I had used an alarm clock since I was back in elementary school but about 2 to 2.5 years ago I just stopped using it. Typically I would wake up a few minutes (or a lot of minutes) before the buzzer would go off anyways but for some reason I had never been willing to part with it. I just stopped using it one day and have not used it since.
It seems insignificant but it really gave me a sense of freedom when I stopped using it. That damn near unbearable buzzing noise always irritated me. That same alarm clock that I’ve had for over 15 years still sits there on the nightstand, red numbers illuminating the darkness…so I suppose I get a sense of comfort from that. I’m sure I will have that old school black box until it stops letting me know what time it is but I am glad I am living without the alarm clock function…freedom I tell ya!
The other habit I stopped is having my cell phone on my nightstand overnight. Although that never really bothered me I just found it was a mental thing. Feeling tied to things like cell phones, social networks, or alarm clocks can be weighty for me and I’m sure I’m not alone.
The more things we feel connected to via obligation or habit, I feel diminishes quality of life. Life is meant to be lived simply. We are filled with tasks and chores, work, errands, technology, TV, and all the other “busyness” we invented to appear productive and important.
By giving things up permanently or even for 30 days gives our brain a wakeup call. Doing something differently wakes us up from that habit we created. Even the littlest of changes, like putting my cell phone on my desk and not my nightstand overnight, changes your perspective.
What can you give up, big or small? Can you give up coffee for 30 days? Can you find a new route to work? Can you go for a walk instead of watch TV or eat that unhealthy food? Can you give up something, anything, to force your mind out of the habitual ruts we tend to fall in to?
It’s pretty interesting to do these little experiments.