Here Are 6 Bad Habits You Need To Stop In 2024

Here Are 6 Bad Habits You Need To Stop In 2024

2024 has arrived, and many people are considering making impactful lifestyle changes for the new year. Bad habits like overeating junk foods, spending too much recreational time staring at screens, continually putting off essential tasks, failing to prioritize sleep, splurging on impulse buys, and mindlessly scrolling social feeds hourly have likely crept into your daily routines without conscious thought. And over time, these energy-draining patterns can sabotage overall well-being if left unchecked.

The turning of the calendar provides the perfect catalyst to take action against unhealthy behaviors. Doing so liberates more time and energy to invest in self-care. This article highlights six standard bad habits prime for adjustment and expert tips to modify each. Even small steps to curb one or two nagging issues still pay dividends. Read on to explore actionable advice on improving nutrition, productivity, rest, financial prudence, and digital wellness to make 2024 your healthiest, happiest year.

1. Overeating Unhealthy Foods

Overeating foods high in sugar, fat, and salt is one of the most common bad habits that can quickly sabotage reasonable health goals. The dangers of overeating these types of unhealthy items include weight gain or obesity, which increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. According to data from the CDC in 2020, 42.4% of Americans were obese. Additionally, roughly 70% of American adults are overweight. Overconsumption of junk foods is catching up to many people’s well-being.

The new year presents an excellent opportunity to get this habit under control. Here are some tips to curb overeating sweets, fatty fried items, and other nutritionally bankrupt options in 2024:

  • Never go grocery shopping when hungry. An empty stomach often leads to poor impulse control in the aisles. Enjoy a snack beforehand to mitigate cravings.
  • Use smaller plates and bowls at home to make reasonable portions look fuller. Be mindful as larger dinnerware leads to more giant portion scoops.
  • When snacking directly from a bag or box, pre-portion items into bowls or baggies instead of mindlessly reaching for more.
  • Keep a food journal. Studies show manually writing down meals and snacks increases awareness of intake and reduces overdoing it.
  • Stock up on convenient, healthy, grab-and-go foods like yogurt and nuts, and cut veggies or fruit to avoid eating unhealthy snacks out of desperation.

2. Cut Down on Screen Time

Americans spend staggering amounts of time daily glued to digital devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. An average US adult spends over 11 hours looking at screens for recreation on a typical day. Beyond concerns about sedentary effects, research correlates excessive screen time to issues like sleep disruption, eye strain, poor concentration and memory, social isolation, anxiety, and depression.

Make 2024 the year you pry yourself away from the allure of endlessly scrolling social sites and streaming video services. Start laying the groundwork for healthier digital habits with a few painless adjustments:

  • Use apps like Freedom or Forest to block distracting sites and apps when focus is needed elsewhere.
  • Institute a pre-set schedule for recreational screen use, allowing yourself set blocks of time while maintaining balance for other activities.
  • Swap online activities that don’t involve staring at a device, like reading an engaging novel or spending quality time connecting with friends and family offline.

3. Stop Putting Things Off

Procrastination hurts productivity and causes abundant undue stress. Consider how often important tasks like completing work projects, paying bills, running errands, making doctor appointments, or starting an exercise plan continually bump down an endless to-do list. In 2024, nip this bad habit in the bud. You’ll reclaim time wasted anxiously thinking about what you should be doing and enjoy a sense of accomplishment checking items off your list.

Defeating the urge to stall comes down to self-discipline. Implement these anti-procrastination tactics:

  • Each morning, create an ordered list detailing what needs to get done that day. Allot time slots for each item, with earnest work commitments at the top.
  • Give yourself incentives for task completion, like enjoying only 30 minutes of screen time after certain chores or responsibilities are crossed off.
  • Try the salami slice technique for extremely important or complex projects—break them into smaller mini-tasks to make the process less overwhelming.

4. Improve Your Sleep Habits

Quality sleep plays a foundational yet often neglected role in physical and mental health. Adults should aim for 7-9 hours of quality shut-eye per night, while getting less than that on a chronic basis can disrupt hormone regulation, immunity function, and critical body systems. Insufficient sleep also tanks concentration, emotional stability, performance at work and in academics, and more. Prioritize healthy sleep habits like:

  • Try to turn in and get up consistently daily, even on weekends, training your body’s internal clock for better nightly rest.
  • Develop a relaxing pre-bed routine free of screen time to cue your body it’s time for slumber.
  • If you regularly have difficulty falling or staying asleep, avoid naps, limit caffeine past early afternoon, and establish an appropriately calm, dark, and quiet sleep environment.
  • Early sunlight helps regulate melatonin release, as does avoiding screens a few hours before bedtime.

5. Reduce Impulsive Spending

Mindless swiping of credit cards on online and in-real-life purchases provides temporary gratification, but this lousy habit wreaks havoc on savings goals down the road. What’s worse is that much of the stuff people impulse buy gets minimal use and ends up as clutter around the house.

Regain control in 2024 with intelligent strategies to counter spending temptations when they strike:

  • Unsubscribe from promotional emails from retailers, which often prompt wish list browsing and trigger purchases.
  • Institute a mandatory waiting period for more significant purchases to let the urge fade.
  • Find happiness in experiences like travel or time with loved ones rather than the quick hit of retail therapy.
  • Automate transfers from each paycheck into long-term savings accounts before discretionary money appears easily spendable.

6. Break Your Social Media Addiction

Americans spend almost 2 hours traversing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms daily. While these services provide entertainment and connection value, research increasingly associates excessive use with issues like poor sleep, anxiety, depression, attention span declines, unrealistic perceptions of others’ lives, and fear of missing out (FOMO).

Loosen the grip of apps and sites that lead to mindlessly flipping through feeds for hours. Protect mental health by budgeting limited social media blocks into daily schedules. Further reduce habitual phone scrolling by:

  • Deleting apps with endless, autoplaying feeds like Facebook and TikTok from your smartphone home screen to reduce tapping temptation.
  • Setting screen time limits on distracting apps, allowing only a set duration of daily access.
  • Finding new hobbies and activities for times you’d typically dive down rabbit holes of posts, photos, and stories.

The inertia of comfortable routines makes breaking bad habits difficult. But envisioning the health dividends possible in as little as a few weeks can galvanize change. Shedding some unhealthy behaviors above sets you on course for a happier, lighter, and more productive 2024.

Case Study: Adrian’s 2024 Health Transformation


Adrian is a 32-year-old accountant who has struggled with several ongoing health and lifestyle issues over the last few years. He is about 40 pounds overweight, often overeats unhealthy convenience foods, spends several hours daily scrolling sites and playing games on his phone/tablet, continually puts off important tasks until the last minute, struggles with insomnia most nights, frequently overspends on impulse food/retail purchases, and finds himself mindlessly using social media almost hourly throughout the day.

These patterns have developed slowly, without Adrian realizing how much they impacted his well-being. He knew change was needed but struggled to break cycles until finally making a New Year’s resolution to take control.


Adrian felt motivated and empowered to improve his health situation. He decided to tackle overeating first, given this bad habit’s strong ties to his weight and health issues. Tactics he applied included:

  • Making a grocery list ahead of each shopping trip to avoid impulse junk food purchases
  • Portioning snack foods into single-serve containers
  • Writing down everything he ate and drank in a food journal app
  • Keeping his home stocked with healthier grab-and-go options like Greek yogurt and pre-cut veggies


Within three weeks of implementing some of these tactics around overeating, Adrian lost 6 pounds simply from increased awareness and planning alone. This early success propelled him to keep adjusting his daily routines over the following months.

By the end of September 2024, Adrian met impressive health milestones by also reducing recreational screen time, staying on top of important deadlines, prioritizing 7+ hours of sleep nightly, decreasing impulse shopping, and limiting social media use to an hour a day maximum through site-blocking apps and scheduled access limits.

Adrian has improved concentration at work and home, has more free time for hobbies, and possesses a greater sense of discipline around decisions impacting his physical and mental well-being. Adrian can finally enjoy lasting, positive change.

Key Takeaways

Curb overeating junk food through planning tactics like grocery lists, portion control, and food journaling to lose weight and improve health.

  • Reduce recreational screen time and opt for more offline activities to ease digital distraction and anxiety.
  • Defeat procrastination by assigning set schedules for essential tasks and providing self-rewards for finished items.
  • Prioritize sufficient nightly sleep through earlier bedtimes and pre-sleep routines for better concentration and well-being.
  • Institute waiting periods and financial automation to counter impulse buys and build future savings.
  • Moderate social media intake by deleting addictive apps, setting limits, and replacing mindless scrolling with enriching hobbies.


Excessive unhealthy food consumption, digital immersion, procrastination tendencies, sleep deprivation, overspending, and social media addiction are everyday habits prime for fine-tuning in 2024. This year, trading these energy-zapping patterns for more intentional, balanced routines around nutrition, productivity, rest, financial prudence, and digital wellness overflows with possibility. Commit now by identifying the most pressing area that needs attention, then leverage techniques tailored to that situation. Stay resolute, and enjoy the fruits of positive change in your physical and mental health.