Today we testify to the power of habit.
One of our favorite websites is written by a cheerleading lady to helps us learn to keep our homes neat and clean – her website’s name is Flylady.net. She taught IFO that it takes one month to form a habit.
Turns out it took IFO more than that, but you get the point. The lesson was driven home for us a few days ago when we began to leave our bedroom without making the bed. Now, in this household, making the bed means folding up the blanket and putting it in the closet. Fluffing the pillow and putting it in the closet. Then, rolling up the sleeping bag and putting IT in the closet.
Sleeping bag? Yep. We’ve been sleeping in a sleeping bag for 30+ years. Ever since we went camping with DDH for the first time. When we got back home, our perennial backache, which we had never noticed before, was gone!
Talk about not noticing: When we were growing up in New Mexico, we never noticed that we were a mouth-breather! Our noses were stuffed up all the time. Then, we moved to a coastal city – Long Beach, Calif. Our nose cleared up. Only then did we notice the delight of being able to breath through our nose all the time. It seems that we have a tendency not to notice bad stuff until it goes away. A good coping mechanism, we suppose.
Back to the present. We had much to do and were in a hurry, but suddenly we noticed our feet were rooted to the floor. We simply couldn’t leave, since the sleeping bag was still on the floor. We laughed, rolled it up and went merrily on our way.
Now, all of you perfectly tidy and well-organized housekeepers out there will be scratching your heads in confusion. ??? But the rest of you know just what IFO means.
We also think it may take as long, or even longer, to break a habit as to create one. It actually took us years to stop smoking. We weren’t successful until we were able to convince ourselves that we were a NON-smoker. The critical insight was that after thinking about why we were having such a hard time quitting was due to the fact that we didn’t want to Give Anything UP.
We had to go forward and become something new and better, not someone weak and dependent. Once we figured that out, the rest was easy.
Investment lesson: Cultivate good investing habits (research, study, constantly review) early. They’ll stand you in good stead your entire life.