Saturday, 20 February 2016

Habit Forming

Back in December my granddaughter had a fundraising thing at her nursery school. I didn't want to just ask my coworkers to donate, because that's always awkward for me, so I threw in a little extra something: I would take the stairs at work for one day for every dollar donated. My office is on the 5th floor, and I have to deal with people on several other floors throughout the day, so it wasn't an idle offer. Well, my coworkers donated $102, so that meant I'd be avoiding elevators for several months!

I made myself a chart with 102 boxes to tick off, so I could keep track. It's incredible how hard that slog up the stairs is at 6:45 in the morning, especially wearing boots, coat, and backpack. And I especially hate payday, when I have to go down to the first floor to pick up pay stubs for staff and the trudge up again. I started avoiding going out for lunch for the same reason (thus saving money). But little by little I've noticed the climb is getting easier.

The other day I had a bad cold and aching hip and told myself I'd be nice to myself, take the elevator, and not count this as one of the 102 days. So I took the elevator up when I arrived...feeling guilty...hoping no one would see me emerge from it on the fifth floor...had my excuses ready... But later that day I realized I'd been taking the stairs all morning anyway, running files to people. I'd just automatically headed for the stairwell. I'd wasted my opportunity to pamper myself!

Just goes to show you how habits are formed. I don't even think about taking the stairs anymore. I suspect I'll keep using them even after the 102nd box is ticked off.

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