Change is the New Habit

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We are all creatures of habit.

I’ve heard this. I’ve believed it. My high school life was completely habitual. I woke up at 5:45 a.m., went to school, did my homework, went to dance, and went home to sleep so I could wake up and do it all over again. I always ate the same foods because I knew I liked them, shopped at the same places, etc. And from what I knew, I liked being a creature of habit. I was perfectly satisfied with my routine.

Halfway through my freshman year, I started realizing that eating foods other than chicken and mac & cheese is fun. I also picked up running, which is something I had always told myself that I didn’t like. One day, I decided I wanted to be someone who paints, so I bought some canvas and went to it. I became all about trying new restaurants, especially local ones, whenever I had the chance.

So when my Personal Creativity in Advertising and Marketing class began in August, I was already on a “new experience” path, so to speak.

But this class, and more specifically the Cognitive Fitness Project we have been working on, has challenged me even deeper. I have been pushed to change something daily, to think about why I do what I do. I have been making a conscience effort to differentiate my days, which in turn, has helped me remember my days better.

Some of the most rewarding things I’ve tried for my Cognitive Fitness Project are changing my phone to military time (I still have my phone in military time because I like how it makes me think), studying in new places, i.e. on my roof, under a tree, signing up for Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day and trying to use that word as much as possible. Most things I have done have been new, exciting activities that haven’t been that difficult for me to do.

The most challenging, but rewarding thing I’ve done: One day I vowed to not look at my phone while walking around campus in order to pay more attention to my surroundings. This was hard for me because I’m led to believe that multi-tasking is a good thing. If I can text, check my e-mail, tweet, and check Instagram while I’m walking, I will save loads of time and my life will be infinitely better because of it. Think again, Liz. During this day, I saw friends I wouldn’t have seen if my head was buried in my phone. I appreciated the beauty of our campus and noticed trees I hadn’t given the time of day before.

This project has gotten me in the habit of doing something new constantly, which seems like a contradiction. A day without something different sounds like no day at all. I’ve made change a habit, and because of this, my life is destined to be an interesting ride.

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