16 daily habits of people who don’t have a purpose in life

We’ve all had auto-pilot days – moments where everything we do feels as aimless as the last.

Thankfully, these days are rare and not the norm for us.

Sadly, however, auto-pilot days can be the daily reality for some people.

They wake up each day without a sense of purpose, and this lack of direction causes them to develop habits that become empty rituals.

It’s not that they don’t have potential or are incapable. 

It goes deeper:

Underneath these habits lie feelings of uncertainty, lack of clarity, or a search for meaning.

To give you an idea, here’s a list of some of the daily habits common among people who don’t have a purpose in life:

1) They abuse the snooze button

This is a habit I’m guilty of. 

Don’t get me wrong, hitting the snooze button as much as you want is okay as long as you still wake up in time for work, school, or your daily commitments.

But if you’re tapping snooze a gazillion times to delay the start of your day, be alarmed (pun intended).

Snoozing frequently and having irregular wake-up times is a scary combination because it signifies that you don’t have a clear direction for the day. And worse, for your life.

2) They wear their pajamas all day

Again, many of us are probably guilty of enjoying occasional pajama days. 

But just so we’re on the same page, this is not the same as having a lazy day off or staying in comfy clothes because you feel under the weather. 

Wearing jammies all day, every day can be a clue that someone isn’t setting boundaries between different parts of their day. 

And if you think it through, it does somehow make sense. 

After all, with no set plans, why would they bother splitting up time?

3) Personal hygiene is NOT a must in their daily routine

Not bothering with regular showers or brushing teeth is not only a sign of bad personal hygiene.

It can also be a clue that someone can’t be bothered because they don’t have any goals or activities that make them want to be presentable and feel good about themselves.

4) They spend a lot of time on their appearance

On the flip side, excessively focusing on how they look can also be another coping mechanism to counteract feelings of aimlessness.

They can spend hours obsessing about their appearance, dressing up and doing their hair and make up even if they have nothing planned.

They probably do this to give structure to their day and fill their time. 

It’s their way of creating a sense of accomplishment, at least until they eventually come up with a life goal to invest their time in.

On that note, allow me to add this:

While taking the time to doll up is part of healthy self-care, it’s also important to spot the moment it turns from a positive routine into a way to avoid facing deeper problems.

5) They go on streaming sprees

Binge-watching is another way people without a clear purpose fill the void created by their lack of meaningful daily activities.

Watching series after series is an easy and accessible form of distraction that requires little to no effort and commitment. 

These viewing marathons allow them to momentarily escape reality and live in another world where they can avoid confronting the more challenging task of setting and pursuing meaningful personal goals.

6) They’re glued to their controllers 

There’s watching and then there’s gaming.

Also, there are people who play video games for some R&R and there are people who play professionally. 

Then there’s a third group:

People who play video games for hours on end each and every day. Not for leisure, not as a career, but to fill the empty space left by the lack of direction in their lives. 

The thrill of winning or levelling up in a game starts to feel like the achievements they’re missing out on in the real world, pointing to a deeper hunger for meaning and direction.

7) They don’t make it past Chapter One

From video games, let’s turn the page and talk about books – specifically, those who are excited to buy them but end up losing interest after the first few chapters.

Some readers stop reading because it’s no longer interesting, while some can’t finish because they’re too busy.

But those who repeatedly start books without completing them might have a deeper issue.

Maybe they have commitment issues. Maybe they’re easily dissatisfied. They keep buying new books, hoping the next they read will be “the one.”

And maybe, this habit also reflects their approach to searching for meaning and direction in their life.  

8) They half-bake projects

Apart from books, there are other things people without purpose start without seeing through:

It could be renovating the garage, doing craftwork, painting a portrait, assembling furniture – any project they put their mind to.

They start off on a high that quickly wears off, leaving projects in a perpetual state of ‘to be continued.’

9) They try to learn a lot and end up learning nothing 

If hobbies and projects aren’t their thing, some people take on classes – a lot of them!

They’re the ones who decide to enrol in sewing classes on Monday, but then come Tuesday, they decide they want to learn carpentry instead. 

By Friday, they would have gone through five or more different classes or courses without successfully completing any.

Like books, games, and projects, the reason remains the same: the inability to find purpose due to struggles with commitment and satisfaction.

10) They’re constantly adding to cart

Constantly shopping in-store or online, even if they don’t need anything, could be how others fill their day to avoid feeling lost.

It’s like this:

For someone who doesn’t have a clear direction in life, a shopping spree provides the illusion that they’re doing something. 

With each purchase, they feel the thrill of fulfilment, even if it’s just for a moment.

11) They keep adding to their “collection”

As if getting stuff they didn’t need wasn’t enough, some people refuse to throw things away.

They collect and keep things because it gives them a sense of control.

Because they are unsure of what they’re doing in life, having a collection is the only thing that gives them a feeling of accomplishment.

It’s as if they’re building something big, even if it’s just a pile of random, unnecessary stuff.

12) They’re on the web all day

While others turn to hoarding to forget their uncertainty, some use the internet as their escape route.

People who are unsure of their purpose easily get trapped in mindless scrolling through the world of influencers, viral videos, and clickbait articles. 

From their point of view, the endless stream of content is a more attractive distraction than the otherwise unappealing and confronting task of figuring out what direction to take in life.

13) They take siestas 

We may be in the digital era but believe it or not, the internet world isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. 

But I am making a wild guess that napping certainly is – I mean, who doesn’t like a bit of snooze from time to time, right?

Then again, here’s the catch:

Constantly napping to kill time and not because you’re tired may point to a larger need for purposeful and engaging activities.

14) They have erratic meal times

Most of us usually eat at set times because we try to fit our meal breaks around the things we need to do for the day. 

But some people eat at random times of the day.

I remember when my kids were newborns, my meal times (and everything else) revolved around their schedules. Back then, I had a “you eat when you can, you shower when you can” sort of schedule.

As always, there could be a lot of reasons for irregular meal times.

Lifestyle choices, work demands, health conditions, social circumstances, or maybe something deeper – like a lack of direction in life, which manifests in unstructured meal times.

15) They do the bare minimum

People who put little effort into their jobs or those who seem constantly disconnected can be an infuriating workplace habit. 

But don’t be too quick to cast judgment on them. 

Try to get to know them first to maybe understand where this lack of enthusiasm is coming from. 

For all you know, they could be going through something in their lives. 

It could be that they’re still figuring out what they want to do in their career, which could explain their apathy. 

Or it could also be that they’re struggling to find a sense of purpose in their personal lives, and this lack of direction is starting to show in their work life.

16) They make impulsive decisions

Someone who lacks direction will struggle to visualize how the choices they make now will impact their long-term goals.

This is a given, especially considering they don’t have clear ambitions to begin with.

They’re the type of people who make decisions based on “what I can get out of it now” and not on “how this will benefit me later.” 

But that’s not to say they’ll never find their direction.

Sometimes, acting on impulse can be someone’s way of figuring out what really matters to them. 

Your daily habits matter

There you go, a rundown of the most common everyday habits of people who lack purpose in life. 

Remember that having one or a few of these habits doesn’t automatically make you a person without life goals. 

Individual circumstances and the bigger context should always be considered.

But if you resonate with any of the points above and feel like you might be stuck, it wouldn’t hurt to rethink your daily habits.

Try experimenting with new ones or improving the ones that don’t feel right. 

Take baby steps. Small, positive changes each day. 

Before you know it, you’ll be taking giant steps and moving closer to the person you hope to be – even if you’re not sure what that person looks like yet.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.” – Unknown.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

People who thrive in their retirement usually adopt these 9 daily habits

10 things truly happy couples do differently when they argue, according to psychology