The challenge with saving energy isn’t so much about what to do. It’s about maintaining the motivation to do it.
Because If you’re motivated, you’ll make all those tiny decisions that ultimately affect your energy bill at the end of the month.
Most people know what to do. But for their own reasons, they just don’t do it.
So, the difficulty really rests between your ears. Fortunately, modern psychology can teach a lot about finding and maintaining the motivation necessary to create new habits (which is what saving energy really is).
1. Set a Realistic, Specific, Small, and Measurable Goal
When you actually achieve your energy savings goal, you feel happy and excited that you hit it.
So, don’t go overboard your first month and set a goal of cutting your electricity use by 50%.
Start with something you know you can probably hit, like a 5-10% reduction or so. Once you achieve success, it has a way of snowballing and turning into more success.
2. Prepare to Handle Setbacks
They will happen. No one is perfect.
Before you even set out to achieve greater energy savings, have a plan for how you will handle inevitable setbacks.
When trying to start any new habit, many people, when they first hit failure, will let that failure snowball into more and more failure. And not long after they’ve started on their adventure to create their new habit, they’ve already given up.
For example, let’s say that in your second month of energy savings, you end up using more energy than you did in the same month last year. You might say to yourself, ”Oh no. I didn’t hit my goal. I can’t do anything right.”
That’s unrealistic. Instead, when your mind tells you factually untrue things like that, reframe them to, ”Well, I made a mistake. But, I can learn from the mistake I made, change my behavior, and hit my goal next month.”
The latter helps you maintain your motivation.
3. Never Do It All Alone
It’s always harder to achieve a goal all by yourself. And it’s going to be doubly hard with energy savings if you’re the only one in your family who cares to save energy.
We’ve written many posts on enlisting the help of your family as you try to save energy.
Do everything you can to get them on board. When you all work together towards a common goal, you can provide emotional support and pick each other up when you’re struggling along the way.
That’s all we have for today. You have to be aware of your own unique struggles and figure out ways to deal with them when they come up.
And hopefully this post is a good start on your path to saving more energy, helping the earth, and putting money in your pocket.