Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Betty says, you are so NOT terrible!

The other day I went to pick up some necessities at the local grocer and as I got out my reusable bags and placed them on the counter, the woman in front of me got a sad look, sighed and said to her husband, "I'm so terrible! I'm always forgetting my bags! I feel so guilty!"

I wanted to scream out loud You are so NOT terrible. You are lovely and wonderful and human. And for Earth's sake, stop feeling guilty and use that as fuel for change! Clearly this person CARES or she wouldn't have had such a strong reaction.

Is feeling guilty really going to help her remember her bags next time?

Now, I'm no social scientist, but likely if she that's the reaction she feels when she sees others doing a green action, no wonder she is not remembering her reusable bags!

Here's the truth y'all. Forget your bags? Left the light on again? Forgot to turn the thermostat down before you left on vacation? Let it go in the moment AND then put something in place to help you make the right decision. I.E. Take action. Give yourself a pat on the back for caring and renew your effort at change.

Research says it takes less than 90 days to formulate a habit. I was just reading up on it, because I have some habits of my own I desperately need to curb (uh-humm the hot shower buzzer goes off and I'm still lingering in the steam with this FREEZING weather we've been having). Try ...

*use 100% recycled paper post-it notes
*tell people your intention/goal - you are more likely to do it
*consistency builds habit Always hang your bags on the exit door or put them in the passenger seat of your car.
*feel the internal reward when you DO remember
*buy a LOCAL, farm-fresh yummy treat as an external reward when you DO remember

Hope that helps!