I probably drink Diet Coke three or four times a week.
It’s always out of the house – when I go to a coffee shop or eat out. In those places, I don’t even look at the menu, I just order Diet Coke.
Here’s the thing: I don’t like Diet Coke.
I mean, I clearly don’t hate it, or I wouldn’t be able to stomach drinking it. But I don’t like it.
(My soft drink of choice is Pepsi Cherry Max and my addiction to that drink is a whole other conversation. But most places serve Coke not Pepsi. I’m convinced this is why Coca Cola have bought Costa, which to my knowledge is the only UK coffee chain that stocks Pepsi instead of Coca Cola. Anyway, this is neither a post about my soft drink addiction or Coca Cola’s plans for global domination.)
Last weekend, I went to Liverpool to see the Royal de Luxe Giants (amazing!!!) and in a break from standing out in the cold with the crowds, I grabbed brunch in a cute little cafe. I ordered…. Diet Coke. And as I sat there, looking at my drink, I decided I didn’t ever want to order that damn drink again.
I realised in that moment that it was the lazy choice. The easy thing to order because everywhere stocks it. Every time I order it, I’m on autopilot and I’m actively making a choice (even when it doesn’t feel that way) that I dislike.
So I decided to stop the madness.
And I realised, all I need to do to achieve this fairly small goal, is make the decision and then create a system to support that decision. I don’t like drinking plain water, but I’ll happily drink water with a splash of dilute in it. So I went to the shop and bought a few of the cute little dilute bottles and stuck one in each of the handbags that I carry most often (mummy handbag, work handbag, omg-I’m-not-at-work-and-I’m-childfree handbag, you know?), plus one for the centre console of my car. Now, I have a system to support my decision to not drink Diet Coke again.
It’s a small win, sure, but the small wins add up. (The photo may be a little tongue-in-cheek.)
And the lesson here, for me, is that decisions I’ve been putting off making might just need a system around them.