Old habits die hard, don’t they?
Think about it. You have a certain set of habits now. Don’t just think about your energy-savings behaviors.
Consider all your behaviors.
If you have to suddenly form a new habit, it’s not easy, is it?
This holds true even if you know the new habit will replace one that’s not so good.
You may even have tried to break an undesirable habit. But you might have wound up with no success whatsoever.
…Welcome to being human!
Everyone does this. Despite what our consumerist society tries to lead you to believe, change never comes easily or quickly.
So, how do you engage in a new habit and make it your norm? Try following this approach:
1. First, Identify the Habit
Of course, you have to start with the behaviors you want to change. Make a list of a few (you’ll identify more as you get further into energy savings).
Don’t turn this into an opportunity to shame yourself for not being good enough. That will take your motivation to change away and keep you engaging in the same behaviors.
Look at your habits objectively.
You have some ways you can change your behavior so you save energy.
That’s it. These are just factual observations at this point.
2. Figure Out the Cause
You engage in every behavior you do for a reason. You may not be aware of it at the time.
But you have a reason for doing that behavior.
For example, you might crank the thermostat to hot because you just got home from a long day at work and you want to feel warm and comfortable right now.
Or, you might feel stress from work, and the warmth may help you relax.
3. Remove the Cause, If You Can. And If You Can’t…
You may or may not have the ability to remove the cause of your behavior.
But, you may have the ability to use new strategies to deal with it.
For example, you might use exercise, drinking warm tea, or any of a number of other things to help you cope with work stress.
You don’t necessarily need to remove the cause forever. This can be until you feel confident your habit changes will last.
4. Replace the Habit with New Behavior
Now that you have the cause identified and a strategy for removing it or dealing more effectively with it, add your new habit.
Come home and lay under a nice warm blanket for a bit. Follow a relaxing meditation to help yourself calm down and successfully transition into being at home.
You have to test and figure out what new behavior works best for you.
5. Reward Yourself and Don’t Worry about Mistakes
When you make the change, reward yourself in a way that’s significant to you!
Go out for an ice cream. Give yourself a nice compliment.
And when you make mistakes and engage in your old habit again (and you will), don’t sweat it!
Acknowledge the mistake. Figure out what led up to it so you know the thinking that got you there.
Then, do something different when that thinking arises again.
As the months go on and turn into years, you’ll get cemented into your new way of doing things.
That means energy saved and more money in the bank!
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