Habits: Principles to Establish New Healthy Habits

 

  1. Creating new, healthy habits is hard…but not hopeless.
    1. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate…Oh, what a miserable person I am! Romans 7:15, 24 (NIV, NLT)
    2. So who has the power to rescue this miserable man from the unwelcome intruder of sin and death? I give all my thanks to God, for his mighty power has finally provided a way out through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! Romans 7:24-25 (TPT)
  2. Reduce the noise
    1. Be careful how you live. Don’t live like, but like those who are wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NLT, ESV)
    2. Time is precious! Too often we allow the noise of the world around us to keep us from making the best use of our time.
    3. How to wage war against the Kingdom of Noise:
      1. Enforce screen free zones
      2. Turn off all notifications and choose when to check your messages
  • Eliminate or limit “infinity pools”
  1. Start with who not do
    1. Truly, deep within my true identity, I love to do what pleases God. But I discern another power operating in my humanity, waging a war against the moral principles of my conscience and bringing me into captivity as a prisoner to the “law” of sin—this unwelcome intruder in my humanity. Romans 7:22-23 (TPT)
    2. The most important question is not what do you want to change but who do you want to become.
    3. Habits are only temporary until they become part of who you are.
  2. Think small
    1. Don’t try to do too much too soon!
      1. Two-minute rule: when you start a habit, do it in two minutes or less (see Atomic Habits by James Clear).
      2. Small things done repeatedly over time will make a big difference in the direction of your life.
    2. Don’t expect too much too soon! The pace of transformation is exponential, not linear.
    3. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
  3. Invite the Spirit
    1. But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life, you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. Romans 8:9 (TPT)
    2. The Spirit will lead you if invited.

 

Reflection/Discussion/Action:

  1. Have you identified any new habits you’d like to develop in 2022? How successful are you generally at developing new habits? What makes it so hard?
  2. The first step in developing new, healthy habits is reducing the noise and creating space in our lives. What steps can you take to reduce distractions and schedule time for the work that it will take?
  3. Try the Do Not Disturb smart phone challenge for a week or maybe a month:
    1. Set your phone on Do Not Disturb or a similar setting so that you don’t receive any notifications or alerts about text messages, emails, social media posts, calendar reminders, etc. (including on your smart watch).
    2. Set your phone to allow incoming calls from the most important people (MIPs) in your life while it’s on Do Not Disturb.
    3. Tell your MIPs what you are doing and to call you if they need an immediate response from you.
    4. Determine when and how often you want to check your messages throughout the day (try to limit it to 3-5 times per day)
  4. To help you better understand the person you want to become, imagine your funeral. Identify 3-5 people you want to talk at your funeral (e.g., spouse, child, sibling, co-worker, friend). Take the time to write down what you would want each person to say about your life and how it impacted them. Review each one and make a list of the values that you hear. Identify and put into practice any new habits that will help you become that kind of a person.
  5. Discuss the two-minute rule from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits? How can you apply it to the habits that you want to develop? Why do you think it is effective?
  6. Many people give up on new habits because they expect too much change too soon. How is personal transformation more like exponential change than linear change? Where are you tempted to give up because you don’t see the results you had hoped for?
  7. What does it look like for you to practically invite the Holy Spirit into your journey of habit formation? Write a prayer that you can say at the beginning and/or end of each day inviting the Holy Spirit into your transformation journey.
  8. Click here to join Maple City Chapel’s Facebook group on Habits. It is a place to share the habits you are trying to develop, encourage others, get encouraged, and find helpful resources.

 

Helpful Resources:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • Redeeming Your Time by Jordan Raynor (particularly helpful in developing a comprehensive time management system)
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer