What is a creature of habit you ask? Well, it’s someone (us) who does the same thing, in the same way, every time. Well, almost every time. We are all funny creatures of habit! We can do most things in our day without even thinking about them. When I started thinking about writing this post, it was amazing to me the things that came to mind when I actually thought about it. I know I’m not the only one this applies to, we all have our weird quirks, our go to places, our must haves, and must do’s. I’m going to write out a few of my own crazy quirks, are any of yours the same as mine? Hmmmmm.
DRIVING ON AUTOPILOT
I’m not recommending swearing and driving, the point was that you’re driving without paying attention! Have you ever gotten in the car, and arrived at your destination, and you don’t remember the drive? EEK! Yes, it happens to all of us. Or you’re driving on autopilot on the weekend, and you end up in your work parking lot? This is what habit does to us – it becomes so ingrained that we are on autopilot most of the time, and probably don’t even realize it! Or, you’re driving down the road, when suddenly you can’t remember where on earth you’re going, and how you got there and can’t even REMEMBER the drive. Those are the scariest moments, because you can’t remember if you drove through a red light, or stop sign…but obviously you’re still alive so it’s all good. Isn’t it amazing that our brains can take over on auto-pilot?! Phew!
Okay, so, am I the ONLY one that does the same routine every night before bed? Brush my teeth, go to the bathroom (because the sound of the running water makes me have to go pee, (and yes, I leave the water running while I brush because I don’t want to hear the sounds of my teeth being scrubbed and it sort of masks it), wash my face, and then IN TO BED? Is it just me? Sometimes….sometimes (don’t even gasp) I change the order. Go pee, brush my teeth, and then wash my face. Okay, my face is always last. But I cannot go to bed if I haven’t washed my face – even when I’m camping!! My hubby has boiled many a pot of water for me so I can wash my face before bed. Love that guy! Thanks babe! What is your routine? Mine is such a habit that I don’t even think about it, it just happens.
YOU’RE IN MY SPOT!
This makes me laugh. We don’t own spots, but wow, we sure do get upset when someone is in it. This could be your favourite parking stall at work, or your recliner in the living room, or your favourite chair in your kitchen. We all prefer our spot, and will rumble and grumble if someone is in it. I have to admit I’m guilty. I commute to work with a wonderful co-worker, and we take turns parking, and yes, we always park in the same spot. It’s the perfect spot really, right next to a curb, and underneath a skinny tree that gives the front seat shade so it’s not burning hot by the time we leave. We always pull through, so we are facing out, ready to drive home the minute we get off. Now, sometimes there is another early bird that gets there before us, and sometimes he has pulled into our spot. GAH! How DARE he park there? Other days, he pulls through and parks behind, which means now we can’t pull through. Could we just pull in head first? Ya. Could we even back our car in? Ya. But we don’t WANT to do that, we just want to pull through, and park head first under the tree, just like we ALWAYS DO! Okay, I feel like I’m getting hot under the collar, obviously this is a problem that I need to address, ha ha ha.
GET OUT OF MY CHAIR!
I go to church every Sunday and try to sit in the same spot. When others started sitting in MY seat, I started going earlier so I could get there first and put my stuff down. It worked, until different people started showing up earlier, which made me go even earlier, which is silly, isn’t it? I am now over 40 minutes early for church, all so I can sit in the same seat I love. I admit it – I’m crazy, but I’m sure there are others out there that go to great lengths to do the same as me! (Crazy people unite…..can I hear an “amen?” ha ha) I have a favourite spot when I go to the movies as well, so we go insanely early, so I can sit in the middle of the back row. If I can’t sit in the middle, the movie just isn’t happening. Well, so far I’ve always gotten a middle seat – woohoo! I just can’t sing praises enough for being an early bird.
SAME FOOD AT THE SAME RESTAURANT
Am I the only one that always orders the same thing, at the same restaurant? If I go to Red Robin, I always order dry ribs to start, then chicken strips, with Casesar Salad. If I go to Cactus Club, I always order the chicken salad with candied pecans. Milestones? Hot spinach and artichoke dip to start, and the California spring salad. Chinese food? Beef and broccoli on fried rice. McDonalds? Double Quarter Pounder Meal. The occasional times I ordered something different when going to my fav places, I was severely disappointed, and wished I had ordered what I usually did! So yup, a creature of habit, oh yes I am, especially when it comes to food. I don’t like surprises, and I don’t like disappointment. I like same old, same old! How about you? Are you in a food rut like me?
BEING EARLY OR LATE
Okay, are you an early bird, or late weasel? How did you grow up? Were your parents on time? This will greatly influence you in how you manage your time. My parents were chronic early birds. My mom’s dad (so, my grandpa) was SUCH an early bird, that we used to tell him the wrong time to arrive because he liked to be at least an hour early, if not earlier. Yup. If we wanted them to arrive at 3:00, we told Grandpa to come at 4:00, and of course, they would show up by at 3:00, and most of the time earlier. It depended on traffic on that day. My mom experienced being an hour early for everything her whole life as a child. As a parent, she was definitely influenced, because we were ALWAYS 30 minutes early for everything. Even school. My sisters and I had to wait a lot outside in the rain for the school doors to be opened up. But hey, I’m not complaining. It helped me learn how to be on time, and to manage myself when I got older. I would say I’m a “fifteen to twenty minutes early” person, (except for church, gotta get my seat!). I always plan ahead, allow the right time, and then throw in some “traffic might be bad”extra minutes, and voila, I am rarely, if not ever late. If your morning routine usually always takes 20 minutes, give yourself 30, so if something unexpected comes up (your child or pet vomiting on the carpet) you have time to deal with it without being late. If you’re always cutting it close in getting to work, obviously you need to leave an extra 5-10 minutes earlier. Adjust your pattern. Soon enough, it will be a habit.
CREATE SOME GOOD HABITS TODAY!
Years ago, one habit I endeavored to do was give someone a compliment every single day. Since I work in such a big office, this is very easy. Once you start handing out compliments, you will find that you do more than just one a day, because it becomes a habit! When I meet someone new, I find something to compliment them on. There is always SOMETHING you can say that is kind! Even if it to admire their clothes, their make-up, their jewelry, their shoes, their hairdo, their smile, there is always something. And guess what. Being kind to someone can make all the difference in their day. I challenge you to make giving someone a compliment a DAILY HABIT! There are so many habits you could create. I’ll list some here if you can’t think of any:
- Get enough sleep. Seriously! Best habit EVER! You can handle anything if you’ve had enough sleep
- Pay your bills on time. Set a reminder on your phone, ipad, or email so that you don’t forget when it’s due
- Always clean the kitchen after you’re done preparing a snack, or meal
- Always make your bed in the morning
- Open a window, let some fresh air into your place
- Set a time for reading, or watching TV, and don’t go over that time
- Exercise at least 5 days a week (or just go for a walk)
- Get up at the same time every day
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, when you get up, and when you go to bed
- Write out a grocery shopping list before you head out (you’ll spend less money, and less time) and eat healthy
- Always tuck your kids in at night, with hugs, and kisses no matter how old they are
- Always kiss your spouse goodnight, and say I love you. Even if you’re grumpy and you’re not feeling the love. Do it anyway. Make it a habit!
- Empty the dishwasher daily, or do the dishes. Never let them pile up
- Always put ONE THING AWAY every time you leave a room
- Call your parents/grandparents at least once a month. Schedule it on the calendar so you don’t forget
- Leave your phone in your pocket or purse when you’re visiting with friends or family, or at a restaurant. Give your company your undivided attention. Make this a habit. Let people know they are more important than what’s on your phone
- Always say please and thank you. Yes, you adults out there. Those words are still magic
- Be on time, ALWAYS
BAD HABITS TO AVOID
Yup, we all have some bad habits. Some are worse than others, that’s for sure! In my personal humble opinion, I think a really bad habit is swearing. It’s so easy to do. Once you drop an f-bomb, it becomes more and more easier to say it. Guess what. We don’t need to swear and drop f-bombs. Why? It’s usually to express anger, or displeasure over something. Or when we stub our toe and that seems to be the only appropriate response. Well, you can train yourself to use other words. I don’t think it’s healthy for kids to always hear their parents cussing. It’s not polite, and I personally think you’re not setting a very good example for your kids. Your children will copy you, and one should never ever hear a toddler dropping f-bombs. However, you can have your own opinion of what comes out of your mouth, and if you like swearing, good for you. Just keep it over there, and I’ll just avoid you, and your posts. I have to admit I don’t think very highly of people who always have potty mouth. Grow some manners. You can express your displeasure without having to swear. There are lots of other words in the English language, show some class. (So Donna, how do you REALLY feel about swearing? Ha ha. I admit I have dropped quite a few f-bombs myself in the last few years (in the privacy of my home) and it was rather cathartic. Why? Because I was never allowed to swear as a kid. But now I need to stop, because it’s RUDE! Oh wait, I was never allowed to say fart either. Hmmm. FART! Fart F a R t fart FaaaarrrrrrrrT! Okay, definitely carthartic. Yup, I’m feeling much better. And I’m not feeling guilty either, because my mom is in heaven and will NEVER EVER read this post!!! (Sorry mom…but really, what is wrong with the word fart?!)
Here are some more habits that aren’t so healthy (in other words – BAD!)
AVOID THESE BAD HABITS
- Nose picking. Okay, I admit I pick my nose all the time, I’m guilty. But at least I do it stealthily. No-one will ever see me picking my nose, except maybe my hubby when we’re in the car. Why does being in the car create such great hard crusty boogers? Too much air conditioning? AAAH! The only way to get those bad boys out is to PICK them out. Nuff said
- Smoking. This is always a BAD habit. Not only is it unhealthy for you, it’s insanely ridiculously expensive. Do you realize how much money you are burning in your mouth? Do the math. Try to quit. Decide to Quit. DO IT!
- Biting your fingernails. Ouch. I see people’s nails, and I think, “Why do you do that? Your poor, poor fingers!”
- Drinking excessive coffee. Okay, one or two is fine, but be careful about your addiction. Too much caffeine is really unhealthy for you
- Sleeping in. Don’t waste your day. Your body only needs 8 hours sleep at a time, don’t linger longer than that
- Eating out all the time. Fast food will make you fat, faster than you can type fat. Go shopping instead, and eat at home. There are a million recipes online, so you have no excuse about not knowing what to make. Find a menu for the week, and go for it. Don’t say you don’t know how to cook, because there are a kazillion “how to cook” youtube videos. You have NO EXCUSE for not cooking. If you make an excuse, you’re just being lazy. STOP BEING LAZY! Learn to cook.
- Being online all day. Take a break from the internet, from blogs (except mine, ha ha) Facebook, Twitter, Imagur, Pinterest, all social media. Set a time limit, and stick to it
- Being late. Stop it! Plan accordingly, you are capable
MAKE YOUR HABITS A LIFESTYLE
Habits take twenty one days to form. Three weeks. Seriously. You might try something new for a week, and then fall off the wagon. You might even fall off sooner than a week. However, if you can push through even if you miss a few days and keep going, pretty soon your habit will be established. Don’t give up, and choose not to accept defeat. Even if you decide to stop eating chocolate every day, and one day you fail, don’t give up on your goal. Just keep going. Some of you may need to adjust your goals to make them more realistic, because seriously? There is no way you can probably give up chocolate. Just sayin’. (Okay, I’m the one that doesn’t want to give up chocolate, I admit it) There will be days when I’m going to pop a Lindt ball in my mouth (the white chocolate lime green ones) so I’m being realistic. But hey – if you can train yourself to eat them less, that’s progress. Don’t limit yourself totally, because when you fail, it’s just not worth beating yourself up over, and making yourself feel like a failure. So – be reasonable with your expectations and goals. Create healthy habits.
DON’T MAKE RESOLUTIONS, CREATE HABITS
This is really, truly great advice. When you make a resolution, it’s usually to “never” do something again. And you know what? That really is setting yourself up to fail, because we all have our weak moments, whether it’s food, exercise, watching TV, media, you name it. If you decide to create a habit, you can fall, but get up and keep going without the failure attached to it. This is so much healthier for you! So, if you vow to never eat ice-cream again, then suddenly you are on vacation with your family and you’re at a place that has 36 flavours of ice-cream and you want one? EAT IT! Eat it now! Enjoy! And then just go back to your habit of saying no to ice-cream. See? Way better for you. It also eliminates feelings of guilt, which we do not need to do to ourselves. Forget that noise! Live happily, and live with reasonable habits. Don’t set yourself up to fail, it sucks when you do. Instead, be brilliant and write out new habits you want to create. Practice makes perfect!
GO CREATE SOME GOOD HABITS TODAY!
Seriously! Don’t put it off. Write a list out TODAY!
P.S. If you write it down, your chances of actually doing it are over 90%, you can’t lose with those odds!