December 5, 2013

Let the post-Thanksgiving refrigerator cleaning begin! It boggles my mind on what I save and then throw away. At one time, my house included three hungry adolescents who seemed incapable of passing the fridge without stopping to re-fuel. But for quite a while it has been down to the two of us and believe me when I say, any opportunity to go out for a bite instead of cooking is well received! What I seem to miss is the common sense connection between fewer people, fewer meals = less grocery purchases. Habits are hard to break. To have a different outcome, I need to create a different shopping experience. Just because the jumbo size is on sale, doesn’t mean I should buy it if in fact I am going to throw out half of it. I can see this so clearly as I gaze into what I think is last week’s stir-fry left-over. So why do I constantly sabotage myself when I go out to the store?

Habits. What I already know is easy. What I now need to learn is making me a little uncomfortable. I think this is something we all do; choosing the familiar over the new. I try to remember this when asking a student, individual or staff to try a new coping skill or a new behavior. It takes time to come to terms with this new, uncomfortable response. It takes patience to encourage and nurture it and it still must fulfill a need of some kind. Finally, it takes courage to give up what you know in favor of something different. Remember that the next time you ask a person to change their habit or “just stop doing that”.

Time, patience, fulfillment, courage. If I can remember this on my next shopping adventure, I can definitely save myself some guilt and money.

Submitted by,
Chris Gallant

“The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change.” 
~Eng’s Principle

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