Letter Re: Thoughts on Shedding Bad Habits, and Developing Good Ones

Hi Mr. Rawles,
I was thinking today about a section I read either on the blog or in the book about getting rid of any habits you may have. I instantly thought, “thank God I quit smoking” and left it at that. Until yesterday. I thought of all the things I do that are my habits that would not be there in a melt down. I found some that I just had not even thought about as being a bad habit that needed to be curbed. I am keeping a written diary of my habits to see where I need to improve or eliminate.

Here is what my list consists of so far:
1. Gum chewing. This is what I replaced my smoking habit with. But in a melt down, where will I get gum to chew? Not to mention it’s not something you want in a compost pile!
2. Soda/Pop. I have quit drinking this and have replaced this with water as I am trying to get back into shape. But soda will be gone in the melt down unless you can make root beer.
3. Snacking. I have been known to eat snacks through out the day, hence why I am getting back into shape. My snacks are healthy as I eat fruit but thinking on this, we will need to control the amount of food we eat daily to preserve the stock. So I am eliminating snacking from my diet. My whole family is doing the same thing. We will have a better control on our food supply this way.
4. My glass of wine. I would drink this or cook with it. But in a melt down, it would not be practical. So we are using what we have and not buying anymore.
5. Mints. Just about everyone I know has some brand of mints in their pockets. This is another thing to eliminate. What are in your pockets?
6. Cooking from boxed “dinners”. We took a look at the box and decided we can make our own boxed goods with dehydrated goods just like the box does. This is cheaper and will last us longer as the packaging isn’t the greatest. We have a huge dehydrator and have made individual meals of spaghetti and meat with sauce. You simply put in one serving of noodles, a dehydrated meat patty, and some spaghetti sauce in the dry package that only needs water. Then you seal it with the kitchen saver and you have a meal on the go with protein that will last a while. (You can do this for most dishes you make).
7. Waste. We decided to look at the fridge and find out what we waste the most of. Waste is costly. We now reuse everything, even if it just to the compost pile. This way we have our habits of our retreat already started and will not be in such a shock when looking at the trash pile.
8. Television time. We have cancelled our cable and have not turned on the television in over 6 months. We don’t miss it and it gives us time to learn new skills and to be active and moving while accomplishing things on our list. I did not realize how much television time we used. I like you watch the colony via my computer. Actually you can watch anything via your computer, you just need a program installed. I wont as I just don’t want to replace this habit.
9. Watching my change. I have started my nickel pile and have gotten everyone I know in the habit of saving the nickels. My saying is it’s for my coin collection. I give no more details to that outside of my family at home. When buying anything with cash, I always ask for nickels instead of any other coin. I also keep pennies in my purse handy to ensure I can get a nickel back.
10. Dog walking. We have started our training of our team walking when we take the dog for his nightly walk. We space each other out and we carry sticks (must have them here with the wild animals attacking our dog). But it gives us the opportunity to fix what we didn’t do right while we have the ability to do it under less stress.

My point is we are starting to think about all of our habits. Taking a really hard look at what you do daily will help you determine what habits are they good or bad and do you want to improve them or get rid of them? Will they hurt you or help you? We are creatures of habit. Will yours benefit your or not?

Thank you for all that you do! May God continue to Bless you and your family. Your family is my prayers. – Jane L.