Happy Halloween, everyone!
Found this in my journal the other night and had a good laugh:
Funny how much we can change over the years!
Literally not one of them is in my daily life anymore, but I distinctly remember how each of them once made me *feel* :)
- Diet Coke – ENERGETIC!!
- Bottled Water – HYDRATED!
- iPhone – CONNECTED!
- Lottery Tickets – THRILLING!
- Domain Buying – THRILLING! Haha…
(Domains = website names, for those not in the internet game… Where we snap up as many as we can when “big ideas” hit, full well knowing we’ll never actually get to them, haha… (And then go on to renew them every year costing us even more fun tickets!!)
That was around 2009, and eventually I realized that you can still get most of these feelings we all so crave, but in much cheaper, and sometimes healthier, ways.
For example, what I wanted out of the iPhone I could still get from other smart phones at a fraction of the price – eventually saving us over $100/mo with no downgrade in quality of life whatsoever. And then instead of lottery tickets and domain buying I could still get my cheap thrills through *books* or blogs or other things that are as equally as exciting to me (and provide much more *value* in the end!). And while it took me a while to stop buying bottled water like a hoarder (it was the only way I could get myself to drink water at the time!), I eventually caught on there too and now drink tap water exclusively after some good insight from James Clear. (Hint: keep water in front of you so you always remember to drink it!)
I’ve formed other bad habits since 2009 too which are listed below, but so far I’m finding the more you step back and *challenge* some of your beliefs on what you “must have” and why, you’ll see you can be equally as happy with alternatives if you really tried hard enough. Most of the things we’re addicted to weren’t even *invented* just a handful of years ago! ;)
Here’s a list of other things that could have gone into my diary just as well that’s since been cut out:
- Shopping – I used to go shopping every other day when I was bored – then I took a 40 day “shopping ban” and it completely changed my view and my savings! (By about $200/mo!)
- Cable – 4 years and 2 months now and don’t miss a thing! Well okay, I do actually miss some things – but again, the return on $$$/value makes it all worth it in the end. (How I did it: told myself it’s “only a trial” and can go back any time! Which was both true and sneaky!)
- Complaining – Another habit I had no idea how bad I was at doing until I took a 40 day ban (in the spirit of Lent, for all my fellow Catholics out there – woop woop!). Though I must admit: there is a downside to this one in that it makes everyone else’s complaints around you that much MORE noticeable, haha…
- Cursing – Again: 40 day ban! It solves everything!! ;)
- And then probably my favorite –> Hustling 24/7 – I used to pride myself in working 20 hour work days, and now I pride myself in seeing if I can get away with *2* hour work days, haha… Something I’ve managed to do by first figuring out what was truly essential in my work and what wasn’t (and then cutting it), then incorporating new rules on *when* I’m allowed to even work (ie, no more nights and weekends!!), and then finally tackling the much harder 9-5 basic schedule… Which, admittedly doesn’t work for all professions out there, but you’d be amazed at what a little creativity and focus can do if you want it bad enough.
I can probably add a few more to the list here, but I think you get the point…
Just because you’re doing it now doesn’t mean you need to be doing it later! And in fact, you might not even know you’re doing it because it’s become such a habit over time! (See: cursing, complaining, shopping – anything off that list really).
For a good challenge the next few days, make a list of all the things you catch yourself doing – whether personally, professionally, or financially – and then see if any surprises stand out.
You don’t have to change anything yet if you’re not ready to, but I guarantee you’ll find something you don’t like. And really, simply *being more aware* of your actions in itself is a fantastic habit to form.
Or if you’re a fellow diarist like me, just page through the last few days of notes and see if any patterns emerge! The whole reason we track it in the first place is to be able to reflect on it later, right? ;)
Would love to hear what you find out if you give it a try…
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!