Trashy Habits

I’m not a fan of any trash in my car. Nope. Can’t stand it.

But I do love coffee, especially Starbuck’s – anything bold. And I like to save money, too.

Several years ago, Starbuck’s had a promotion that if you bring in an empty bag of Starbuck’s coffee grounds to any of their retail stores, you’ll get a free coffee. I’m in!

So, after we finished our weekly bag of coffee, I grabbed the Starbuck’s bag and put it in the car.  My intention was to bring it in for that next free coffee. Probably tomorrow. Good plan.

Only, I didn’t get to a Starbuck’s for weeks. But through those weeks, I had that nasty, irritating bag of coffee – garbage - still in my car.

Finally, the occasion arose to stop at Starbuck’s for a little “work” time on the road. It was perfect. I’d stop in, trade my trash for my free coffee and then settle in for some quality work time.

I got out with my garbage in hand – happy to have it out of the car – and promptly dropped it in the trash container just outside the store. I walked in, ready for my free cup, only to realize I just tossed it! 

Well, at least it wasn’t in my car anymore. I paid for my coffee and pondered my mindless mistake.  And never saved another Starbuck’s coffee bag again. 

According to Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit, we make 40% of our decisions every day out of pure habit.  We don’t think about it; we just do it.  My habit was a clean car. Not a bad habit, but it superseded my intention of the free coffee. I didn’t think about it; I just did it.

In some ways that’s good, but in so many others, it’s not. Money habits, gossip habits, health habits, nutrition habits, listening habits, confrontational habits – most are subconsciously executed. The question is whether they’re productive or not. And if not, time to change. Which takes a deliberate, proactive mindset.

Choose habits wisely! I lost a free coffee and worse, carried around a bag of garbage in my car for nothing!