They say that it takes 21 days to learn a new habit and to break old ones. Therefore, I took 28 days to see what would happen. Was I trying to overachieve by doing more than what was necessary? Nah. Initially, it was going to be 21 Days of Prayer that my church. It was coincidence that part of the 21 Days of Prayer was overlapped by the 21 Days of Miraculous Meditation done by Deepak Chopra.
Combine this with the dating/relationship issues that I had and the certification course that was about to start for the next 4 weeks and it was almost like I walking into a season of turmoil.
So what habits did I choose to do for this season that I saw myself entering? I have about 15-20 items on the habits list. I am not going to cover them all and the impact that they had as this post would be unreasonably long.
Habit 1: Ride with the Radio Off
Not the volume turned all the way down, but I actually pressed the power button and turned it off. In order to not make things awkward when I had passengers, I did turn the radio on while they were riding. Once they got out, radio went back off.
1) You may more attention to what is going on around you while you drive. You would not believe how many folks drive with their cell phones in their hand. Well you probably do. One thing that I did notice, is that a lot of the drivers that I saw with phones in their hand(s), had damage to their right front bumper and headlight area.
From watching Canada's Worst Driver, they stated that a lot of drivers usually hit something on the passenger side more than the driver side. Makes sense as most drivers would not put themselves in danger when they have full control. In addition, most people drift to the right in their lane instead of the left as drifting left will put you into oncoming traffic on rural and residential roads.
2) You can think without being interrupted. When your song gets played on the radio, you know the one that I am talking about that makes you turn the radio up on blast and have a one man/woman choir, it distracts you from what you were previously thinking about or interrupts the conversation that you were having with your passengers.
Traffic report comes on, you focus on what is being said to make sure there are no accidents in the direction that you are headed. With the radio off, you can figure out that programming problem, replay a conversation back and figure out why you said what you said, or if you believe in an higher power to pray.
Habit 2: Eat Meat Once Per Day Maximum
I know you are saying that that is impossible to do. It actually is very possible to do. The habit with this is that I could eat as much meat as I wanted, but it had to be consumed within a single meal or snack. Depending on where you live, it may be harder to do in some places than others.
Where I live, there are not many vegan or vegetarian only restaurants, but there are restaurants that do offer vegan and vegetarian options. One side effect was that my bathroom habits changed. I realized that meat slows down my digestion, so when I would eat a large amount of meat, I would not “go” as often.
For me, it involved a lot of thinking ahead about what I was going to eat. It also involved taking a lunch everyday… yes single day… instead of going out for lunch. Some days, that meant I ate a big bowl of oatmeal for lunch as I didn’t cook dinner the night before.
Habit 3: Pack A Lunch
During the month of August, I had many expenses come up. Vehicle registration, having tress cut, new car battery after the previous gave out unexpectedly, home repairs… it was a lot.
I calculated the amount that I had spent on going out to eat during the month of July. It totaled to about $75 or the equivalent of 1.5 tanks of gas. When I started looking more intently at the non-essential things that I was spending my money on and converting that to the financial equivalent of the essentials that I was spending my money on, it put things into a greater perspective financially that I was really living at my means.
So by cutting back on takeout and going out to eat, I was able to divert those funds to things that would bring me a greater sense of accomplishment, like doing handy work or my own car repairs or making financial investments with the savings.
Habit 4: Work It Out
One of the ways to reduce stress is to work out. So I made a commitment to myself to do Focus T25 or Wii Sports a couple of times per week.
Now I did not follow the T25 workout plan as it was designed given that I did not have the time to be able to do so. My strategy was that some workout is better than no workout. Was I sore the first week of consistently doing Wii and T25? Yes. Almost to the point that I would rather sit or lay down than stand up. Did I feel a change in my body and level of energy? Yup.
Now I am not saying that what I have done will work for you. Everybody is different and has their own way of dealing with the complexities of life. That said, consider this post as a guide for what you can do for your 21+ day habit changing, fasting or prayer.
These are just my thoughts.