Are you the kind of person that wonders how to break a habit? Let me tell you a quick story about a change to an everyday item that you use.
It took the US a while to come around, but as of January 1, 2018, if you don’t bring your own shopping bag, you pay five cents more for each plastic or paper bag provided by the store.
Not liking this idea too much? I’m confused!
We wince at pictures of our sea life, or birds getting stuck in plastic, and get disgusted by pictures of beaches with plastics washed ashore. How is it possible to protect our wildlife and environment if we don’t make the change?
This made me realize that too often we approach change in our lives the same way, especially changing our habits for a better outcome. We wince at the thought of creating a new habit, we consider being eco friendly and environmentally conscious an inconvenience, and we’re surprised if we fail from unpreparedness. Using environmental awareness as a parallel to jumpstart a conversation about inner strength and life strategies, as well as in honor of the number five, here’s my five “cents” to help you diminish your negative habits and reap positive results.
Are you truly ready to commit to making a change? Part of readiness is timing. If you want to start getting up earlier to make the most of your days, don’t start when you’re out past midnight the night before.
Imperative to change or break a habit is acknowledging where you stand on the grit scale. Angela Duckworth, author of the book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, states that you need passion and perseverance for long term goals and the willingness to work hard to make it happen. These attributes will help you to follow through on your commitment.
Change can be tiring at times because we are consciously thinking about what we have to do until it becomes an unconscious habit. When there’s a plan on how to deal with moments of weakness, working through it is much faster and easier. Plan for success!
Speak kindly to yourself. Telling yourself “I can’t do this” sets you up for failure. Negative thoughts create negative results.
Small changes bring you a step closer to your goal: If you want to start drinking more water, just adding one glass to your day, is an improvement. You don’t have to have a whole bottle. Personally, I never minded carrying my own bags into grocery stores, so this new law wasn’t an inconvenience for me. It was frustrating at times if I forgot them. However, I used different approaches to try and remember until I got it right. I’m not perfect, but I do my best.
My closing thought: If one approach doesn’t work, try another until it becomes a habit!
Are you struggling to change or break a habit? Take charge of your life!