Saturday, November 5, 2011

creating change in 30 days: october 2011

October had me wondering if I could follow Beauty That Moves' grocery challenge. I was also at a point where I was desperate and scared to visit my dentist since my crown had been bringing me pain.

In October I started listening to some different podcasts. And it all started to come together, you know changes needing to be made right when the light finally dawned on me on how I needed to try and make those changes. Between Mat Cutt's TED Talk 'Try Something New for 30 Days' and WNYC's Radiolab's 'Help'.

1. Cutting our grocery budget and being more careful with menu planning and purchasing.
2. Quit biting my nails.

So, I took on the grocery challenge. I always defended my $800 a month grocery budget and never even considered that it needed trimming. But here was another Heather, one state away, who has similar eating and cooking habits as I do, giving it a go. Putting it all out there. Our family didn't totally halve our grocery bill, but we cut back a LOT on the amount of money we spent and the amount of waste we created. I even saved time, not hitting up a store every other day for that one item we really needed. (But it turns out most of the time we would do just find without having it right away.) Instead of driving out to the store, I'd go for a lunchtime bike ride, I'd read my books, I'd keep up with a blog.

Now, my dental work. I have been biting my nails for decades. My mother did it, I've always done it. When I was 16 I gave it up until I was 27, but I'd hew at the edges of my fingers, still causing enough extra pressure on my teeth to make them ache. So, for October, I gave up chewing on my nails and fingers. I told myself, when it's time for me to quit my job, if I find my fingers in my mouth, that I would have to put another 6 months in to save up extra money. I put that challenge on myself. (Like in the Radiolab podcast.) I desperately want to quit my job, so having to do it for an extra half a year felt like a threat that helped me stick to it.

Since quitting the nail biting, my nails have become stronger (granted, I have to cut them more often, but that's a decent trade off) and my tooth ache, which I was pretty convinced was in need of serious dental work, turned out to be no more than the extra pressure I was forcing on my teeth and jaw.

So, now I'm sold. I've set up some goals for myself. Small-ish ones, but a goal for each month.

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