My son has been ill recently, just a typical toddler tummy bug. But as many of you will be able to imagine, the mess that needed cleaning up was vast (how does it get absolutely EVERYWHERE so flippin quickly??). Now normally I would go into autopilot mode and start cleaning. Anti bac sprays, bleach, baby wipes, kitchen towel etc. It’s cleaned up and disposed of before the rest of my family has even noticed there is a problem. Only this time, I had none of those things to hand. Or even in the house. Because of our recent lifestyle changes we no longer use them…
I panicked. How on earth was I going to clean this up quickly and effectively without my usual toolkit? Now this might seem like quite a petty issue but it really stressed me out. I had to actively think and plan how I was going to tackle this situation in a whole new light.
If you’re thinking this blog is going to be about all the products I used to clean that day, you couldn’t be more wrong. That’s a conversation for another time. It’s about how hard I had to work to get my brain to accept a new path of action, and not to automatically revert to my old habits. And I tell you, it was hard.
So I collected everything I had that could possibly help me in cleaning up and I stood and looked at it all. And I picked a product. Turned out to be the wrong one. So I tried again. Right one this time. Then I picked the next, and the next, until I’d finally finished.
I reflected a couple of days later at how stressful I had found this experience, which usually wouldn’t even register with me as a mother – this stuff happens all the time! And it occurred to me that it was all to do with changing habits.
Back in 2009 a study was conducted at UCL which concluded that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit before it becomes second nature, but this was very dependent on the habit you were trying to change and it could be as long as a year.
I frequently have clients contacting me, concerned that they can’t use a product or think they’re doing it wrong. More often than not they are using it perfectly fine, and the results are great! But changing their mindset, changing that habit, that’s the real challenge.
As my family try and switch over to a greener lifestyle, there are multiple habits we need to change. Reducing food waste, different styles of cleaning, different methods of shopping. And at points I’ve found it quite stressful. My brain is overwhelmed with all the differences I’m attempting to making. Autopilot isn’t an option currently. And that’s hard when I’m juggling a home life, caring for my son with disabilities and running a business.
So I ask myself, why am I doing this? And I realised it all comes back down to my main motivation. To not snatch away the earth from my son before he has even had a chance to appreciate it. And this I hold at the forefront of my mind, so that over time my habits will change, and I can switch on the autopilot once again. For you, William.
Thanks for reading.