Author: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS
One of the reasons we have so much trouble with keeping our resolutions is because we are dreaming way too big without taking small steps toward good habits.
You can already see yourself slim and healthy but I am pretty sure you haven’t envisioned the hard work it will take. You don’t see yourself putting on your workout clothes, driving to the gym or workout location, and eating better. Can you see yourself doing this same routine over and over for several weeks until you’ve developed a positive new habit?
No – you’re not. You are only dreaming about the end result of the new and improved you but you are not considering the positive habits you have to develop for the new and improved you to be reality.
Matthew 25:21 “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”NIV
What does this verse mean?
We must be diligent with our time and talents to honor God.
In order to develop positive habits we must see that the time we give to God is to honor Him. When we are faithful in the small God honors that. In other words, when we take the time to develop positive habits, we are honoring God. It takes time to work toward success. You might look at people and assume they’re an overnight success, but do you have any idea how long it look for them to get to where they are today?
Comedian Steve Martin spent 15 years doing stand up in clubs that were either empty or people were too busy talking to each other and not listening to him.
Seriously – 15 years he did this before he saw success.
He developed a habit of doing comedy. Every time he was on stage either doing his routine to no one or to people not listening, he was developing a habit of doing his comedy. The big dream of being famous was not the driving force – the habit of comedy was the driving force.
About twenty years ago I was a little overweight so I decided to lose weight. I loathe going to the gym so I found something new – walking outside. I started walking three miles every other day at the famous Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca. Everyone out there was either walking, jogging, riding a bike or roller blading. I loved it. On a beautiful blue sky day I could spend the entire day out there.
I started walking in January, (along with a better diet) and by late February, to my complete surprise, I had lost ten pounds.
Why was it a surprise?
Because I had forgotten about the end result – the new and improved me – and enjoyed the new habit I had developed – walking outside with other like minded people.
Habits are easily broken because we are doing them purely out of motivation without a plan, and without enjoyment. Enjoyment is what keeps us going.
How to Create Good Habits (The Plan)
- Write Down Your Bad Habits and Write A New Habit in Replace.
- Get Around Like Minded People to Help Better Foster Your New Habit.
- Make Your New Habit Easy for you – Not Hard.
- Reward Yourself.
First, write down your bad habits so you can visualize it. It’s one of the same reasons it’s good to confess your sins out loud so you can hear yourself saying it.
Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.NIV
If you don’t write down your bad habits it’s easier to think you don’t have any. Whatever you are hoping to accomplish in the new year, write out the bad habits you have that might stop you, then write a good habit you can develop to help you.
Second, be around like minded people. For example; I mentioned how I did not like going to the gym, but I loved going for a walk at the Rose Bowl. When I was going to the gym, I gave up losing weight. You might say going to the gym is with like minded people. True. But I was more interested being around liked minded people who enjoyed being outside. I didn’t like the smell of the gym or waiting for equipment. I simply enjoyed being outside, thus – I developed a good habit and lost the weight.
Third, make the habit easy for you to attain. Let’s say you want to limit social media in 2021. You’ll have to do more than pump yourself up to stop. You will have to take action to achieve it. Delete your social media apps or better yet, ask your husband to change the passwords for you and only give them to you on the designated days you plan to go on social media. Then do it all again. Sounds like a lot? Maybe, but you’re achieving a goal and likely making positive progress in other areas by not wasting time on social media.
Let’s consider another idea; let’s say you want to eat healthy in 2021. If you plan your meals and eat meals you enjoy you will have a better chance of eating better. You will make it harder on yourself if you assume something healthy will magically appear in your kitchen if you don’t plan or go to the store. Likewise, if you don’t eat healthy foods that you enjoy you will make it harder on yourself. You’ll have to research healthy foods and consider foods you will enjoy. Sounds like a lot? Maybe, at first, but after a few weeks you’ll develop a positive habit.
Fourth, give yourself a reward for the small steps you’re taking. If you want to read your Bible more, celebrate when you finish one chapter. If you want to read more in general, celebrate one chapter. Celebrate your first day walking outside and celebrate one day limiting social media. If you don’t celebrate the small steps you won’t enjoy the new habits. Now don’t celebrate by reintroducing a bad habit. Celebrate your achievements with something positive.
John 10;10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”NIV
Never forget that you have an enemy who does not want you to make progress in your life. As soon as you begin to plan, please do not be shaken when something comes in to take you off your game. Something will happen to make you miss reading your Bible or miss a day at the gym or make you eat something bad. It happens to all of us, except we know we have an enemy who wants to destroy us. You are stronger because the Holy Spirit lives in you!
I am proud of your desire to be better. You can do it lady!
Happy New Year!
~Saleama A. Ruvalcaba, MATS