We started a long overdue ban on electronics from 9 am to 5 pm at our house. I grew up in a home that often did not even have a television and when we did its use was closely monitored. I didn’t want my kids to grow up feeling like watching t.v. was an illicit activity. As so often happens I did the opposite with my kids of what was done with me. I was finding that my kids were so irritable and disrespectful to each other (modelling the behavior in the shows they watch), rarely played outside, ate snacks non-stop often sneaking and hiding food, and were getting overweight. In other words, things were getting a little out of control.
The results of the electronics ban have been wonderful. My kids are getting along much better, playing together more, outside way more and snacking much less. The most shocking part to me has been how easily my kids took to this new normal. I should have done this ages ago!
I started thinking about how my kids never would have made these changes on their own probably believing their lives would be absolute torture. Which naturally got me wondering, why do we wait for a rock bottom, health crisis, divorce papers, or loss of a job to buckle down and make changes that should have been made ages ago? Why does it have to get so bad that we can’t take it anymore to finally try to make it better? Believe me I know all of the excuses. The truth is, change doesn’t have to be so hard. It is just learning a new habit. Will you backslide, cheat, screw up? Probably.
Try this. Try not judging yourself for not doing it right and just notice how it feels when you do it the “old” way. Does it still feel normal? If it feels yucky and like something you don’t want in your life anymore, acknowledge that. Next time you reach for the chips, think about skipping the gym, start yelling at the kids, cutting corners at work, or whatever your “thing” is, try to take an extra second to choose. Start making a new habit that feels good and gets you closer to where you want to be.