Small Changes

I’m a very routine person.  When I want to make a change, I usually take small steps, and the new changes become habits very quickly.  It’s worked very well for me over the years.  My severe acid reflux, hypoglycemia, and frugality make it easy to break bad habits.

When I smoked, I didn’t realize it was making me sick.  It wasn’t just chest pain; I actually vomited.  Now, I avoid being around smoke to avoid being sick.  I quit smoking in 2003.  Thankfully, I wasn’t addicted to the nicotine.  It was easy to stop my habits in stages.  The first and easiest habit to break was lighting up as soon as I started my vehicle’s engine.  I immediately noticed how much better I smelled.  I’m sure everyone around me was grateful.  One of the broken habits was smoking while bored, such as during work breaks.  The last habit to break was smoking while drinking.  That was a bit hard.  Not only have I felt better since 2003, I’ve saved an incredible amount of money.

When I was a kid, I drank too much soda.  The amount varied over the years, but it was too much.  As I got older, I started drinking less and less.  I was to the point of having one per week.  The prices finally got too high, and I stopped drinking soda around 2012.  A few months after I thought I quit, I had a bad reaction to the last one I drank.  I haven’t missed it.

Several years ago (maybe 2017), I developed a new habit to drink more water.  Every morning, I drink thirty-two ounces while scrolling social media and checking e-mail.  Unlike many people, I don’t drink coffee.

Over the years, I went on and off exercise routines on a regular basis.  In 2018, I found a routine I really like, and I’ve managed to stick to it.  I exercise five mornings per week, and it involves strength training and core training.  I definitely feel better, both physically and mentally.

Around 2019, I noticed that I drink more alcohol when I’m eating or when I’m hungry.  So, I stopped drinking alcohol while eating dinner at home.  I have water instead.  When I drink after dinner, I keep water closer to me so I can alternate which one I pick up to consume.  I’ve been drinking around sixteen to thirty-two ounces of water every night.  Early in 2022, I stopped drinking alcohol with dinner while at my dad’s house.  In 2022, I started ordering water instead of alcohol at restaurants.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself.  Since I started keeping this blog, I’m shocked every January about how much I spent on alcohol in the previous year.  Tax season is always the hardest time for me to reduce alcohol consumption, and 2022 was no exception.  Once tax season was over, I focused on drinking less.  I feel so much better when I drink less; plus, it’s so expensive.  I no longer drink every night, and my goal is to stop drinking alcohol completely.

I was a bit of a minimalist before I knew what it was.  Once I learned about it, I was hooked.  I’ve done several sweeps of my house a little at a time.  I’ll work on one closet or drawer or box at a time.  I really have to think about why I’m keeping something.  Do I need it now, maybe need it for later, want it for now, or want it for later?  Is it sentimental, useful, or decorative?  I’ve gotten really good about not introducing more items into my house, and I’m making progress on getting items out of my house.  The more I declutter, the easier it gets.  I’ve let go of several items during additional sweeps of some areas.  Avoiding new clutter is easy since I’m trying not to spend money on anything I don’t need.  Saying “no” to new free clutter is a little trickier, and I’ve definitely hurt my family’s feelings by declining free items that I don’t need and don’t have space to store.

Is there something you want to change?  Take small steps, and you’ll eventually reach your goal.

Linda 🙂

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