A small habit exercise

I love Mondays recently. I have changed my mind about Mondays. Clean slate paradise.

 

Changing your mind is a very personal affair. Changing your mind about your body is a long term effort that doesn’t happen overnight.

 

For practice, is best to start small, with things that are (apparently) not related.

 

Choose a small, annoying little habit you have. You know it’s not good for you but you can’t rid of it.

 

(Example – I keep receipts I don’t need in my wallet. When I need to pay by cash, I can’t see the cash; I need two hands to rummage through, I then drop whatever I hold in my other hand. This makes me avoid cash payments. I have no cash right now in my wallet. But I have receipts. Annoying)

 

Try this:

 

Step 1 – Pause – right before you start, take a time out. (It’s your life after all)

 

Step 2 – Look at the object of your affection (the receipt, a donut, etc.) and consider if you really need it. Need it, not want it.

 

Step 3 –  Decide– keep it or bin it.  99% of the times I don’t really need to keep a receipt or eat a donut. Everything is digital now. My bank statement loads automatically into the accountant’s software. And those office snacks leftovers can go in the bin. The receipt can go in the bin. You are not a bin.

 

Step 4 – Do it – whatever you have decided, do it. If you decide to keep it, remember why it was. And see if that changes next time. Chances are, it’s always the same reason. If you know why you’re doing it, you’re winning.

 

Step 5 – Don’t judge yourself – just notice the why’s. The less you resist it, the clearer it gets. And that’s what we want to do here – get really clear about it.

 

It turns out I still pick up receipts because a) littering guilt b) tax return accuracy c) personal information on receipts paranoia.  What can I do. If I really don’t need a receipt (and that’s most of the time) I will: a) ask the person who’s offering it to me to bin it instead  - planet saved b) file it on my paperwork day, Tuesday at 10 am – software glitches covered C) shred it, on Tuesday at 10am – no one can ever send me unwanted mail and identity fraud me.

 

If I have a receipt in my wallet on Tuesday afternoon, I have failed.

Chances are, I will need some time with this process.

 

In the meantime, I can and I will get some cash out.