When I am home, I have a few routines. Nothing fancy; they mostly involve how my morning starts and how my day ends. But when I am traveling, most routines are out the window.
Are there special ways you start and end your day?
Routines give birth to habits and can be great. Or not. Do I routinely criticize how someone does something? Do I regularly complain about every little thing? Do I have a tendency to give a harsh response to simple questions?
Have I developed some bad habits that I need to get rid of?
Disrupting routines helps me fall out of habits–both good ones and bad ones. But when I get back to regular life, I find that I easily return to the worn path. Those “ruts in the road” are hard to deny so I need to choose my ruts carefully because those will be the very things that pull at me as I am cruising through life.
When I switch up my routine, it helps reveal my habits. And when I find habits that need to change, it’s best to tackle that head on. First, I pray for the strength to go against my sinful nature. There will be numerous times to practice in any given day! Then I might find a friend and tell them what I am hoping to change. Verbalizing my intentions helps me stay the course because I have spoken them to another human and I really don’t want to report back that I have failed. That is because I have a tendency to be an “obliger” read more about the Four Tendencies here…
I have choices on how I can respond. Unfortunately, when I find myself in a “negative” situation I don’t always choose well and sometimes I try to justify my ugly response. But, with God’s help, a little practice, and outside accountability I can choose the better way.
On the Road,
Bad habits are tough to get out of. Good habits are easy to drop.
Ever find yourself battling the same ol’ same old? There are some habits that are relatively easy to change but there are others that hang on for far too long. I have fallen in and out of habits with unfortunate ease. I fall into bad ones and I fall out of good ones.
Last summer I accepted a challenge to give up diet coke for a week. I figured I could handle a week without my favorite beverage, but after a week I decided to give it up permanently. I have had diet coke on occasion since then but prior to the “challenge” I had one a day, every day. In the scheme of habits, it wasn’t the worst one to have but I figured it was something I could live without.
Here I am, approximately a year later and while I like still diet coke quite a bit, I can take or leave it and I mostly leave it alone. I was surprised at the ease that I was able to surrender this ‘vice’. And I wondered, what was it about this situation that made losing this habit relatively pain-free? And why aren’t all bad habits as easy to drop?
Conversely, why is it that good habits don’t stick like I wish they would? I have heard that 66 days of doing something will turn it into a habit. It didn’t take 66 days for me to be satisfied without my ‘beverage of choice’ so I am not sure I completely buy into that.
At any rate, you might, like me, have several habits you would like to add or drop in your life. It is so easy to come up with a long list of improvements. But just tackle ONE for seven days and get on your way. And next week you can celebrate a week of accomplishment.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
Happy Habit Forming! Pick a good one!
Have you ever participated in a roadside clean up only to drive by a week later and see it as trashy as it was before you labored to pick up the trash? It is so frustrating!
Sometimes, that’s just like my life. I make an honest and determined effort to ‘clean up’ an area in my life but those old habits creep right back in and soon things are messy again. A funny thing…when it’s my mess, I have a hard time asking for or receiving help in order to get the mess clean. Somehow I think I should be old enough and experienced enough or “godly” enough to not ever have to ask for assistance. Ever find that true for you?
Thankfully, God has placed wonderful people in my life who “lovingly assist” when needed. Sometimes it is simply a word of encouragement or a listening ear. Other times they roll up their sleeves and take on a task on my behalf. I am so thankful that God has patience for me. As I recall the many instances of His grace and mercy for me it is actually becomes a joy to extend it to others. May you be blessed as you work together with other believers to share God’s grace, forgiveness, and peace!
Heavenly Father, Help me to graciously accept assistance in areas of my need and a have a willingness to extend myself in Your name for others. Give me Your eyes to see the needs of others and Your guidance as to the level of my involvement. In Your Son’s Name, Amen.