Ten days into the New Year and it’s time to take a step back. We humans are creatures of habit and they’re not usually good ones. The only way to get rid of bad habits is to replace them with new, better ones. So here it goes.
I couldn’t count the times I’ve missed my train to work because the bus was late. I’d blame the weather, the bus companies, voodoo or just plain bad luck. But this year I had a Eureka moment. I should just catch an earlier bus!
In the past I refused to do this because it meant leaving the house earlier – and the bus should just be on time everyday. But it isn’t, it wasn’t and it never will be. My grumpy face isn’t going to change that, no matter how many times I give the bus driver evils as I get on.
It’s really not that hard to get up and catch that earlier bus. I now even have time for a cup of coffee before I get my train in the mornings.
Public transport in Britain may be tardy, but I no longer will be.
Snacking Out of Boredom
I’m pretty sure my brain doesn’t know the difference between hungry, angry and bored. I eat because I’m bored. I get angry because I’m hungry. Then I moan because my jeans are too tight.
I’ve tried snacking on raw vegetables and dried fruit, but each mouthful just leaves me wishing it was chocolate.
The solution? Don’t eat if you’re not hungry. Yes it’s a lot harder than it sounds. I’d buy a multipack of chocolate bars to put in my desk drawer at work because I thought it would be cheaper. But what really happens is I eat one, then another and another. I end up feeling sick and embarrassed, wondering if my co-workers noticed.
Over the past few days, when I’ve gotten stressed or bored at work I’ve just told myself, “If you want chocolate you can go get it on your break.” But the time I’ve eaten my lunch I don’t even want it anymore. The feeling does past. I promise you.
I may not become slimmer of the year. But I’m no longer mindlessly snacking. I eat chocolate when I want it, because I want it.
Ignoring my Bank Balance
Towards the end of last year I stepped proudly into the bank and asked them to get rid of my rather large student overdraft. I’m not longer a student; I have a full time job and not too many commitments –I should be able to manage my money.
A little while later, with Christmas round the corner, I found myself wishing for it back. The strategy of not checking my bank balance until just before payday made me feel better until I saw all those outgoings in one place.
Do you find yourself saying, “How did I spend that much in a month?” Well maybe you should check it more than once a month. If you think planning and budgeting down to the last penny is stressful and boring (it is), glancing at your account every week gives you an indication of how much you’re spending and how much you have left.
I’ll leave the spread sheets and budgeting for when I have a house and kids. For now, baby steps.
There’s no point in overloading yourself with loads of New Year’s resolutions that you’re just not going to stick to. A little change here and there and you’ll have killed those bad habits by 2015.