Did you know that 40% of our daily activities are simply habits? We’re on autopilot almost half of our time! So the obvious question is, “Do I have good habits or bad habits?”
Now honestly most of us have a combination of both so don’t start beating yourself up over your bad habits so quickly. For example, lately I have a habit of spending way too much time in front of the TV in the evenings, but I also have a great habit of making my bed every morning.
In order to break a bad habit, you can’t just stop. That’s not human nature. If only doing what’s best for us was simply a matter of learning what’s best. None of us would ever be unhealthy or in debt! The trick is to replace the bad habit with a different, hopefully good, habit. To use my “too much TV” example, it’s not as simple as turning off the TV. I have to find a new use for that time. Luckily, the reason I feel I watch too much TV is because there are so many other things I should be doing! But after a long day at work, I feel like I deserve some down time so I sit…and that’s where I get stuck. What frustrates me the most is that this TV habit is fairly new and has taken the place of good habits I used to have!
So a few examples of ways I would prefer I spend that time: working in my yard, exercise (walking the neighborhood or going to the gym), cooking dinner and washing up after, decluttering a closet, filing piles of paper, you get the idea. My time at home is limited so I need to make it count by doing all the things moms and homeowners do.
Now that I’ve identified my bad habit and come up with a few replacement habits, I need to pick one to implement. A few weeks ago, I was doing great by coming home from work and immediately going out into the yard to pull weeds. Then the rains came. What a perfect excuse to sink back into the couch! And just like that, my new improved habit was shot. The moral of the story is to pick a new habit you can practice consistently, or have a backup new habit. I’m thinking that I can easily get back into my yardwork groove. And if it’s too rainy or cold, that day I’ll have to spend that time decluttering instead. Just keep me away from that couch!
A couple more hints: your new habit doesn’t have to take a huge chunk of time. I was pulling weeds outside until I had a paper grocery bag full, fifteen, twenty minutes tops. Then I’d dump it and stop. On days where decluttering is in order, maybe I’ll use the same one-bag rule or maybe I’ll use a timer. I’ll play with both methods until I figure out which works best for me. And finally, list some things you love about your new habit to use as motivation. I loved spending a little time in the sunshine after being stuck in my office all day and I loved that I saw progress with the project. With this new habit, I feel like I have already handled some of my homeowner responsibilities before I plop down and enjoy some Big Bang reruns.
If you are ready to take a serious look at your habits and you would like an accountability partner as you work towards redirecting your energy, send me a message. I would love to help!