Justifying bad habits

There have been a few instances recently where either I have or people around me have been justifying bad habits.  Eliot pointed it out to me.  We identify the bad habit, give an excuse for why we do it and then either come up with some bizarre workaround to deal with it.  Whether it is spending habits like; “if I have my bank card and cash in my account, I spend it” (habit) “it was the way I was brought up – no one ever taught me how to manage money” (excuse) “so I just leave all my money at home in an envelope so I can’t spend it.   ” (workaround).   Another one is eating habits “I buy packaged food or eat out all the time” (habit) “because I’m a busy Mum and it’s more important that my family have wholesome meals” (excuse) “so I just give all the leftovers to them and buy my lunch” (workaround).

What are we doing by justifying these habits?  We are avoiding dealing with the underlying issue.  Wouldn’t it be better to change the habit itself?  I think it would.  It can be difficult to first of all realise that what you are doing is something that goes against your values.  The example above of being a busy mum and eating out was mine.  We would cook wholesome well rounded dinners and there would be leftovers but a lot of the time, there would only be one serve.  I would put them in Eliot’s lunch bag and would justify it by thinking he doesn’t have the same access to food options that I do (I work in the middle of the city, he works on different residential job sites every day).  The truth is I liked the food that I could buy and even though most of the time I made reasonably healthy choices, I hated all the packaging, I hated spending all that money and there were often times when the burger and fries was too tempting.  This has been going on for months.  So I decided that rather keeping on justifying it, it was time to change it.  I have now been preparing my lunches for the week on Sunday for the last two weeks.  It’s early days yet I know.  Habits take a lot to change but one of the first steps is to want to change it.  So let’s stop justifying these habits and start changing them.

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