Creating Hold Fast Habits
[Editors Note: This post was published September 17, 2014]
Living a life well lived is not easy. It requires great discipline and the constant pursuit of perfection; knowing that perfection can’t be obtained. We are flawed by nature and must trust in God that he will help us to recognize our weakness, and the habits that keep us from achieving our goal of contentment, physical health, and financial security. Bad habits are like cancer. Often they go unnoticed for years, but slowly grow until they can’t be destroyed without extreme intervention.
That said it is important to remember that our work is never done. We must continuously evaluate ourselves and strive to rid ourselves of the cancers that we have created in our lives. If we don't, bad habits like drinking, poor eating, borrowing money, and putting ourselves before our families will slowly destroy us.
Here are five unconventional training tips to help you change your bad habits.
- Make a mental list of your bad habits and remind yourself of them daily. A good way to do this is through prayer or meditation. For me, drinking at night has always been a terrible habit that I have struggled with since college. Every night I have to remind myself that I don't need alcohol and that I will sleep better and am more productive the next day if I abstain.
- Only tackle one habit at a time. It is okay to add a good habit at the same time you are replacing a bad habit, but doing too much can quickly frustrate your efforts. A lot of research has been conducted on the art of single tasking if you're interested in learning more about the psychology behind this.
- Create an environment that supports your change. For example, if you are trying to quit drinking, keep alcohol out of the house and avoid social events that evolve around drinking. If your goal is to be better about taking your supplements, leave them out near the sink so that they are visible and easily accessible.
- Read about your bad habit. Often times when I am trying to focus on paying off debt, I will go out and read success stories from other people who have struggled and overcome the same situation. I will do the same thing when I start missing training sessions or drinking too often.
- Remind yourself of the consequences of failing to act. The best motivation is often looking yourself in the mirror and being honest about what might happen to you if you don't change. The only way my wife and I were able to embrace a minimalist life and focus on paying off our debt, was to remind ourselves that we would always be indentured slaves and have limited opportunities for our kids if we didn't stop our spending and address the issue. For smokers, they get bombarded with public service announcements. The rest of us have to rely on ourselves.
Focus...Work Hard...Hold Fast.