Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Forming a New Habit: Learning to Give Up Control

The other day at work some coworkers and I started to discuss personal weaknesses. The following question was posed:

* What do you think your significant other (or anyone very important in your life) would say your biggest weakness is?

Well?!?!? What would you answer? I think mine is easy, although I would have to check with the hubby to be sure. I think my husband would say my biggest weakness is that I have control issues. That is putting it mildly. My husband would say it in the nicest way possible and mean it in the nicest way possible. I, on the other hand, will say just come out and say that I have MAJOR control issues. 

My entire day is structured around me doing something constantly. I run a tight ship. I would say 80% of my life is about pre-planning (work duties, taking baby to daycare or out anywhere for that matter, clothes, household chores, traveling, weekend company, etc.). Everything in life takes some pre-planning to a degree. For instance, if I don’t make sure the laundry is done how on earth will we all make it to work?

All these control issues make me exhausted, I must admit. I ended my day, after talking with coworkers, contemplating the power of change. I believe full heartedly in change and believe people can change. It just takes work. Lots of work. I started asking myself, “am I ready to change how controlling I am?” The answer would be a resounding, “YES!”

Thus, my personal challenge to Learn to Give Up Control was born!

The next question was, “how long will it take to make this change and make it a habit?” I do not wish to temporarily give up control, I want it to become more of a way of life for me. I don’t like being too extreme on the spectrum. If I could put myself in the middle of the spectrum, then I would like to find a way to stay there.

Google search "forming a habit" and I seem to be seeing a lot of information on it taking 21 days to form a habit. This is a pretty hefty change to make, so I am not certain 21 days will be enough. Read this article. To summarize (if you don’t have time to read) forming new habits can take 18-254 days based on a 2009 psychology study.  Creating a new habit and giving up the old will depend on the person, dedication, what is being changed, and so on. Because I am not seeing any definitive number of days, I have decided to pull a day out randomly and plan to extend my goal if needed. I will give myself 60 days, or about 2 months.

Start day to form my new habit of giving up control: 10/29/13

End date for new habit of giving up control: 12/28/13

I should have this habit changed just in time for New Year’s (the time of year for setting new goals)!

I invite you to join me as I take on this challenge to change a habit. What change will you be making?

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