Breaking Habits: How To Live Your Best Life

scrabble tiles on top of a paper
Reading Time: 12 minutes

This post contains affiliate links, where if you click on them, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. An an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

In the pursuit of a more fulfilling and successful life, self improvement and breaking harmful habits hold paramount importance

As we embark on a new year, the journey towards personal growth becomes an opportune moment to cultivate positive change. 

Self improvement is crucial to personal growth as it allows us to develop new skills,  enhance our mindset and achieve our goals. 

After all, it  is through personal development that we grow and become a better version of ourselves. 

Freeing ourselves from harmful, toxic habits transforms our behavior, health and overall wellbeing. 

If we can acknowledge  these habits we need to change, we are committing to self improvement and paving the way for a more fulfilling and successful life. 

Here are 24 Toxic Habits to Stop in 2024

Don’t have time to read? Save the pin below to read later.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only and does not constitute as professional advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding any specific questions or concerns you may have.

Breaking Habits That Hinder Proper Health and Well-Being

1. Procrastination

Procrastination is a toxic habit that can not only hinder achieving your goals but, as a result, hinders self development as well.  

This is number 1 on the list because procrastination is a complex behavior that is influenced by many psychological factors. 

There are many reasons that people procrastinate; and, while many people may believe procrastination is a result of laziness, this is simply not the case. 

Procrastination can occur for many different reasons  including:

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Perfectionism
  3. Lack of motivation
  4. Poor Time Management Skills
  5. Low Self Confidence
  6. Lack of Clear Goals
  7. Avoidance of Discomfort, and Overwhelm, to name a few. 

We’ll touch on many of these same habits later in this article and how you can work on breaking this habit. Understanding the underlying reason for procrastination can help you develop strategies to overcome this behavior and improve productivity. 

Related: Increase Productivity-20 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

2. Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is characterized by long periods of inactivity and can greatly impact  your health and wellbeing. 

Adopting a sedentary lifestyle can cause weight gain, decreased muscle mass as well as lead to an increased risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

By regularly incorporating exercise such as walking, jogging, biking, or engaging in recreational sports into your daily life, you’ll be able to make a significant difference in your health and wellbeing. 

Additionally, try incorporating short bursts of movement during your breaks throughout the day such as stretching. 

By making a commitment to an active lifestyle, you’ll experience improved health as well as increased energy levels and mental clarity. 

Be sure to consult with your doctor prior to starting any exercise regimen. 

3. Excessive Sugar Intake

Excessive sugar intake is a harmful habit that can have serious effects on your health. 

Consuming a high amount of sugar can complicate your health and lead to a whole host of problems such as diabetes, heart disease and dental issues. 

Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to decreased energy levels, mood swings and can impact cognitive function negatively. 

While it can be difficult to break free from this habit, there are practical ways to start incorporating a healthier diet into your life. 

Start by reading labels to identify hidden sugars in processed foods and opt for natural sugars such as fruit when available. 

If you’re a dessert person, (like me!), search for recipes that incorporate fresh fruits or other healthy foods. There’s a plethora of resources out there and the sky’s the limit! 

By embracing a balanced diet rich in whole foods, vegetables, and lean proteins, you’ll be able to curb sugar cravings and develop a healthier lifestyle and increase your wellbeing.  

By breaking harmful habits, we free ourselves from their negative consequences and open doors to new opportunities for improvement. 

4. Lack of Physical Activity

Similar to a sedentary lifestyle, another habit to break that will improve your life is to increase your physical activity. 

A lack of physical activity is a detrimental habit that can lead to a host of health problems and can decrease your physical and mental wellbeing. 

As stated above, embracing a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk for heart disease and diabetes. It can contribute to feelings of lethargy, negatively impact mental health, which can then lead to stress and anxiety. 

Start with small achievable goals and work towards increasing the intensity and duration of your exercise regimen. 

Even simple changes such as parking in the back of the parking lot and waking, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a big impact. 

Incorporate exercise into your daily schedule to ensure you’re planning for it. Every little bit helps and can make a profound difference in your health, and help you live your best life. 

5. Poor Sleep Habits

Ahh sleep, how I love thee.  Is it just me, or do you find getting adequate sleep nearly impossible from time to time? 

With the chaos of everyday living and the demands of work or school, it can be extremely difficult to get adequate sleep. However, a lack of sleep is another detrimental habit that can affect our health and wellbeing as well as can hinder you from living your best life.

Consistently getting insufficient sleep can lead to a wide range of health issues, including weakened immune system, mood disturbances as well as increasing your chance of chronic diseases. To break free from this harmful habit, prioritizing and optimizing sleep is crucial.

Establishing a consistent sleep schedule, a bedtime routine, and ensuring a comfortable sleep environment are essential steps to improving sleep quality. 

Reducing caffeine consumption and screen time can help you transition to a restful sleep quicker. 

By improving your sleep hygiene, you’ll be able to improve your mental health and become your best self this year. 

Breaking Habits That Hinder Personal Development

6. Negative Self-Talk

Negative self talk can hinder self development and breaking this habit is crucial for personal growth and well-being.  

Constantly berating yourself with pessimistic thoughts can lead to lowered self- esteem, increased stress and anxiety.  

By doing this, you are hindering your progress and preventing yourself from achieving your true potential.  

Try using positive affirmation cards to help increase your positive self talk.  There are many different ones you can purchase online like this one, or you can make your own.  

Choose phrases that resonate with you, and put them in a place where you frequently see them to remind yourself how awesome you are.  

Sign up below to receive my free affirmation cards to get started.  

7. Self-Doubt and Fear of Failure

Doubt is so easy to let creep into our lives if you give it a chance. 

Self doubt can paralyze you from taking risks and pursuing your dreams.  Embracing failure as a stepping stone to success allows for valuable learning experience and resilience.  

By overcoming self doubt, you are opening the door to new opportunities and allowing yourself the ability to achieve your goals and to live your best life.  

By replacing fear with determination and self belief, you can approach challenges and obstacles with more confidence and perseverance.  

Using positive affirmations as stated above can help lead to increased self esteem.  

Related | Staying Positive Through Doubt: Empowering Strategies for Inner Strength

8. Perfectionism

Breaking the habit of perfectionism is crucial for mental health and personal growth.  

While there’s nothing wrong with aiming for excellence, striving for perfectionism, however, can cause stress, anxiety and an unhealthy obsession with flawless outcomes, which can hinder personal development and growth.  

The constant fear of failure and judgment can prevent you from achieving your goals and live your best life. 

Embracing imperfections and allowing room for mistakes fosters a more compassionate and realistic self view.  

By shifting your mindset towards progress vs perfection, you can experience a more fulfilling sense of achievement and overall well being

9. Comparison and Self-Comparison on Social Media

Constantly comparing ourselves to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy, envy, and anxiety.  

It can make you feel as if you’re not good enough or not successful enough, which can lead to negative self-talk and hinder personal growth and development.  

It’s important to embrace our own journey through life and work towards our own goals. 

By embracing our own journey, we’ll be able to cultivate a healthier image of ourselves and recognize our own strengths.  

Everyone is on a different journey in life, and by recognizing this, we are able to maintain a more positive relationship with ourselves as well as lead a more fulfilling, authentic life.

10. Holding Grudges

Breaking the habit of holding grudges is crucial for personal well being and maintaining healthy relationships.  

Clinging to past grievances can be emotionally draining and lead to increased stress and negativity.  

When we hold grudges, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to heal and move forward in our life.  

Letting go of grudges also fosters forgiveness, which is a transformative and empowering experience.  

However, it is important to remember there is a difference between holding grudges and setting boundaries.  

Holding grudges refers to holding onto resentment and negative feelings towards someone for past actions or perceived wrongdoing.  

On the other hand, setting boundaries is a healthy practice that promotes self respect and self care while establishing clear limits and expectations for how others should treat us.  

Breaking Habits That Hinder Productivity and Time Management

11. Multitasking

Although multitasking can seem efficient, it can actually hinder productivity as it can lead to reduced focus and effectiveness in completing tasks.  

Constantly switching between tasks can increase errors, as well as stress.  

By prioritizing tasks one at a time, we can achieve a higher quality outcome as well as being present in the moment and enhance our abilities.  

Try using a planner to schedule your tasks and create a consistent workflow.  

Download my free planner bundle below to get started. 

12. Constantly Checking Social Media and Email

Constantly checking your social media and email can hinder productivity, and by breaking this habit, you’ll be able to maintain focus, productivity and mental health.  

These are frequent distractions that can disrupt our workflow and can lead to wasted time. 

While social media can be beneficial, overindulging in social media can lead to feelings of comparison, inadequacy anxiety. 

By limiting these distractions, we can regain control of our time and attention, while allowing us to focus on more meaningful and fulfilling activities.  

13. Not Setting Priorities

Setting priorities allows us to focus on what truly matters and allows us to allocate our time and energy to the most important tasks and responsibilities.  

Without clear priorities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in an ever growing to-do list, leading to stress and decreased productivity.  

By establishing priorities, you can maintain focus and get more accomplished, which can lead to accomplishing your goals and living your best life.  

If you need help getting started with setting priorities, download my free planner bundle to get started.  

14. Avoiding Difficult Tasks

Avoiding difficult tasks prevents us from becoming our best self by delaying our progress and goals.  

Whether avoiding difficult tasks is due to procrastination, self doubt or fear of failure, it’s important to face difficult tasks head on so that we can develop problem-solving skills, resilience, and a sense of accomplishment. Avoidance hinders us from becoming our best self.  

15. Overcommitting and Saying Yes To Everything

Breaking habits of overcommitting and saying yes to everything is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preserving our well-being.  

By continuously taking on more than you can handle, you are subsequently increasing your stress levels, burnout, as well as a decline in our work and relationships.  

By learning to set realistic boundaries, you are able to prioritize our time and energy on things that truly matters, which will allow for increased productivity as well as an increased fulfillment.  

Breaking this habit will enable you tto prioritize self care, which is crucial for self development as well as maintaining a healthy mindset. 

Breaking Habits That Hinder Financial Stability

16. Impulse Buying

Giving in to impulse buying can lead to unnecessary spending, debt and financial stress.  

By breaking this habit, you’ll be able to maintain financial stability and promote mindful consumption.  

Practice restraint and thoughtful consideration prior to making purchases, allowing yourself to really determine if the purchase is a want or a need.  And, even if it is a want, that’s ok, as long as you’ve given it some thought to make sure you really want it.  

Set a budget and try to stick with it.  Use a budget planner to stay focused on your financial goals and stay on track.  Here is a favorite. 

17. Neglecting Savings and Emergency Funds

Failing to save regularly can leave you without the means to provide and leave you vulnerable to unexpected expenses or financial hardships.  

By prioritizing savings and setting up an emergency fund, you’ll be creating a safety net to protect you from any unforeseen circumstances.  

Set aside a little bit with each paycheck to start building a savings and emergency fund.  

18. Not Budgeting and Tracking Expenses

Breaking habits of not budgeting and tracking expenses is essential for gaining control over personal finances and achieving financial goals.  

Without a budget, it can be challenging to determine where money is being spent and to determine any areas of potential savings.  

Budgeting helps us allocate our funds wisely, allowing us to spend where it’s necessary, while also making progress in paying off debt in a timely manner and saving for the future.  

By developing a positive budgeting habit, you’ll be able to reduce financial stress, avoid debt and build a saving foundation for the future.  

Start tracking your expenses with an expense tracker to help you start working towards your financial goals and live your best life. 

19. Accumulating Unnecessary Debt

Relying on credit for unnecessary expenses can lead to a cycle of debt that becomes difficult to manage. 

Interest payments can add up quickly, increasing the total amount of debt that you owe, making it so much more difficult to pay down in a timely manner.  

By avoiding unnecessary debt, you can maintain better control of finances, make wiser spending decisions, and avoid the burden of excessive interest payments.  

20. Ignoring Investments and Retirement Planning

Failing to plan for retirement and neglecting investment opportunities can lead to missed growth and financial security.  

Time is a valuable asset, and the quicker you can start preparing for your future, the better prepared you’ll be.  

Investing in yourself is crucial to self development.  

While it’s important to avoid unnecessary debt as stated above, not all debt is bad.  

Investing in yourself, whether it be continuing your education or starting a business, can lead to personal and financial growth.  

However, before jumping in head strong, it’s extremely important to do your own due diligence and research.  Discuss things with a counselor, whether school or financial, when starting a business or enrolling in classes to further your education.  

It’s important to invest in yourself so you can live your best life! 

Breaking Habits That Hinder Relationships and Communication

21. Gossiping and Spreading Negativity

Breaking the habit of gossiping and spreading negativity is essential for fostering positive relationships and personal growth.  

Engaging in gossip, not only creates a toxic environment, but it damages trust and respect among friends and co-workers.  

Spreading gossip and negativity, creates harmful energy, and can not only hurt feelings but can have detrimental effects on one’s mental health.  

I’m sure you’ve heard the the age old saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!”  

By breaking this habit, you can cultivate empathy and kindness, and promote  a culture of support and understanding among others.  

It’s important to be compassionate and understand that everyone is on a different journey.  

22. Overlooking Boundaries

Breaking the bad habit of overlooking boundaries is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and personal wellbeing.  

Ignoring boundaries set by others, can lead to a lack of respect for others’ needs and limitations, causing friction and resentment in the relationship.  

To foster open communication in relationships, respecting and honoring one’s boundaries is essential.  

Overlooking boundaries can also lead to burnout and a feeling of being taken advantage of, as it’s so easy to stretch ourselves too thin while trying to please others.  

Learn to set boundaries to maintain a healthy mindset and positive mental health. 

23. Holding onto Toxic Relationships

Try as we may, not all relationships we have will be healthy.  

Toxic relationships can drain us of our confidence, happiness, and energy as they often involve manipulation, negativity and lack of support. 

Holding onto these toxic relationships can hinder personal growth and development. 

While it may not be completely possible to break away from these toxic relationships altogether, there are certain strategies you can turn to to help your mental health. 

Setting boundaries is of utmost importance for preserving one’s health and self respect. 

By establishing clear boundaries, you can protect yourself from the toxic behavior’s harmful effects. 

Setting boundaries communicates a strong message that certain behaviors or actions are unacceptable and it creates a safer environment for you. 

I am not a licensed psychologist, so this is just for informational purposes only; however, if you need more guidance or information on relationships, I urge you to seek the help of a qualified professional who can help you. 

24. Failing To Express Gratitude and Appreciation

24. Failing to Express Gratitude and Appreciation

Failing to express gratitude and appreciation can hinder our ability to nurture meaningful relationships, and foster a positive mindset. 

By expressing genuine gratitude we acknowledge the kindness and support we receive and strengthen the bonds we have within these relationships. 

In addition, failing to express gratitude can lead to a negative mindset and prevent us from seeing all the goodness in the world. 

Journaling in a great way to start expressing gratitude and appreciating all that you have in your life. Try using prompt journals such as this one to help you in your journey. 

Journaling is such a profound way to live your best life, as you can not only document your thoughts and emotions, but also your progress and successes.  Life is a journey and through journaling, you’ll be able to capture every moment.  


Breaking habits is of utmost importance as it directly impacts our personal growth, well-being, and overall quality of life. 

Habits, whether positive or negative, shape our daily actions and behaviors. 

By breaking harmful habits, we free ourselves from their negative consequences and open doors to new opportunities for improvement. 

Breaking habits requires commitment, self-awareness, and perseverance as it will not happen overnight, but the rewards are significant. 

By replacing old habits with healthier alternatives, we can cultivate a more positive and fulfilling lifestyle. 

Breaking habits empowers you to take control of your choices and actions, which ultimately helps you live your best life.

Which of these bad habits will you work on? You don’t have to wait until 2024 to start breaking habits so you can live your best life- there’s no time like the present! Leave me a comment below!

Join the Simply With Focus Facebook Community!

2 responses to “Breaking Habits: How To Live Your Best Life”

  1. Deanna | Life By Deanna Avatar

    Working on the sugar intake one! It’s something I could definitely improve on

  2. Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment) Avatar

    So many great points in this post. Very important and the suggestions are helpful to breaking many habits you mentioned. Thank you for sharing on this topic. 😊

    Pastor Natalie (ExamineThisMoment)

Discover more from simply with focus

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading