What Are You Willing to Change?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

It’s Friday Eve! It’s also the last day of the month. I think in some ways, this month has dragged on forever. And in other ways, it went by pretty fast. That may have some bearing on the amount of bourbon left in the liquor cabinet, or it may be the reason for how much is left. Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but I’m sure there’s a scientific relationship in there somewhere.

I almost never drink. It’s not really a conscious decision – I just don’t do it very often. Still, when my doctor asks how much I drink, I have to ask how many previous years we’re including in that average. This year? Zero. I may have two or three drinks in a month, sometimes not even that. But in the 70s I made Dean Martin look sober. And let’s not talk about Tommy Chong.

I’ve said this before, but habits are easy to form and hard to break. I don’t think I’ll get much argument there. But the ease of developing a habit is inversely proportional to how good that habit is for you. Crack cocaine, I’m told, is so addictive it can become a habit after just one use. But try going on a healthy diet and see how long that one takes.

And the reverse is true of trying to break a habit. The more destructive it is, the longer it takes. You can fall off that healthy diet in the Taco Bell drive-thru, but it can take several weeks of in-patient rehabilitation to beat a drug habit. I don’t know why that is – it just is. Except running. I broke that habit in six minutes flat. Maybe it’s not so good for you after all.

The thing is, most of what we do every day is a matter of habit. We get up at roughly the same time and follow a familiar routine. We brush our teeth in pretty much the same motion every time. We get dressed in pretty much the same order every day. We usually put the same shoe on first, and I always put my socks on before my shoes. Tell me that’s not a habit.

And if you think we’re creatures of habit, pay attention to your pets. They have a routine that will NOT be disrupted. My dog, at 8:00 every night, gets a treat. Okay, he’s spoiled, and I may have had a hand in that. I did it two nights in a row, and he caught on fast. And he knows when it’s 8:00. Now, if I could just get him to understand the difference between standard time and daylight savings.

Even on the job, where assignments change and the boss is always coming up with new challenges, we have habits. Ever notice that when the boss is about to throw your routine out of whack, it’s never a challenge – it’s an “opportunity.” All that means is you get to fit something else into your day, and he gets to look good to his boss. That’s just how it works.

On the job, the right habits make us worth our weight in gold. And most of us have those habits when somebody is paying us to do it. But what about those things you pay yourself to do? You know, the ones where nobody but you really cares if they get done, and the reward is a little less certain than a weekly paycheck? “I’ll work on that tomorrow – it’s poker night.”

And here’s the thing. Only you can decide if poker night is more important than your other goals. Maybe it is, and that’s okay. But if you want something more out of life, maybe down the road a few years, some of those habits will have to change. And the sooner you start building those new habits, the sooner you’ll achieve those new goals.

As a teen, I always said “I’ll party until the day I die!” Well, somewhere along the way my priorities changed. I still enjoy a raucous night with family & friends, and I occasionally have that second drink just because. But it’s no longer a habit. And that’s simply because there are other things I want more.

Part of dreaming is thinking of ways to make those dreams come true. To have something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. There’s no getting around that. Form the habits that will let you do those things you’ve never done, and do them consistently, and you’ll be that much closer to your dreams.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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