Photo credit: Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash
James 1:17 – “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Everyone has them. Bad habits. They can be as mundane as chewing your nails or as worrying as uncontrolled spending. So, how do you go about transforming yourself and focusing on the gifts from God? First, you learn.
5 Keys to Understanding Bad Habits
o Exam your actions. Make a list of habits that you don’t like. Stay neutral and concentrate on the habits themselves.
o Define what it is that your habits are providing you. Is food for comfort, is the wine for relaxation? Realizing what the habit provides will help you tackle it better.
o Acknowledge what you need. It’s okay to have needs. Everyone has needs. As long as those needs aren’t self-destructive, accept them. You find yourself staying up to the wee hours of the morning to read a book after the kids go to bed. Then you’re tired, grumpy and irritable the next day. Take time for yourself when you need it.
o Find alternative actions to replace the negative activities. If stress causes you to drink, replace it with yoga. Crave sweets? Eat fruit instead of refined sugar. Shop when you’re upset? Learn a new hobby or craft to divert your mind.
o Understand the triggers. If work is causing you to open alcohol each night to numb yourself, consider what you need to do to change. Trying to eat healthy and keeping junk food in the house is setting yourself up for failure. Remove the things that trigger your unwanted habits.
You’ve armed yourself with knowledge, now it’s time to form a game plan.
7 Steps to Transformation
o Visualize success every day. Visualization retrains the brain. The more you think about something and attach an action to it, the more connections your brain makes. New habits, new connections, old habits, the connections start to diminish.
o Match what you say to your visualization. If you say “I’m a failure,”you’re going to make choices that fulfill your statement. If you say, “I'm learning to be successful,”your choices become ones that will lead you to attainment.
o Small steps are still forming new habits. You want to give up drinking soft drinks. Going from 3 times a day to 2 times a day to once a day, etc. are still positive steps forward. Each stride forward, a new habit is being formed. Soon you’ll find yourself at your goal.
o You’ll make mistakes. Those habits are difficult to change for a reason – many times they are easier. Accept that taking a step back isn’t permanent and you can still take 2 steps forward. A mistake doesn’t define you.
o Changing habits takes time. Each person is different and the length time subjective. Be patient and focus on the end goal and your eventual success.
o Pray. God is always there for you. He’s your biggest fan. He wants your success more than ANYONE. Asking for his strength, patience and guidance reinforces your commitment to change.
o Fellowship. Your fellow believers of faith are the support system God has provided to you. Ask friends to help you achieve your goals and provide the positive reinforcement and encouragement needed to succeed.
Change is possible but with God to support you, it's conclusive.