Totally Inconvenienced Like It's 1501: By Erin Cummings
I changed a terrible habit, and I only did it because I was inconvenienced.
I want to start this off by saying a few things, and then I’ll get into the nuts and bolts of my blog post. First, if you can only choose between meditation or exercise, pick one that you think will make the most impact. If you haven’t realized how good meditation is for you, but you KNOW that exercise makes you feel great and you want more time to focus on that. EXERCISE FIRST. Second, it’s never easy to create a new habit, it’s never easy to stop an old habit, and it’s really easy to break new habits that aren’t really habits yet……it’s only through challenge that you find growth. And, sometimes will power isn’t enough, you need to be totally inconvenienced and struggle.
I am a sleeper by nature. If I’m bored I will happily go take a nap. Lay down in bed, give me 5 minutes and I’m asleep. I could sleep all day everyday all the time.
I’ve always been a terrible waker-upper. It was a fight with my parents when I was a kid, it’s a fight now. My husband would get so mad because I would set my alarm super early and hit snooze, I shit you not, for an hour.
At one point, I changed my habit. I was snoozing for an hour, but still waking up early to work out in the mornings, get my meditations in, and still get kiddos ready for school and drop off……forever and always 5 minutes late.
During COVID, we moved. We moved out of the burbs and into the city. So, that totally disrupted any sort of morning flow I had going on, and my eldest’s new school started about 45 minutes earlier….the dreaded 7:30am.
Luckily, the move came with some great new perks, my husband’s office is now 6 minutes away, so he is now in charge of dropping off our oldest at school. All that being said, I still agreed that I would get up and do breakfast, make his lunch, and be sure his backpack was ready to go.
Right after we moved into our house we realized none of the electrical outlets in our bedroom worked, because they had them shut off for construction. WHERE DO I PLUG MY PHONE IN? HOW AM I GOING TO DETACH FROM IT? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO STARE AT THE CEILING? WHAT IS THIS 1501 AD?
So, I was totally inconvenienced and had to start plugging my phone into the bathroom outlets. You guys, I had to like get up and walk to grab my phone, ugggghhhhhh. But, something happened…. I was getting up to my first alarm clock, no more snoozing, I was just like awake and ready for the day. (Insert Jack the Skeleton’s song “What’s This?” to that morning feeling.)
Jump to a couple months later (yes we really did’t have power in our bedroom for a while, let me save you that rant) and I have left my phone plug in my bathroom.
If you want to change habits and you haven’t read “The Power of Habit” I HIGHLY suggest you get all up in that book. Charles Duhigg, the author, states that in order to create a new habit you need to piggy back that new habit off of an old one to help make it stick. Well, my closet door is right next to the toilet room door. So I still begrudgingly wake up, at my first alarm, go potty, and then head straight into my closet for my new meditation time.
It’s working. I finally have my meditation habit again, I’m still working on my exercise, but for me right now I don’t need to do it at a certain time of day. My meditation is required for me in the mornings I’ve realized over the past couple of years.
The bonus: I’m not scrolling through the dark depths of social media right before bed or immediately when I’m waking up in the morning. Maybe one day I’ll figure out some boundaries for that, but will power alone isn’t helping. I’m doing my own self-study so I’ll get back to you on what works, once I figure it out myself.
While this might sounds like something simple, picture it on a way bigger scale. For instance 2020, think about all the times you were totally inconvenienced, and thing about all the new things that came of it. It’s not that you didn’t want those new things, but sometimes that’s how growth shows up. One small inconvenienced created a life changing old habit, and if you can create some inquiry about how that shows up for you in your 2020, think about what incredible contributions to your life could potentially happen.
So maybe you can keep saying 2020 sucks, or maybe you were inconvenienced for a bit, you were hurting for a bit, your were challenged for a bit, and maybe a spark of something new was actually created.