Recently I changed around how I stored clothes in my bedroom. Don’t ask me why? Who knows what moves me/us to unclutter/declutter? [...hint, if you want some tips check out Sue Rasmussen who truly is a Declutter Diva]
Okay. I stray. Partly I stray because decluttering is hard, both in time and in all the fears surrounding “stuff.”
Here’s what I am marveling at (as I reel myself back to the post at hand.) I was intending on putting my socks in the same drawer I had it in before. For some reason my menopausal mind put them in a different drawer.
Ever time I go to reach for a pair of socks I pull on the old drawer, not the new one. I decided to leave them there to see how long it would take to retrain my mind on this very simple task.
Here’s the short answer: Too long.
Even when I keep the task conscience in my mind “I’ll go get some socks from the new drawer…” when I actually get to the bureau I pull on the old drawer.
The good thing is I am able to watch this unfolding scenario with humor, after all, it’s only socks. What I’m struck with is how hard it is to change the mind, to change the patterns of the mind, the habits of mind that are operating in the subterranean of our daily life.
How often do I reach for something automatically, out of pure habit?
How many times do I allow those background thoughts to dictate my movements instead of interrupting the habit to explore something new?
Frankly, the percentages don’t necessarily make me look good. What does happen, though, is by bringing in humor and kindness as I become aware of these habits I relax a bit more. I begin to be curious about the pattern that is running automatically.
And this, kind of awareness, is the very first step toward changing a habit.
What about you? What do you know about changing habits? Any tips to give us?