If you want to be a better person next year, say goodbye to these 10 habits

Everyone wants to become a better person—especially at the start of the year.

Sadly, most of us fail. 

Research shows that only 9% of people are able to actually keep their resolutions. In fact, 43% quit before January ends!

I think it’s because we set grand goals and try to add more habits…when we still have a lot of bad ones that are pulling us down.

What if we change our approach?

What if we make 2024 all about ditching bad habits, and nothing more? 

If you want to be a better person, these are the habits you should say goodbye to next year.

1) Waking up late 

I’m not proposing that you should wake up at 3:45 like Tim Cook or at 4:30 like Michelle Obama.

Hell, you don’t even have to rise at six in the morning like most early birds.

While there are many studies that show the correlation between waking up early and success, it’s not applicable for everybody.

Not everyone is wired to be an early-riser. And as crazy as it sounds, there are many successful people who wake up quite late!

So what am I proposing, then?

First, you must figure out the best time for you to wake up based on your body clock and then, well…STICK TO IT!

As tempting as it might be to sleep for “five more minutes”, don’t—not even during your days off! 

It’s going to ruin your sleep schedule and leave you more sleep deprived than you ought to be.

So if you want to be a better person, start with respecting your alarm clock. The moment it rings, force yourself to wake up. 

This simple habit can dramatically improve your health, mood, and of course— productivity.

2) Eating junk

Eating junk like chips and fast food can not only make you unhealthy, it can also contribute to anxiety and depression.

Yes, I know that this is just health 101, but way too many people forget about this and that’s precisely why it’s worth talking about.

I’m not saying you become a health nut who only eats kale and oats. What I’m asking here is that you do your best to make your diet as junk-free as possible.

I know it’s not that easy. I love my Cheetos and Oreos, too. But we have no choice if we want to get better.

You can start simple, by doing things like not stocking your pantry with chips or by deleting your food delivery apps. 

You’ll be amazed at how these two simple acts can transform your life for the better.

3) Putting self-care as last priority

When we think about success and growth, the last thing in our minds is our wellness.

In fact, many of us are perfectly willing to set aside (or even sacrifice) our health and wellbeing just to pursue our grand dreams. 

We’ve convinced ourselves that self-care is laziness.

We think naps are for the weak:

That spending 2 hours in the bathtub is indulgent, 

That engaging in our hobbies is a total waste of time.

While I agree that self-care shouldn’t take up 80% of our time, it shouldn’t be considered as optional. It is a MUST for us to take care of ourselves.

If you never spend any time unwinding with your hobbies or napping when you’re stressed, then you’ll be burnt out before you know it.

It’s important to have the self-discipline to work on your goals, but don’t forget to sit back, relax, and take care of yourself, too.

4) Overindulgence

undeniable signs youre someones first thought in the morning If you want to be a better person next year, say goodbye to these 10 habits

Binge-eating. Binge-watching. Binge-drinking.

Doom Scrolling on social media and gaming all day.

I know those things bring you joy…and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying life’s pleasures every now and then. 

The problem comes when you overindulge. 

If you don’t learn to say “Uh-oh, time to stop”, you could easily waste your life away, and before you know it… BAM! You’re 50 years old and struggling to get by.

If you want a better life, you need to be a better person first.

And for that to happen, you need to have the self-discipline to limit how deeply you indulge in the good things in life. Otherwise, they turn into vices.

So master the art of self-control now, before you lose control of your life.

5) Being too “meh” about everything

Climate change? Meh.

The war in Gaza? Meh.

Your neighbor inviting you to dinner? Meh.

If you’re going to find everything in life  “meh” , then expect life to “meh” back at you. 

While that’s probably okay if you really don’t care about becoming a better person, but if you do—and I know you do because you’re reading this article— then you have to start CARING.

  • Start being curious to learn more about the world you live in.
  • Try to develop more empathy.
  • Start participating in causes big and small.
  • Start reaching out and building a friend group—even a small one, should you be an introvert.

There’s been a lot of emphasis on boundaries and individuality in recent decades. And while it’s important to set boundaries and to assert ourselves as individuals, we must take care not to go too far.

We still have families and friends. We still belong to a community. 

Try as we might to live only for ourselves, we can’t help but affect the lives of the people around us nonetheless.

6) Being too “happy-go-lucky” about the future

Don’t get me wrong. It’s awesome being a happy-go-lucky person.

The problem is when you take being “happy-go-lucky” to mean being absolutely, thoroughly passive.

You have big dreams, but you don’t put in any effort into achieving them. 

For one reason or another you just sit still, thinking that the world will eventually hand you what you want.

Here’s the thing: don’t expect things to get better with this attitude. I know someone exactly like this, and they’ve gone absolutely nowhere.

  • You have to be intentional. 
  • You have to set goals that you can truly achieve.
  • You have to hold yourself accountable for your own life.

If you don’t take the wheel and drive where YOU want to go, then others will lead you around and take you where THEY want you to be.

And you don’t want that. 

So take charge starting now and get proactive with your life.

7) Saying “Yes” when you really want to say “No”

You don’t have to please anyone, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying “no.”

Is your partner asking you for sex and you really don’t feel like it? Say no.

Does your bestie want to move in with you but you want your privacy? Say no.

You might think you’re being selfish— and you might feel a little guilty over it—but you seriously don’t need any reason to say “no” beyond “I don’t feel like it”. 

So how can this make you a better person, you might ask? 

Simple. It means you’re prioritizing yourself—that you respect yourself, your time, and your peace of mind.

And of course, remember to say “yes” when you want to say “yes” as well.

8) Letting your emotions get the best of you

man low self worth If you want to be a better person next year, say goodbye to these 10 habits

Are you too emotionally reactive?

Do you say hurtful things when you’re angry?

Do you make impulsive decisions based on how you feel?

Have you hurt people because of your temper?

Then please, do yourself and everyone you love a favor. Learn to keep yourself under control before you end up destroying all your relationships.

But if things don’t improve, then don’t be afraid to try getting therapy. It’s a good investment for yourself and your relationships.

If you’re a moody person and your relationships have suffered from your temperament, then this should be your top priority if you truly want to become a better person.

9) Relying so much on others

Do you call your friends every time you have a crisis?

Do you fall short on rent so often that you ask your parents $1000 every month?

Do you ask help from colleagues and friends all the time?

Then you definitely need to be more self-reliant!

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from others every now and then. It’s not a weakness to cry on a friend’s shoulder or to ask for a hundred bucks now and then for rent.

But it should definitely not be a habit. 

It should not be so predictable that other people know you for it.

Once it gets to that point, you know that you have to change.

Ultimately you want to be the kind of person that others can rely on, instead of the one depending on others’ generosity all the time.

10) Self-rejection and negative self-talk

When I talk to artists about what habits I need to avoid if I want to get better at art, one of their first pieces of advice is “cut the negative self-talk!”

They said that I shouldn’t be saying things like “oh, it’s not even THAT great” or “I mean, I suck” even if I don’t really mean it because it’s still going to dig into my subconscious.

And that advice isn’t just about art. It applies to life at large.

If someone says that you’re pretty, then smile and thank them, instead of saying “Oh pfff! You’re such a liar!”

And if you’re applying for your dream job, don’t be afraid to send your resumé! They might accept it or they might not, but every shot you don’t fire is a shot missed.

In other words, don’t let yourself get in the way of your happiness.

Learn to get rid of negative thoughts and surround yourself with people who truly believe in you.

You can’t become the best version of yourself if you’re always pulling yourself down.

Last words

Don’t fret if all of this looks like a lot, or if it seems like getting rid of these habits is too much to follow through on.

Just work on them little by little and be patient with yourself. 

And that’s what ideal New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be—not an announcement for immediate change the moment you change your calendar, but a promise to improve yourself through the rest of the year.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.