Thursday, January 6, 2011

How do you Motivate Yourself to Change? (And A Giveaway!)

I found another multi-use bag on Etsy: they're made by Elena Berlo, and you can check out her shop here. These are bigger than the flipflap sacks, and can be used for any snacks-- they have a velcro closure so you can keep little foods in. As an aside, they also work wonderfully for a kindle, Eug's Christmas/anniversary gift this year.  They're durable and compact enough that they can stay with you for the long haul.

I love that Etsy offers me a way to get home-made, made-with-love-with-great-raw-materials, things that I'm totally incapable of making. (Don't worry, I'm not paid to endorse Etsy.)

I've been learning more about social marketing (the marketing that makes you really crave chocolate right when you're checking out at the grocery) and I'm convinced you're trying to reduce your waste, it's good to have a lot of easy alternatives to ziplocs. You may have to trick yourself.

Elena is offering a set of three snack bags to one lucky reader.   I wanted to use this opportunity to hear how you motivate yourself to make changes-- To be included in the draw, leave comments about how you deal with choices: How do you make the good choice the easy choice in your life-- whether in reducing waste, cooking from scratch, or stopping your home from having stacks of stuff? How do you make the choice stick?

An Update:  Keep commenting until this Thursday, January 13th, at 5pm.  That's when we'll do the draw.  Your chances are good!


Bridggymama said...

oh my gosh i love the gift bags. I am trying to think how i make changes stick. I think I basically have a plug your nose and jump in approach usually. for instance we eat a lot of peanut butter. I wanted to buy an all natural kind, this would cause a little stir because those also tend to not have sugar and also is not the brand my husband prefers. I don't recall if I gave him warning (opps) but I did find that a brand sold at Bj's would work as being natural, able to be bought in quantities in keeping with our massive consumption of PB and, happily came in glass jars which I then reuse for homemade stock, giving food gifts and keeping my homemade cleaning supplies in. All healthy food is more expensive so I just had to start buying it and take pride that i choose a brand cheaper than other healthy brands and not compare it to less healthy brands cost.
I unfortunatley don't always have a plan for how i will make changes work, i sometimes backwards engineer them, like ok I need to buy healthier PB especially because of the amount we eat, now I buy it, hmmmm what should I cut out. This does tend to inform me about what i think is more important, we used to buy gads of soda, but then when I cut out fake sugar subs and HFCS that went by the wayside, and made easier by the fact that I needed the soda money for other healthier foods. in that case it just lost out to other healthier foods because it violated too many new trends i was making and didn't provide enough enjoyment. we moved on to beer/wine ha ha. ahem. anyway I am working on making some changes right now that will require more planning so this question is timely.

ems said...

When I was trying to get into the habit of bringing my own bag to the grocery store I would make myself buy one of the reusable ones every time I forgot to bring my own. I figured if I wound up with a few extras it wasn't a biggie and money talks!

Looking at the real costs of things is often a big motivator.

Mindy Manlee Mussils, Winner of the Miss Moustache Pageant 3 Years Running said...

It's not a very committed way to make change, but I make changes based on what will overall add to the quality my life as well as the lives of those involved.

That means not just asking, "Will this be beneficial to me somehow," but also, "Will it be beneficial or considerate to others/another?"

I take the primary cooking responsibilities in the house, mostly because I'm better at it than my spouse and because I enjoy relaxes me. As such, making things from scratch--bread, sauces, cookies, juice, etc.--increases my quality of life, and it happens to be better for the health of my self, spouse, and friends whom I cook for.

However, on the days when spouse offers to cook and I'm really tired or have to do something else, I don't complain when spouse makes something like instant ramen because, although healthy food is important to me, I also realize that being ungrateful when cooking-impaired spouse tries spouse's best and insisting that spouse have an interest and skill in preparing food as I do, is not considerate to spouse.

I think that context and significance should play a large part in change-making...that it's a day-to-day deliberation based on an overarching principle, not a constant pre-made and inflexible decision for every situation.

Vanessa said...

A huge help to me is finding others who have made the changes that I am currently trying to make, and have succeeded. I find inspiration and comfort in others success stories, and often times this is enough to give me the courage to try making the change myself. At a fundamental level I love change because it's adventurous and new and different, and it's almost like a challenge to your creativity and probelm solving skills. And I like rising to the challenge. Sometimes I face the problem of maintaining my changes once they have become routine and "boring". But then it's mostly just a matter of advancing the change another notch, to make it newer and better again. I'm not a big fan of stagnation. If I'm not moving forwards towards a goal I get restless.

Concrete Gardener said...

Thanks for these great comments! Some things that stood out for me from your comments:
Don't compare the cost of organic/sustainable foods with their cheaper counterparts, compare with other organic/sustainable foods. I feel like in a way you're making the decision for yourself ahead of time, also.

I totally agree that context is so important in change-making: even from our geography to our finances to family circumstances. I'm just repeating what you already said, but I really believe, to make change stick for the long haul, you have to stay in step with your family or the people you live with, and not make life miserable for them because a joy for you is drudgery for your spouse.