One day this Fall I did the math on how much money I was spending on lunches. It didn't take long to decide that I just wouldn't eat lunch out any more. It was a chore at first but became an obsession once I got a decent streak going and didn't want to break the chain of consecutive "brought" lunches. And now it is a habit.
I've eaten out for lunch at most 5 times over the last 3 months, all of which were business-related and expensed to RevBoss. As a result, I've saved at least $450 over the past 3 months if you assume ~15 lunches per month @ $10 per lunch. I've also gained productivity time every day by eating at my desk. And best of all, I've lost ~7 pounds and get to write this self-congratulatory blog post about the whole thing.
Considering the success I had changing one behavior, I started thinking about other new habits I'd like to develop and decided to set up this nifty app called Commit to help me track my progress. It is really simple, but should do the trick.
For example, one of the habits I plan to develop is to write 500 words each day. Each day I'll get a reminder from the app and I'll see the string of consecutive days accumulate as I go:
I spent some time thinking to ensure that the daily commitment and the metric I'm tracking relate to the specific behavior that I'm trying to develop. For example, my goal of writing 500 words per day has a dual purpose:
- I want to whip my writing muscles back into shape for my own personal pleasure and for the purposes of marketing RevBoss.
- I want to consume less and create more. And in order to have time to create content, I'll have to spend less time consuming it.
Also -- the daily habits I want to build map to my 2014 goals, which are obviously longer term and more difficult to measure each day. But each day I can know that my daily routine inches me closer to the prize.
So here's to new habits...