The sum of small things. (extra pickle, please.)
June 21, 2012, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Behavior, Body, Budget, Mind

“It’s just this one time.”

“Only for today.”

“I’ll do better next time…”

The thing that defines habit is its repetitive nature.

We repeat what we’re used to doing. We often get so automatic about our actions that we lose our (mind)fulness in the process.

I’ve recently been inspecting my $5 here and $5 there habit of stopping for lunch or a snack while on the road.

What are the causes of this habit?

1. I am unprepared for the day when I don’t pack a lunch or wake up eary enough to cook breakfast.

2. I travel constantly for my job and restaurants are all over the place en route.

3. Desire. Craving. There are so many choices out there that perhaps I am too lazy or tired to recreate myself at the end of the day. I want what I want when I want it.

I did the math.

In the past six weeks I have spent over $100 on eating out (this includes a quick bite just for myself and sit-down meals with family or friends.)

So not cool!

Fixes for the issue:

1. Be prepared. Keep nonperishable snacks in car.

2. Pack lunch at night. Keep quick breakfast ingredients on hand for the morning.

3. Set an alarm on my phone to remind me to get into the kitchen and plan at the end of the day.

4. Create a weekly meal/lunch idea list to work from.

5. Budget weekly eating out money.

I know I’m not the only one with this eating-out issue as I see countless co-workers, family and friends sliding the plastic on a weekly basis. Eating out is just an example of small actions leading up to bigger issues.

But is it really necessary?

We are all, to a degree, the sum of our small steps. Those small choices seem negligible, but over time begin to shape your character and your habits.

“Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” – Mark Twain



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