Creating Better Habits
I suppose that I have been on a bit of a mission lately, or maybe it is simply that when I blog daily, it sets me up in a good position to reflect on my own behaviors. I can imagine, that this is why we are told that journaling is so healthy. It helps us to step back and take a look at what we are doing, and whether or not we want to be doing it. In the past six months, I have consciously made an effort to change a lot of the behaviors of myself, and for my family. We limited television and video games for the children to one hour per day, (my husband and I had stopped watching TV over a year ago,) I stopped purchasing a lot of foods that I realized I should not be letting my kids consume, we stopped supporting fast food restaurants, which I believe are poisoning our nation, specifically our poor, and I finally stopped shopping at Wal-Mart.
I could actually write a good-sized list of other things that I would like to change as well. Ideally, I would like to reduce our purchases of products made in foreign countries, get the plastics out of my house, disconnect the microwave for good, and stop using chemical cleaners. The list goes on, but this gives a pretty good idea of my intentions. It is practically impossible, and very uncomfortable for a household to attempt to make all of these changes at the same time. In most cases those who try to do it, do not succeed. I think that the key to making healthy changes is to implement them slowly and consciously, and not to give ourselves a hard time when we happen to slip up and backslide for a moment.
We live in a generation where we all grew up playing video games. My husband and I always bring up the idea that there is a specific mentality in our generation that was partially created because of this. I cannot count the number of times, as a child, that I would stop a game immediately, and go beck to the beginning to start all over again, if the game was not progressing as well as I wanted it to. I think that videogames may have embedded this behavior in our generation. The problem is, we can’t go back in real life and start all over again. So instead, we feel compelled to give up on things completely when we aren’t executing them perfectly. We are easily discouraged, and it makes it more difficult to enact healthy change through taking baby steps.
Cheerleading is a big deal. I make a conscious effort to be proud of myself when I make a healthy decision for my family, and I try to do it every single time, no matter how small the act. The other day I was proud of myself for passing by the potato chips that were on sale at the store and not putting them in my cart. It is through recognizing little things like this, that we can build up the confidence to take on more influential changes. I do it with my personal development as well. I give myself kudos when I watch a video on current events that I know may be difficult for me to watch, but contains information that it is important for me to know.
It can be especially difficult when we don’t see the results of our actions directly. It will take a long time and a lot of progress for society to bring down Wal-Mart, but that should not discourage us, because we do have the power to make it happen. Patience is essential; as is dedication, and we always need to keep reminding ourselves, why we are taking the actions that we choose to take. My kids are the best reminder for me. We are at a point in society, where if we don’t start taking action now to change things, they may be too far gone by the time that things are in the hands of the next generation to change. Every single positive action counts. Change that happens slowly is solid change, and it is definitely worth the effort.