September Challenge Check-in: Break a Bad Habit!

This week, a student walked by the September exhibit (break a bad habit for 30 days) and said, “If you’re going to do bad habits, you need a bigger space.” That is certainly true in my case. While I’m focusing on getting up on time, this emphasis on bad habits has made me look at myself a little more closely and see that I have several more that need tending to: procrastinating, interrupting others, keeping a messy house, etc. But it’s all I can do to deal with this one bad habit, so I’ll let the others go for the time being.

In the book Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, Heidi Grant Halvorson recommends the “if-then” plan for tackling problems such as bad habits:

  •  Say specifically what you are going to do or not going to do. Make sure there is no doubt about what it is and whether or not it’s been done. For example, “eat less candy” doesn’t work.  “Limit myself to one snack-size Snickers per day” does.
  • Then choose an ‘if-then’ plan, so that you’ll know what exactly what you will do if difficulties and temptations arise. For example, if you are giving up snacks, you might have this plan: “If Emily brings candy to the library, I will not eat any since I want to have my treat at night.”  OR “If Emily brings candy to the library, I will not go to the front desk until it’s gone.” Research has shown just having this “if-then” plan in mind can be effective.

Now for our check-ins:

  • The Jolly Librarian has done well in getting up on time.
  • Our go-to-bed early person was not as lucky. A friend had an accident, and she had to spend some late nights helping out.
  • One member has changed her 30-day habit three times in two weeks. But the latest one, not eating meat, seems to be working for her.
  • Our financially-challenged person has gone to a strictly cash plan, which means no overspending.
  • We have all found it better not to mention the nagging situation.

But some other good news: one of College Success instructors has assigned the 30-Day Challenge to her class, and they are happily working on breaking some bad habits! Plus, at least one faculty member is playing along with us as well.

Remember to let the Jolly Librarian know of any tips you have for breaking bad habits!


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