No matter what we do in life, if we practice it enough, we get good at it.
This principle holds true not just in the physical realm, but the spiritual, emotional, mental, relational, and all areas of life. That is why good teachers have us repeat our times tables in grade school hundreds of times, why our little league coaches have us swing the bat and “squash the bug” a thousand times the right way before ever playing our first game, and our therapists tell us to stop saying ‘you always’ and ‘you never’ in our daily interactions even though we swear it’s true (it’s not by the way).
Why is that?
The reason why good mentors tell us to work on the seemingly ‘small’ areas of life so much is because in the details is where the true power lies.
You see, in the ‘small’ areas of life that we repeat each day almost unconsciously now are the backbone of every great success and breakthrough that we have ever had, have, or will encounter. Whether we realize it or not, when opportunity comes our way (and it always does) we need to be ready or it will pass us by. By practicing, repeating, being corrected, and practicing some more, those mundane tasks and activities that we hate(d) doing become part of who we are, stick in our muscle memory, and allow us to seize the day/opportunity when it comes because we formed the necessary good habits and are ready.
As Aristotle is noted for saying, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
So what is a Habit?
No, we’re not talking about a nuns head gear here, we’re talking about life. Plainly stated, a habit is something that we repeatedly do.
There are good habits in life such as:
- Scheduling your day
- Telling your family you love them
- Brushing your teeth
Please do all of these- especially the later if we are to meet. 😉
There are also bad habits in life such as:
- Allowing your anger to get the best of you and lashing out,
- Self medicating yourself when times get tough, or good (alcohol, drugs, porn, food)
- Emotionally or physically isolating yourself from others when you are upset
Despite the habit, we get good at each of these through practice.
So what do we do if we have ‘Bad’ habits’?
The great news is this, if we have good habits, keep going and never quit! Those are the foundation for your future and continued success. Congrats!
If we have bad habits, the great news is this- we can change! Yes, despite what people tell you, an old dog can learn new tricks. It just takes practice, consistency, time, and effort. It may not be easy, but it is worth it and so are you!
Saying all that, here are some tips and tricks to help you form new and positive habits:
- Identify the area(s) you need/want to change.
- Examine. Ask yourself, Why do I do/think this? Don’t accept “I Don’t Know” or stop at a symptom, dig down as painful as it may seem until you get to the true root of the problem. Then, and only then will you have healing.
- Persevere. Don’t Quit. If you are truly digging deep, remember, things will feel worse before they get better. The moment you want to quit, you have to make the decision to press on because it means you are almost there. While most people quit right before the finish line, you are not longer that person. Pain or not, you are going to push through, get to the root of it, rip it out, and never let that pain have victory over you again! Also, remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’ve spent years practicing with the wrong swing, it’s going to take you more than a day to re-correct. Statistically it takes about 60 days to lock in a new habit. Because I’m a slow learned, I make myself commit to things for 90 days just to make sure it sticks.
- Replace. Fill the gap. Anytime we remove a bad habit from our lives, we need to fill that gap with something else, and fast! So find a positive replacement that you can fill that void with.
- Partner. Ask for Help. Many times, especially with habits that we don’t even realize we are doing, it helps greatly if we involve the people around us. Private matters require close friends, family, or a counsel we can trust (coaches, counselors, mentors, etc.). In public matters we can recruit, well, the public since they are involved anyways. So don’t be ashamed to get some help. Chances are even if people tease you up front, they will admire you, see the change in you, and be motivated to do likewise.
In closing, remember, it’s important to form good habits in life. And while we can’t change the past, we can influence the future. So start forming new positive habits today and help those around you do likewise!
To God be the Glory!
Scripture to Consider:
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Romans 12:2
- Galatians 6:7
- Proverbs 24:16
- Ephesians 4:26
- Ecclesiastes 4:12
Need More Help?
For more information and help with overcoming life long struggles/battles with bad habits, give us a call. We’d love to help and see you grow. Our goal is to help everyone we can live the victorious Christian life and know the peace that helps you pillow your head at night in rest, and live life each day with joy, passion, and purpose.
You can live that life; enjoy it now!