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Christian Life Coaching - What About My Habits!from: Michael Young - Guest Contributor
We create habits to help us establish a familiar world, and then look on them to help us believe we have control. We would probably list these habits as good habits. Everyone of us have patterns that are part of who we are and what we do in a day.
Most of our behavior is exhibited by our habits. But, what is a habit? Organically, habits are created through continual, electrical impulse signals to our mind, which the sensory nerves carry from our hearing, touch, vision taste and smell to the information center of our brain over our lifetime. Cognitively, habits are a repeating, often unconscious sequence of behavior that is acquired through regular repetition, an established disposition of the mind or character.
It is important to admit that some of those habits are not good for us. We all have habits or patterns that are part of our make up and reveal how we live and work - but there comes a time when we need to accept that some of those habits are unfavorable for us. All of us have some habits in their lives that steals their day-to-day lifestyle of a little (or a lot) of happiness.
You may understand that to effectually control habit changes, dissolving bad habits require exchanging them with new appropriate ones. Common bad habits often consist of: over scheduling, over spending, over eating, and even over analyzing. We often feel that we can't change an area because it is a "habit," and conventionally habits are hard to break.
How do they habits get started? We indoctrinate ourselves with injurious habits as written in 2 Peter 2:14, we are insatiable for sin [we] train our hearts in greed.
Bad habits are inherited from parents and grandparents. 1 Peter 1:18, shows that the useless behavior patterns that were passed down from your forefathers. But, when Christ heals you from them He makes it possible to live the remainder of your life no longer following human desires, but following the will of God.
We get them from affiliation. Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 15:33, Dont be misled, bad associates corrupt good habits. Further, he notes, There are some who, out of habit formed in idolatry, still eat food as if it were offered to idols, and because their conscience is weak, they are defiled. So it is obvious that even after good habits are started being around those who are of contrary behavior can ruin them.
What do we need to do about our behaviors?
5 steps to alter an unhealthy habit into a healthy one
The first step in replacing a wrong behavior is to stop trying to alter it and create a plan to replace it. A habit implies that a learning has resulted in behavior that occurs so automatically that the person does not have to plan this action or behavior. Often you are not even aware of what you are doing until after it is too late. You must establish a method to realize this unprofitable habit or action.
Two, the contrary behavior is like a hole in your personality. It needs to be filled with something that is proper and upright. The Holy Spirit by His Word instructs in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) so that new behaviors become habits in place of old ones. Determine what you will do in place of the habit you intend to change.
Three, the time when you are most likely to fall in bad behaviors are when you are stressed, hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. You can recall this with the acronym Shalt as in shalt not! Keep watch on these moments as this is when your resolve be most vulnerable.
Four, we were created to have relationships. Having someone you can be real and honest with is remarkably important in exchanging undesirable habits. Talk with that person and ask them to keep you accountable regarding your intended result. Have them ask you about your progress in making your change when you two talk or meet.
Lastly, practice! Hebrews 5:14, points out to us that mature Christians are those whose faculties have been trained by practice to do distinguish good from evil. Maintain a practice that exercises the good replacement. Remember -- It took time to establish your bad habit, so it will take time to replace it. Is there some habit or behavior that you keep struggling with and continually lament about it?
My guess is you are ready to change your bad habits with proper ones.
About the Author
Michael Young M.Ed. Coach/Counselor. Michael has written and published articles and books on mastering time, perspective of money, improving relationships.