How many times have you tried to stop a bad habit only to pick it back up again? Probably more times than you can count.
Yeah, me too.
What happens in a ball game when the primary players aren't getting the job done? First, there's a meeting or two with the coach. If that doesn't do the trick, the coach doesn't keep yelling "Don't do that!" If the he has any sense, he makes a substitution.
An insightful blog post by Michael Hyatt gives a major key to dealing with bad habits. In short, we don't get rid of bad habits by focusing on the "don't" of the bad habit; we focus on establishing a new good habit that will phase out the bad one.
What counselors and therapists call "redirection."
Is it really that simple? Simple, yes. Easy, no. But we have God's word to back our efforts:
II Peter 1:5, 10 (King James Version) - And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge... Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.Notice, the Scripture does not say, "You won't fail if you stop doing this and stop doing that." It says to add to, not take away from. As comedian Mike Warnke would say.
People have the idea that the Bible is a book of don'ts.... If you spend more of your time doing the do's, you ain't gonna have time to do the don'ts. And even if you could, you wouldn't, so you can't, so it's cool. Alright?My mentor and I have been working on my establishing some new habits. Currently, I'm working on:
- Having my own bag of healthy snacks in my desk to combat my co-worker's very tempting candy bowl and any other junk food at work.
- Drinking carbonated flavored water when I crave soda.
- Preplanning and preparing meals ahead of time.
- Having quick healthy meals I can grab and prepare quickly when I'm too tired or busy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
- Learning to say "no" without an apology. No is a complete sentence.