pursuing goals by beginning to associate certain cues with behavioral responses that help meet the goal. Over time, thoughts of the behavior and ultimately the behavior itself are likely to be triggered by these cues”.
Simply said, a habit is a repeated behavior triggered by certain cues. These repeated behaviors save themselves in our brains and work the same way a code does for a computer, triggering certain actions under certain circumstances, making our responses quick and efficient.
But, what happens when the habits we form are bad habits?
The best thing about a habit could also be the bad thing about it: they are hard to break. While good habits make our life easier, bad habits can complicate it a lot.
A bad habit is formed the same way as any other habit, through repetition, and it is engraved deeply in our minds. Therefore, even when we become conscious about them, they are really hard to break. “Habits are a person’s behavior running on auto-pilot” (Psychology Today, n.d.). Most of the time, we do not stop to think about why we behave a certain way in a given situation.
So, is everything lost then?
No. Bad habits or unhealthy habits are difficult to break but, certainly, it is not impossible.
After all, one can change the code that runs a computer, right? In the same manner, a human being is capable of analyzing its own conducts and patterns and understanding when they are harming its performance.
To rephrase it, you are capable of noticing when you are ruining your own life with your actions.
Hence, the first step to breaking any bad habit is noticing and acknowledging it. In addition, understanding the cues that trigger those habits, or the motivation behind them, will also help you to modify your behaviors.
In other words, when you understand what’s wrong with the algorithm and where the problem is coming from, it is easier to fix it.
Yet, as I said, the first step is to acknowledge those bad habits.
You might be doing some of them without even realizing it!
So? Let’s take some time for some introspection and self-reflection.
Here a list of 107 bad habits that harm people physically, mentally, and emotionally. Therefore, if you find yourself doing any of these, then you’ve found the problem with your algorithm and it’s time to work on it.
107 bad habits to break this year
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Sleeping with your lights or TV on
- Not dressing your bed for yourself
- Body shaming yourself
- Trying to fit in society’s unreal beauty standards
- Exercising only to reach a specific number on the scale
- Eating too little or not eating at all
- Skipping meals
- Cutting out certain groups of foods from your diet because they are ¨unhealthy¨
- Not including vegetables or fruits in your daily meals
- Dieting all the time
- Missing out from dinners and parties because you are on a diet
- Not enjoying your food
- Not indulging yourself when you have cravings
- Eating solely based on emotions
- Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol
- Not drinking enough water
- Eating while watching your phone
- Not eating slow enough
- Gossiping about friends and family
- Shaming other people
- Bringing other people down to feel superior
- Competing instead of hyping up your partners and friends
- Criticizing behaviors you do yourself
- Giving uninvited opinions
- Wanting to force your will or belief on someone else
- Fighting with anyone who thinks or acts differently than you
- Not apologizing for your mistakes
- Not taking responsibility for the damage you might have caused someone
- Victimizing yourself
- Gaslighting other´s people feelings
- Thinking your feelings invalidates the other person’s feelings
- Not admitting when you are wrong
- Fighting fights that you aren´t going to win (even if you are right)
- Thinking you are right about everything
- Trying to get back at someone when you feel offended
- Taking everything for granted
- Thinking friends and family should text YOU constantly, because if not they don´t care about you as much as you do for them
- Caring too much about what people think
- Thinking people you´ve helped are indebted to you in any way
- Getting mad when someone says no
- Fighting to have the last word instead of keeping silent in an argument
- Being discourteous or rude just because you aren’t in the mood
- Not being thankful
- Expressing anger with tantrums instead of words
- Blaming someone else for your failures or mistakes
- Thinking everything that people do to you is personal
- Not wanting to grow or learn
- Thinking you’ve acquired enough knowledge in life
- Not working on your self-improvement
- Not setting personal and professional goals
- Underestimating yourself
- Not organizing your priorities
- Not saying no
- Carrying grudges from the past
- Not being assertive
- Not analyzing your behaviors to see what you can be better at
- Comparing yourself to others
- Not taking care of yourself
- Spending too much time on social media
- Not having boundaries
- Procrastinating or avoiding a task because of how it makes you feel
- Not acknowledging your negative feelings
- Not finishing what you start
- Spending money on things that aren’t worth it
- Living trying to impress other people
- Thinking about what could´ve been
- Apologizing for everything
- Oversharing information
- Putting someone else’s need before yours
- Not spending time with your loved ones
- Being a people pleaser
- Not saving money
- Constantly imagining the worst cases scenarios before acting
- Not being proactive
- Being afraid of starting something new
- Staying in places you are not welcomed
- Not knowing or valuing your worth
- Spending all your day sedentary and idle
- Not being honest about your feelings
- Not planning ahead
- Trying to fix someone else’s emotional problems (unless you are a mental health professional, duh)
- Not having fun
- Using honesty as an excuse to be hurtful
- Hitting the snooze button
- Not asking for help when you need it
- Measuring your success with other people’s success
- Making shopping your therapy
- Not living in the moment
- Feeling lonely when you are alone
- Not tracking your habits
- Feeling superior to other people for any reason
- Not taking any risks
- Living alienated from other people
- Waiting for special occasions to give love or celebrate
- Keeping clutter in your house
- Complaining about everything
- Not putting things back where they belong
- Being late for everything
- Writing negative comments on the internet
- Not living in the moment
- Telling white lies
- Not tracking your finances
- Beating yourself up after any failure
- Not taking care of the environment
- Trying to do more than you can handle
- Not believing in yourself
Bad habits and you…
Breaking a bad habit is not an easy task. After all, the first step for doing so is to admit that we are doing something wrong, which, honestly speaking, is incredibly difficult for a lot of us. Furthermore, ending a bad habit also involves stepping out of our comfort zone.
Regardless, human beings have proved to be able to adapt and transform their behaviors whenever it was necessary. We proved ourselves to be resilient… and quite smart too.
So, if you’ve found yourself repeating a bad habit, first acknowledge it. Second, understand why you have this bad habit. Third, state why you want to change it, and finally, work on a plan to do so.
As usual, if you can’t do it alone, search for help either from your family, friends, or a professional…
Oh! And I forgot something else we’ve proved to be able to do… We are capable of growing and improving ourselves and you are not an exception.