Over my regular morning coffee today, I was thinking about our habits and behavior patterns. It is curious that some of us can make big positive changes in our lives while others are stuck doing the same negative things over and over with no thought to doing anything different. For some of us there is a light bulb moment where we realize things need to be different and we go about making the necessary changes in our lives to fulfill our goals. For others, it just seems like the light bulb goes on but goes off just as quickly.
Research shows that it takes between 18-224 days to make a new behavior an ingrained habit. So is it any wonder that the majority of New Yearís Resolutions barely make it to the end of January? We simply donít understand that a new behaviour takes a long time to become a habit. Change is something that takes time and should be pursued in small methodical steps. Change does not happen overnight.
When it comes to shopping locally the first and small step for some is the morning coffee or what I call the Coffee Conundrum. Where should I get my morning coffee? The easy and simple solution is to go to the corporate chain store, go through the drive thru and get your same cup of coffee. However with a little planning and the willingness to change that pattern, you could choose to buy your coffee from a local coffee shop and actually get out of your car and possibly meet the owner. When you meet the owner, you may then engage in conversation with another patron. What a lovely way to start your day. Eventually this new place will become your regular place and you will have started a habit of supporting a local business.
Itís these small steps done on a regular basis that help to turn a new behavior into a habit. Sometimes as the research shows, it takes some time to change our behavior. It truly is worth the effort to make changes in our daily life and the benefits to our community are enormous. Try it today.