Topic: The Anatomy of a Habit
Habits are things we learn to do through repetition and
eventually do either unconsciously or with very little effort.
First we form habits and then they form us. We are what we repeatedly do. Don’t be deceived by thinking that you just can’t help what you do, because the truth is that you can do or not do anything if you really want to. At least you can do anything that is God’s will, and those are the things we will
discuss in this book.
I have learned that concentrating on the good things I want and need to do helps me overcome the bad things that I don’t want to do. The Bible says in Romans 12:21 that we overcome evil with good. I believe that should be one of our foundation Scriptures for this book and the journey we are embarking on. The other Scripture I want you to remember as
you work toward your goals is found in Galatians.
But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
Concentrating on the evil things you are doing will never help you do the good things that you desire to do. This is a very important biblical truth. Good has more power than evil.
Darkness is swallowed up in light, and death is overcome by life. Whatever God offers is always more powerful than what Satan desires for us. The devil wants us to have bad habits, but God’s desire is that we follow the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us into the good life that Jesus died for us to enjoy. And a good life is a life with good habits.
One of the ingredients of forming good habits and breaking bad ones is focusing on what you want to do and not on what you want to stop doing. For example, if you overeat and want to form balanced, healthy eating habits, don’t think about food all the time! Don’t read cookbooks that are filled with beautiful, mouthwatering desserts, but instead read a good book on nutrition that will educate you about how to make better choices. Stay busy doing things that will keep your mind off of
If you want to form a habit of regular exercise, don’t think and talk about how hard it is, but think about the results you will have if you are persistent. Yes, you will have to invest time that you may not think you have to spare, and yes, you will get very sore in the beginning. When I first started working out with a trainer in 2006 at the age of sixty-four, I got so sore that I actually felt as though I was sick. And I stayed sore for what seemed to me like two years. Honestly, I was sore somewhere all the time. Eventually I got to the point where I enjoyed the feeling because I knew that it meant that I was making progress.
If you want to get out of debt, don’t think and talk about all the things you won’t be able to do and all the things you will have to do without while you are paying off your bills. Instead of thinking of the negative side of your goal, think and talk about how wonderful it will be to be free from the tyranny of overwhelming debt.
We are motivated by reward, so if you will look forward to the reward, you’ll have the stamina you need to keep pressing toward your goal. Don’t defeat yourself before you even begin by setting your mind on the wrong things. Where the mind goes the person follows, so be sure that your thoughts are on what you want rather than what you don’t want.