I don’t care who you are we all have bad habits in our lives whether it be smoking, drinking, drugs, over-spending, laziness, etc.
The list of bad habits can go on and on and what I never gave much thought to was how we tend to focus on the “good habits” rather than the bad habits.
Why? We like to feel better about ourselves so focusing on the good and forgetting about the bad habits is much easier to do.
I don’t know the exact psychology behind the way the human brain works but when I read an article about what Dean Hovey who met with Steve Jobs in 1978 to design the first mouse for the Apple computer had to say, it made me realize that I needed to make small changes in my life.
To paraphrase Hovey felt that although we do something over and over it doesn’t necessarily mean we are aware of our surroundings. Interesting, I thought but true. He used an example of riding his bike to University every day and not being able to recall the roof’s shape, colour or composition when his Stanford University professor asked him to draw a picture of the famous Hoover Tower by memory.
I knew that if my professor asked me to do something similar I might fail on that request because my mind is always wandering. Like many people, I’m busy so when I’m doing things like commuting as I’m thinking about what I need to get done or I am going over notes.
I’ve done the same thing at work. I’ve been in the same place for 7 years now but I can’t tell you specific things about my workplace such as what is on the walls, or the colour of the tiles because I’m not aware.
Kick the bad habits to the curb
When my wife and I used to smoke we knew that smoking was bad for us but it was a habit that we continued to do without being aware of the implications UNTIL someone brought it up. Most times we just ignored when we saw those nasty photos on the cigarette pack or commercials on the television. We weren’t aware of the bad habit because we chose not to be aware.
It wasn’t until we wanted to break that cycle because family members with heart conditions scared us and we wanted to live not die because of something we put on ourselves. By being aware of our triggers, writing them down and focusing on positive habits and goals we were able to quit smoking without spending any further money. We are now coming up for three years smoke free in January 2015.
Bad habits and finance
I often get people emailing me about being in debt and they don’t know why or how to fix it. Again, it’s about being aware of where the money is going. I always suggest using a budget for this reason. If you want to know where your bad habits are with your finances track your spending by getting all receipts and using a budget. (You can download my free budget spreadsheet to get started)
Once you budget for a few months the numbers will tell you a story. You are now going to be aware of exactly what is causing you to spend more than you earn or what is causing you to run out of money every month keeping you in debt.
If you are someone who can only see the negative of situations a good reason is you are not aware of the positive. We tend to focus too much on one or the other, good habits or bad habits. A balance of both would make our lives easier because we are mindful of our surroundings and attempt to make right what we don’t want in our life or what is causing us downtime.
Bad habits and fitness
I always like to use my friends in examples because I am aware of what they say to me because I love personal finance and listening to people when they talk about their life. One friend complains that he runs every day and eats good food but struggles to meet his goals. I asked him to log a diary of his weekly routines so we could review it. I’m not a fitness pro but I’m also aware that if you eat more than you take in you are likely to put on some pounds. I know, I’ve done it.
When push came to shove he wasn’t aware of how many extra calories those beers he drank every weekend with his mates cost him, not only in his budget but around the waist. Sure there are possible health conditions that could lead to people not reaching health goals but unless you are aware of your habits especially bad habits you have no concrete documentation to work with.
Now, he’s happy to report he’s kicked the drinking and opts for less drinks when he goes out, if any at all. He’s down 10 lbs in the past two months. See, bad habits can be knocked on the head as long as you are aware of them.
Don’t make something more difficult than it seems. Trust that you can make a difference in your world by battling your bad habits and focusing on how you can improve what needs to be altered in your life to make you smile every day.
So, from now on I’m going to be mindful or “aware” of my surroundings and leave what I don’t have to think about until I need to think about it. I always tend to put others first and think that if I don’t get something done I’ll upset someone so I work endlessly until my job is done. Sometimes we tend to over-think situations but if we forget to look up in the process we may just miss opportunities that pass us by.
How do you become aware of your bad habits so you can fix them?
If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.
Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.
This week I picked a recipe that is full of gorgeous blueberries and one that I can’t wait to make for family and friends. Bunny’s Warm Oven has been featured on CBB many times now and it’s because I just can’t get enough of her amazing recipes. Head on over to check out her blog and subscribe, you won’t be sorry.
This is what Bunny’s Warm Oven has to say about her Blueberry Cake with Lemon Glaze.
Blueberry and lemon come together beautifully in this very light, fluffy, tender cake. The blueberry flavor is upfront and amazing with one and a half cups of blueberries in this 8×8 cake. Lemon glaze always adds a nice brightness to berries, as it does here.
Weekly CBB posts
If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!
- What would you do with extra income?
- Can you picture yourself living the retired life?
- How to chop everyday food costs without coupons
- Why we budget an adult family allowance
- Homemade granola bars
- Do wedding events shake up your budget?
Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my Top 6 picks.
My Editor’s Pick goes to Morningstar with How to relieve the stress of downsizing your home
- How hospice works– Broke Girl Rich
- What it takes to be a DIY investor– Money Coaches Canada
- Financial Fitness Steps from my kid– Financially Blonde
- What to look for in a cell phone plan– My University Money
- Why I’m glad my parents didn’t pay for my College education– Retire by 40
Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #77. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.
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