Why are people so reluctant to change their habits? ”It’s what we do”, ”it works for us”, ”we are just fine that way”. Really?? You spend $200 more on electricity than you really should because you can’t be bothered to check a comparison site and then complain that you are broke? You stop for a $5 coffee on the way to work because you ”prefer to sleep in the morning” but are sleep deprived because you watched TV until the wee hours of the morning? You take a month to answer a friend’s email when you spend five hours a day on Facebook?
Don’t say no if you haven’t tried
Random fact: I own half of an energy saving company that is based in Spain. One of our products is a low flow shower head that will mix the water with air so the flow has less water but feels the same. Next time you wash your hands notice if the flow is transparent (pure water) or foamy white (water and air, energy saving). I installed it at home and after a month of daily showering, or so I hope, my roommate asked when I would install my special shower. There was no difference in comfort. When we offered the product to hotels, we got two kinds of reactions. Part of the customers said no, for fear of clients complaining the shower had too little water. The other part accepted a sample, put it in a couple of rooms, saw there was no difference for the customers, and equipped the whole hotel, saving tons of money on water.
Change is scary. You have to step out of your comfort zone. Try, make mistakes, and all that for a potential chance of success. Unless you are perfect, there are areas of your life that you are not entirely happy about. Think about what you have been complaining about lately. I complain that I am not organized enough. My digital life is a mess, there are files everywhere on my computer, sometimes my blog posts aren’t neatly queued a couple of weeks in advance, etc… I can keep complaining or take action.
During the month of February, I have set weekly goals to tackle every aspect of my digital life and start March as new. Sure, it is more comfortable to sit around and wait. But the clutter is not only in my computer, it is in my head, using physical resources for nothing. Instead of making a list of blogging topics and an editorial calendar, I keep all that in my head and get confused. Change is good.
I love that quote ”A great deal of talent is lost to the world for the want of a little courage”. By not trying, by letting fear limit you, you are losing much more than you can imagine.
Make an educated decision
My mum said I had to try my vegetables before deciding that I didn’t want to eat the rest. She is a terrible cook, so most of the time it was really bad, but at least I had tried. Saying yes opens so many more doors. I used to hate avocados as a kid. Now I can’t live without guacamole.
You are free to go back to your old habits, knowing that there isn’t anything better. But how about trying a little?
Make the habit so easy you can’t say no
When trying to make my February swimming goal (4 times a week, 15 minutes each), I got to experiment with creating a habit. I tried a regular hour, but there would be something disturbing me, or the weather wouldn’t be good at that time. What worked best was to just jump into the water without thinking, when it was a bit hot. No expectations. I just had to dive in. Once I was in, getting a 15 minutes swim was a piece of cake. To remove any further barrier, I also had my swimming suit on, or would jump right in with my clothes.
It is all in our minds. Since you know it, trick your mind. Challenge yourself to run for one minute instead of ten. Celebrate milestones.
We always look for comfort and move away from pain. Unfortunately, that will get us nowhere. A journey out of debt starts with a $1 payment. A career move with one resume sent to a potential employer. Review your finances, and other aspects of your life you are unhappy about. Do not be afraid to ask. For help, for a training, for a raise or a discount on your bills.
Try a little change once in a while, you will be surprised of the results you can get.
What was the last thing you changed in your life? Was it for the better?