They say when training a toddler, it takes 3 days to make or break a habit.
I'm sure there are many arguments for and against this notion but I'm here to tell you that it works.
Well, at least with my child. I'm not so entirely sure it works on me.
Most of the time we don't even realise that we are creating bad habits - but we suffer greatly when it comes to breaking them. I constantly hear myself say "I quit smoking two years ago" - but that's mostly when I'm about to light up my third cigarette in a row.
A few of years ago, I refused to throw all the beer bottle caps into our bin each time I had a beer and instead I was going to do something absolutely amazing with them. I'd open a bottle of beer. Place the cap in a glass which was inside a cabinet. When the glass became full - it moved to a bag that fit neatly under the sink.
This process went on for about 3 months and throughout all this time my brain wandered magically, having visions of creating an awe inspiring piece of art that would finally make my wife say "You know what, I was completely wrong. You were completely right. Filling up our cabinets with bags and bags of beer bottle caps was totally worth it and I was a fool to ever think otherwise. You are a true genius and I bow humbly before you".
Of course, I was completely wrong. She was completely right. Filling up our cabinets with bags and bags of beer bottle caps was totally not worth it and I was a fool to ever think otherwise. I was a true idiot and now had to bow my head in shame whilst slinking away with an overflowing bag full of bottle caps to the local recycling centre.
Upon returning home, I pulled a beer out of the fridge, popped the cap, opened the cabinet door, placed the cap inside a glass and closed the cabinet door. Holy Mother of God! My body just moved involuntarily and performed an action that, unbeknownst to me, I had spent months training it to do. Just imagine what I could do if I actually put my mind to it - or case in point - what I have been doing without even thinking.
So now it's time for me to get up on my soap box and the good old fashioned cardboard box. Again.
Most of us, day in and day out, are surrounded by cardboard that we are trained to discard in a heartbeat because we don't even see what it is or what use it can have.
You see an empty cereal box, some packaging, or an depleted paper towel tube. I see an endless supply of possibilities and so does Lorraine from ikatbag who appears to have a complete obsession/love affair with all things cardboard.
Check out her article here, which includes all 52 of her tutorials - using her favourite craft material - Cardboard.
If we just stop refusing to see all this waste we are creating and start seeing what we can create from this waste then we are well on our way to breaking the habits of a lifetime.
It doesn't take much to think outside the box when it comes to cardboard - but before we do - we need an actual cardboard box!