Daily Habits — Is Anything More Important, Is Anything Harder to Change?

This post is our contribution to sustainablog’s Pedal-a-Watt Powered Blogathon this weekend. The long-running green blog (and new green shopping site) is publishing for 24 hours straight to raise funds for the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Northeastern Missouri. Go join the fun: read post contributions from around the green blogosphere, leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for some great green prizes, and join in the Tweetchat at #susbppb.

Our daily habits seem smaller than they actually are, because (by definition), they are something we do not give as much thought to. They are things we often do without thinking about why we do them, if we should do something else, or what their true effect is.

The truth is, our eating habits, transportation habits, recreational habits, and even simple flip-the-switch habits probably have a bigger impact on our lives, our health, the environment, the economy, and so on than anything else.

Nonetheless, if we ever do think about changing a habit, it is still a very difficult thing to do… or is it?

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Changing a habit feels so hard, because we feel comfort in what we are used to. Most people, and maybe even everyone (even people who love new things, adventure, etc.), crave comfort and naturally feel more comfortable with what they are familiar with.

But if we give it some deep thought, we can look beyond comfort and look beyond what we are used to and can identify ways that we can make a huge, beneficial impact on ourselves, on our society and on our planet by changing at least some of our habits.

I think if we get into the habit of reflecting on our lives, on life in general, on our habits, it can become easier and easier to make wiser and wiser changes to our lives. It can become easier an easier to achieve the ideals that we only dream of when we are trapped in habits that do not lead to those ideals.

I suggest, make a habit of reflection & see how it changes your life.

In addition, surrounding yourself with people who will continually give you new ideas and encourage you to improve your life is probably a good idea as well.

image credit: dhammza via flickr under a CC license

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~ by Zachary Shahan on March 27, 2010.

6 Responses to “Daily Habits — Is Anything More Important, Is Anything Harder to Change?”

  1. Use of solar energy is a way to save energy at home. Exploring this kind of energy saving devices are already known for some time at home. This is considered one of the most important renewable energy. Installation of solar panels for home electricity is quite simple and requires less maintenance and help reduce their electricity bills at home.

  2. […] Daily Habits — Is Anything More Important, Is Anything Harder to Change? […]

  3. Hi,

    thanks! It’s a great idea to make a habit out of reflecting the own habits! I try to do that, too. It actually feels great and more like a liberating experience than anything else. Thoughts want to be free! So allowing myself to think freely and deeply about seemingly small things (habbits) and about big things (live itself) alike is not some big, heavy burden, as it seemed to be at first, but the exact oposite. It only feels crushing if we are stuck – if we can find problems but no solutions, for example. So it’s important to ACT on those thoughts and step out of a feeling of helplessness.

    You didn’t really say what kind of habits you are referring to, but many people tell us to change our CONSUMER habits. In my opinion, that is important and a great trap at the same time. It can be a trap if people start to define themselves as consumers (instead of, for example, citizens) and therefore reduce their choice of action to “buying” or “not buying”. Citizens have a much wider range of tools from which to choose – including revolution if all else fails. I don’t want to define myself as a citizen, though. I’d rather be a human being.

    So defining oneself as a consumer is dangerous. Because even if every single consumer in the world would only buy “green” products, that still wouldn’t be enough to stop global warming, mass extinction, depletion of soils, massive social injustice, the poisoning of EVERYTHING and so on. The truth is that consumers’ demand does NOT control the course of industrial production. Much less does it control what governments, military organisations and other institutions do. And those contribute to the destruction of life in a much greater scale than private comsumption does!

    To stop the destruction of live on earth we have to do a lot more than change our consumer habits. We have to stop being consumers. Production and consumption has to stop. We have to stop seeing the world as made of “resources” for us to exploit. We have to stop others from exploiting, polluting, destroying earth, life, ecosystems, our own bodies. We have to fight back because this culture will never undergo a voluntary change to a sane way of living.

    Our way of relating to ourselves, to our neighbours (human and non-human) and to the earth has to change. We must once again become part of nature, like people who live in indigenous (that is, non-civilized) cultures. We should truly Identify with our own bodies, with those we love, with the land that gives us life. Then we can live in, from and for nature so that the division of “nature” vs “human” becomes obsolete.

    I stole most of those thoughts from Derrick Jensen (http://www.derrickjensen.org/) 😉


  4. This is true, and it is necessary to constantly evaluate our habits to see how we can improve ourselves and our living. I think its habits which never get examined which are the cause of people’s complacency. How often do you see someone drop an item in the rubbish because they didn’t ‘think’ about re-cycling? Just a small example I know, but its the small things which mount up.

    I hope you don’t mind but I bookmarked this article to my facebook page in the hopes of reaching some more people with your thoughts?

  5. […] Shahan has contributed another guest post to our little soiree; he’s posted this one at his own blog, lightngreen. I’ve always […]

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