Last night I ran across an article about habits on unclutterer.com which happens to be one link I RSS feed to. And the article about habits (found here) made me really think! I highly recommend listening to the half hour interview in that article, it will open your eyes to the hidden things that draw our attention and help feed those nasty habits that take more that 21 days to break….
One of the funny things, (funny scary, not funny haha) was when they started to talk about Target’s marketing to pregnant women. Now I think of that because one of my friends is pregnant, and her favorite store is Target. So their marketing must be working.
They track what you buy and they send you coupons based on what term you are in. They also can predict your due date based on what you buy. They may know you are pregnant before your mother knows. Scary…
So how did habits turn into a marketing scare? Write down what habits you want to break, and then think of the advertisements around it.
Ikea’s new catalog came in the mail yesterday. It was on my friends table today, my other friend devoured it in her 2am feeding with her baby last night. When I walk into their homes I can tell you what came from Ikea…because I LOVE that store!
Today I challenged myself. I looked at my apartment and thought, I love the way I have decorated my place. MY PLACE!!! (I have lived with roommates for at least 5 years, so I’m loving MY PLACE, not that I didn’t love my roommates, I just like MY STUFF, my mess, my decorating). I also thought that the way I have my living room is perfect and there’s no more room for more “stuff”. My kitchen has; the coffee maker, electric tea pot, beyond rice cooker, dry storage canisters, toaster (with convection bake), juicer, and vita mixer with all the same color scheme!!! (that’s an amazing feat for my eclectic mind).
So my challenge was to go to Ikea to see their new stuff in person, and only taking with me my phone, keys, and $10. (but I forgot the $10 in the car so I really did better on my impulse spending that I set out to do). 😛
And after walking through the whole store, I found a way to gain $20! How cool is that!!! I walked by the island I bought there, stood by it and thought, this seems lower than mine. I sat in the chair and it felt like I was at a regular table. Then I called the sales guy over (the one with the phohawk) and asked if it comes in different heights, because this one seemed different than the one I got and when I sit at mine it seems awkward. We pinned it down that I grabbed the taller chairs. So the ones I wanted are $10 cheaper each! Yeah!!! I just improved MY SPACE and gained money in the process!
So one of my bad habits (as you can tell) is impulse buying.
Another is SUGAR! Also known as white death… The average American consumes WAAAAAYYYYY too much sugar than our bodies can process.
For instance, today I used my Wendy’s coupon for a full sized $2 salad. So naturally as the coupon was designed, I wasted $1.50 on a soda, which I usually skip for a free, zero cal H2O. I fell prey to the marketing trap and knew it as I was doing it. Then after drinking my Dr. Pepper, felt icky because I hardly EVER drink soda anymore.
One way I’m trying to cut out (refined) sugar is to trick my brain that fruit will replace that craving. I put a sign on my fridge saying “FRUIT IS SWEET, EAT IT!!” I buy fruit on sale all the time and end up wasting it to mold because a cookie or 70% rainforest friendly dark chocolate bar with cacao nibs, that was not processed in a facility that contains wheat, seems to grab my attention more.
That habit needs to go!
What else do I want to break? I want to see my 213 unread emails GONE!
For some reason Hotmail hasn’t jumped on the band wagon with iPhone about deleting emails from your phone and your main inbox simultaneously, or maybe I missed clicking that button?
I get sooo much advertisements for Groupon, Living Social, Shutterfly, Mario Badescu, Gap, Mod Bod, Shade Clothing, Coldwater Creek, Crate and Barrel, Pier 1, World Market…ARG! No wonder I have a problem with impulse buying! I’m constantly having ads thrown in my face and I have to delete them TWICE! (on phone and computer). So tonight I want to help curb my cravings for more stuff. I unsubscribed…*GASP* it was almost as hard as cutting up a credit card, but once I was on a roll it made me satisfied that I’ll have less JunK email to delete each day!
Ok, I’m on a ditching spree, what other habit can I get rid of? …
“Uncontrolled Grocery Store Spending”
I spent a LOT of money on vegetables last month, and 1/4 of them ended up spoiling before I ate them. (It’s really a push for me to eat more veggies).
So my plan is, make a BUDGET and find out what I can afford at the store. Make a meal plan for two weeks, get only the foods for “those weeks” and actually stick to the budget and stick to the meal plan.
This will help my efforts to gain better self control
if when I can do this.
Dave Ramsey said,
“Children do what feels good, Adults devise a plan and FOLLOW IT”.
That’s deep, deeper than most of you wanted to read I’m sure…
Another thing I want to overcome is to STOP USING CREDIT CARDS AS A WAY OF LIVING! (I just watched 2 DVD’s of Dave Ramsey’s FPU tonight so it’s giving me some inspiration for this super duper, never thought myself to be a journalist, post).
But anyway. I can’t live off of credit cards any longer. The buck stops here! I have been calling them to see about getting a lower interest rate or whatever because the minimum payment it not helping me get ahead. Finally I lost my job, (it was more of a deliverance than a sorrow) and I was able to call them up and say, I can’t pay next months bill, what are you gonna do for me now? It’s amazing how fast I got a deal from them! Even after they asked if my parents can help. Ha! I gave them the sob story that my parents are in between their home and Seattle taking care of business for my uncle who just had a leg amputated. And trying to clean and sell his home AND taking care of my grandma who has Altzheimers. No I’m not going to ask my parents! So they move me to the “hardship program”, it should be actually named the deliverance program. The deal is 12 months long. The first 6 months you accrue ZERO interest and your minimum payment is dropped to 1% of your balance due, and you are only paying on principle. Then the last 6 months the interest rate goes to a FIXED 9.99% (which beats my variable 15.24% I was at before this). If and when I get a job it does not disqualify me from the program. Its for a whole year! On one of my other cards, because at the beginning of the year I was out of work for 90 days, they are paying the balance on the WHOLE CARD! (not that I didn’t already pay it off with the card security fees they charged).
So my goal is to get out of debt! And STAY OUT OF DEBT!!!
If you have actually read this post all the way to the end, I thank you for letting me release all these pent up thoughts and hopefully I had inspired you to want to break a few habits of your own. So MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT!
If you are ever so brave, write in the comments what habits you would like to break. It’s ok, we won’t laugh, we are all men of like passions…