Dealing with bad habits.
A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time – Mark Twain.
Whether we choose to admit it or not, we all have habits! Some good, some bad. The good habits – we have no problem with, but you see the bad ones? That’s the battle we face every day because “Your attitude defines your altitude”.
Cambridge dictionary defines habit as “a particular act or way of acting that you tend to do regularly” or “something that you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it”. Some call it routine, pattern or practice.
Our life is the sum total of our habits – good and bad. Every step we take, every decision we make is connected to our habits. This is why it is very crucial to be aware of our routine. Habits stem from our behavior, which is why it feels automatic.
This is why we need to change bad habits – because it affects the very core of our lives. Even the tiny habits play a huge role in our decision-making process. Some of my habits include looking at myself in the mirror, brushing my teeth, thinking about the next topic to write about, walking to work, flossing, reading a book in the bathroom, listening to Rick Warren’s weekly podcasts, to mention a few. Some of my BAD habits include pressing my phone in bed, eating really late, not getting 8 hours of sleep, biting my nails, too lazy to exercise… and I’ll stop here.
I’ll pick one of my bad habits and we can analyze its long-term effects: Too lazy to exercise makes me unfit – may have long term effect on my health.
Sometimes, we may feel as though we cannot control our bad habits, and to a large extent, maybe we can’t. It takes more than will power, and Paul demonstrated that when he said, “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice (Romans 7:19)”.
So how then can we change our bad habits? The first thing we need to keep in mind is that it is never too late to break a bad habit.
- Recognize the habit.
- Accept that the habit does not define who you are.
- Pray about it.
- Ask for support.
- Replace it with a reward.
- Be consistent.
- Track the change with a journal.
Not all bad habits are sinful, but they do affect our lives one way or the other. Be aware and decide to make a change now! And if you can’t, ask yourself what is holding you back?