Our Habits and Simple Living

I’ve heard a lot of talk recently about the exact date people give up on their new year’s resolutions. It’s sometime between January 12th and the 18th. Already?! It hasn’t even been a month. Why do we make these grand plans to change and yet we can’t even carry through for a couple weeks? 

I sometimes feel so discouraged with trying to live a more simple and thoughtful life, especially when I see so much more I can do. I feel pushes from all around to keep up with the latest and greatest yet I don’t always know how to make the changes I’ve put in place last.  

Last year Alison and I spoke at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery and one of our lectures was about sustainable living. As I wrote this paragraph for the talk I remember thinking that’s it. 

“Life isn’t by any means slower or easier right now and sustainability sometimes gets pushed aside for real life and the habits society has ingrained in me. But by changing my daily habits I hope even small changes can create a big impact for my children and future generations”. 

Habits play such a big part of our everyday. To try and start something new as an adult takes a lot of brain work, energy, and determination. I’ve never been someone to set new year’s resolutions, but if you talk to Alison she will tell you I love setting goals and coming up with new ideas. It’s the follow-through that gets me every time it seems. I recently read Atomic Habits by James Clear, a great book to help with creating good habits that will last. He states if you want better results forget about setting goals, but focus on your system instead. 

So what does that look like? For Alison and I it means making little changes everyday and lots of research! Sometimes it means changing the systems we’ve had ingrained in us our whole life. I think the only way to change is to first look at what we do on a day to day basis. Where do we go shopping? What are we buying? Can we live with less? And maybe asking ourselves even bigger questions like what is holding us back from living the life we really want to live? 

Another thing James Clear talks about is surrounding yourself with those who have the habits you want to have yourself, and that’s what this journal is for us. Finding like minded individuals who we can rise together with. By making better choices and encouraging each other we begin to learn, practice, and teach new ways of living.