(Graphic artwork by McKenzi Matsick)
Breaking and Building New Habits
Ahhh! It’s a new year, new start, and new beginnings! I personally love starting fresh and this year I really want to spend time becoming more organized, eating healthier, focusing more on Jesus and less of me, and opening my ears to hear what the Lord wants. I think it’s important that we identify our own goals and the things we want to accomplish. Sometimes, I will set these goals and then never commit to making them a habit and allow it to become a part of my daily life and routine. Other times life just happens. This can make it hard to continue or remember to make it consistent.
Today I decided to give some ways that will hopefully help us both to stop/start new habits. Whether you’re first wanting to focus on breaking those habits that have become something that isn’t what God wants, or starting brand new ones that will hopefully help each of us to prosper and draw us closer to Jesus!!
Trying to stop habits can sometimes be intimidating and can be frightening, but taking it step by step and not overwhelming yourself can make it easier. Starting by replacing your bad habit with a different one can help you break it. Another way to help break a habit is being mindful. This will help you be more aware of your tendencies and will help remind you to not do it! Changing your environment will help you not be tempted. If there are things that seem to trigger you to fall into your habit, try replacing it. Example: Let’s say you have a habit of getting takeout too much and decide you want to change that. You go into your kitchen and find restaurant menus hanging up on your fridge! That is tempting, is it not!? Try replacing those menus with homemade recipes that will help stop your craving for takeout and start something new! One of my favorite verses about temptation is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” This verse is so cool; I think it’s so encouraging to be reminded that with God we can escape from these habits and temptations and start new ones that please him!
Starting new better habits can be kind of exciting and challenging because it requires a lot of consistency. First of all, I would start with one of the smallest goals that you want to make a routine and build up from there! Another way is committing to repeat your habit for 30 days! It takes 30 days to make it a habit and to make it become something you automatically do, like brush your teeth or fix your hair. Also, asking for accountability from a friend or parent is super helpful and allows others to be aware that it’s something that you want to make a priority! Lasty, and the most important one, is not giving up even when you forget! It’s totally normal if you forget and fall into the habit you’re trying to break once or twice. We are all humans and we ALL mess up, but get up and keep trying!!! God is with you along the way, and He’s cheering for you the whole time!
Setting new goals can be a challenge for me and can take some time but it’s definitely something that will help teach us a life of discipline, grow closer to Jesus, and help us to count on Him for guidance. 🙂
These are the few resources I used for this article: