Habits and Planting Seeds


I’m wandering through the aisles of your average, run-of-the-mill supermarket. I’m also losing my mind.

Back and forth, back and forth. I make my rounds through the aptly named ‘Breakfast’ frozen foods section, mentally waving at the waffles (‘Hi waffles!’) as I meander by for the fifth time since I arrived.

How long have I been here? 30 minutes? 40? How is it that I don’t have a single thing in my basket?

I know where stuff is; that’s not the difficult part. The problem is that it’s been two months since I left New Zealand, the last place I had a home base, and since then I’ve been on the road, zooming around the United States, living on energy drinks and junk food (and the odd salad when I had the chance…I seldom did).

What I’m realizing now, in these hallowed, frozen halls, is that I have no idea what I eat. My habits have completely deteriorated, and with them the reflexes I remember having mere months before when I would enter a grocery store.

I can remember what some of these habits were, they just don’t seem to apply now. I’d grab pasta and some kind of sauce, but they don’t have the kind of pasta here that I would get in New Zealand, so that’s a wash. Energy drinks! I buy those! Oh wait, that was just a tic I picked up on this road trip. Shit. Hot Pockets? Ice cream? Nope. No thank you.

I wander a bit more, starting at the beginning, thinking what I need for where and who I am now.

‘Well, my diet has sucked for these past two months, so I should get something light. I’m really focusing on working out before I leave for Thailand, so I need a lot of vitamins and protein, and as little fat as possible.’

This in mind, I snag some nuts, some puffed-something-or-other health food snack, and a water (not a vitaminwater), knowing that soon I’ll have new habits in place, and going grocery shopping won’t be such a chore.

Habits grow quickly, so make sure that you plant the right seeds; it’s much easier than trying to uproot the trees that will grow from them.


  1. Think of habits like a cable. Each week you repeat a habit it is like adding an extra strand to the cable and anyone who knows the basics of engineering will be aware that after three strands are twisted together it becomes very difficult to break it.

  2. The great thing is that you realized you have a blank slate after destroying your habits during the road trip. That means you could potentially build a better set of eating habits than you had before you had to resort to energy drinks and hot pockets.

    See how long you can go without eating a cheat food. My record is 6 weeks. Think you can beat that?

  3. But didn’t you find it fun and inspiring NOT to have a habit? To have to start from scratch and really think about what you were doing? Habits are helpful when we’re in a rush and don’t want to think about something; like the food shopping; going round the supermarket on autopilot picking up healthy groceries is definitely better than defaulting to hot pockets, but sometimes I really love putting a lot of thought and time into grocery shopping – the simple things!

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