You Can’t Change Me OvernightPosted: July 25, 2012
This was a comment my fiancé made to me the other day. We just received a free shoe rack—extremely helpful as we have no closet space for shoes and they are usually under the bed. And under the bed was fine but it didn’t work out the best as I have a cat who apparently likes to play with shoes. I’d find a shoe up at the top of the bed and the mate would be at the bottom of the bed. When you’re in a hurry, this was not helpful. Well, my future in-laws are in the process of selling their house and so are trying to downsize on some things they have. So we’ve been “shopping” through their cast offs and taking what we can (at their say so by the way) and they just so happened to have a shoe rack.
I took it home and set it up with shoes we regularly wear—he has 4 and I have 7. My cat decided that he wasn’t too happy with it and spent his time sniffing it and trying to get on it. Thankfully the shoes on top of it hindered him and he has now stopped trying to jump on it. Great right? I’m no longer tripping over shoes in the bedroom or trying to find them and it was free! Who doesn’t like free things?
Of course, two days later, my fiancé is looking for his flip-flops–one is under the bed and the other is under the small table we have our fan on. As he’s searching, I “casually” ask him if it’s on the shoe rack where it belongs. Of course I know the answer, he knows the answer and he knows that I know the answer, but he still blusters about “of course it was on there. I don’t know how it got moved.” Or something to that effect. After he finds it, he makes the comment “you can’t change me overnight. I never had a shoe rack before!”
This applies to so many things in life. (Okay not the shoe rack part) Eating healthy when you normally eat junk? Never exercised a day in your adult life and now want to exercise 5 days a week? Paying off debt instead of racking it up? All these habits take time to change. And yes, once in a while you’re going to find that your flip-flops are under the bed instead of on the shoe rack. But it is okay; eventually they’ll stay on the shoe rack. It’s not fair to yourself to think that you can change overnight and if you think that, you might end up never-changing. Why? Because you’ll see only your mistakes and think that you can’t do it, you cannot change this habit you have. But, in my experience, if you make a mistake, recognize it, learn from it and (most importantly) move on from it—you’ll be able to break those habits and install new ones!
And as an important side note, if you are helping someone change a habit, please don’t harp on the mistakes they make. Or if you do, apologize and stress the good things they have done. I’ve been guilty of this but I know how it makes me feel, so I try very hard not to harp on others. For instance, my fiancé’s flip-flops were in our bedroom this morning but I didn’t say anything. Just started picking up some other things and he put them away himself.