17 Things You’ll Regret Wasting Your Time on in 10 Years

There are no truer words than Mary Browne’s “You reap what you sow. You get what you earn. You are what you eat.” Decisions you make today bring good and bad results, and it’s up to you to use your time well. Avoid these 17 things so you’ll be able to look at your present self without regrets.

Ignoring Your Mental Health

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No, you won’t “snap out of it,” and it won’t “go away with time.” When you see yourself drowning in psychological distress, which may have caused you to adopt a bad social lifestyle, you have to make intentional efforts to help yourself. Invest in yourself mentally through therapy, books, skill acquisition, financial literacy, and working towards a goal.

Pleasing Others

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Going out of your way and character to please others isn’t the best way to live. No one ever sees you or loves you for who you are, and it’ll be a burden for you to keep up with. You eventually have to put the mask down, and this almost always means you’ll lose people who liked your surface personality.


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When you smoke continuously, you put yourself at risk of a plethora of health issues. It’s not just lung cancer; you may have to deal with heart diseases, diabetes, bronchitis, ulcers, and eye diseases. The best part about stopping now is that, in 10 years, your risk of cancer and kidney diseases drops by half, the CDC explains.

Keeping Bad Company

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The wrong company can lead you to make very bad life choices. You may be forced to adopt social vices like consuming hard drugs, being a member of occultic gangs, or committing outright robbery. In other cases, keeping negative peers could make you have poor self-perception, low self-esteem, and lose motivation to do better for yourself.


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Spending time consuming alcohol puts you at risk of liver diseases, mouth cancer, throat cancer, and even breast cancer. The CDC shares that when you keep up with this behavior for a long time, you may develop chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive problems.

Thinking of Only Yourself

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Being selfish only pushes everyone to never have consideration for you since you don’t have consideration for them anyway. It’s a poor behavioral trait that could chase family and friends away—loved ones who are supposed to be there when you need them. Selfishness sets you on a path to loneliness.

Ducking Out of Difficult Conversations

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No matter how much you feel that avoiding arguments preserves your relationships, it only hides negative feelings. It builds up resentment that’ll spill out more violently in the future. Avoiding difficult conversations denies you and your partner the chance to grow and understand each other’s needs more.

Eating Unhealthily

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A poor diet increases the long-term risk of clogging up your arteries with fat and cholesterol, a condition known as atherosclerosis. You also suffer from the effects of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard, advises that changing to a healthier Mediterranean diet now can lower your long-term risks by 80%.

Nurturing a Huge Ego

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The time you spend showing others that you’re better than them only creates conflict with others and even within yourself. Everyone understands you to be aggressive and hostile and will try to stay away from you. Also, you don’t have enough self-reflection and self-perception to know what’s good and bad for you, which blinds you to life-changing opportunities and relationships.

Being Scared of Change

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The fear of change will keep you in the most unhealthy and uncomfortable of situations. You keep yourself away from new opportunities and never really reach your full potential. Being afraid of change means you’ll always stay with that abusive partner, keep yourself in that dangerous neighborhood, or waste your time working that toxic job.

Contemplating Taking Action

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Delay and procrastination mean you put many of your dreams on hold. They could cause you to miss the perfect opportunities to strike due to unreadiness, and this will be something you’ll regret in the long term. You waste time thinking of tasks instead of taking action, potentially ruining productivity in your career.

Pursuing Goals and Giving Up

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What else defines a waste better than spending time and money pursuing a goal and stalling it halfway? It’s common for things to get tough, but what you don’t want to do is give up on your dreams and goals every time you encounter failure. As Mark Zuckerberg shared with CNBC, “The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.” Give yourself that freedom, and don’t waste your time by stopping.

Micromanaging Your Life

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Incessantly watching every step you take and every interaction you engage in is a way to keep yourself in a box. You skip on an investment or never ask your crush out because there’s “risk” to it. In the end, you never experience life and all it can offer as you put yourself in a constant state of stress and worry.

Living Above Your Means

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Living above your means pushes you into debt, and this is one of the worst things you can do for your financial and mental health. A Forbes survey reveals that a huge number of people develop anxiety, sleep disorders, and even depression due to debt-related stress. It’s a financial strain on you that could prevent you from embarking on needed change or even staying secure within relationships.

Settling For Less

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Whether it’s a relationship, job, or city to live in, if you know it’s not exactly what you want, understand that you’ll be unhappy in the long run. Settling for less diminishes the self-image and self-worth you have built up for yourself. It doesn’t allow you to pursue what really makes you happy, which will bite you hard in a decade.

Failing to Set Boundaries

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Boundaries are what you use to determine your level of self-respect and how you demand respect from others. Without them, you give people the chance to walk over you, and you also let yourself go to your destructive desires. It’ll make you hate yourself during times of self-reflection.

Holding On to the Past

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Failing to let go of past mistakes and experiences denies you the chance to grow as a person. You never see and work with things as they are, but instead, waste time trying to fix the past without any success. Alongside having anxiety and low self-esteem issues, you only set yourself up to make even more bad choices that you’ll regret later on.

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