HABITS – OUT WITH THE BAD, IN WITH THE GOOD

Did you know that 60% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail at keeping them? Yet people continue to make resolutions year after year, hoping this time “it” – whether it’s weight loss, exercising more, eating more healthily, drinking less, spending more time with the family, or something else – will work.

BUT … how about habits? We know it’s easier to develop habits than it is to stop them. Pastor Rene’s research revealed that the habits we develop – positive or negative – change neurological pathways in our brains. So how do we develop life-giving habits? Part of the answer is superseding negative patterns with positive ones that create new neuro routes in us.

One of my negative behaviors used to involve an addiction to Diet Coke. I felt regular cravings – for the flavor, and the bubbles … ahhh, the sweet bubbles. My husband periodically told me he would like me to stop drinking D.C., knowing the chemicals in the soda could be damaging. I’d stop – for a month, eight weeks – then I’d grab a Diet Coke again and go right back into the cycle of drinking one, or several, of these a day.

Sometime last year I determined to STOP. And with God’s help, I did! I’m now D.C.-free. And it feels good. But to change a habit, I couldn’t just focus on what I should NOT do. I needed to replace that old pathway with a new one. I have learned to love good, cold water!

Rene talked about the cue – in this case, thirst; the routine – drink a soda; and the reward – the sensation of bubbles cooling my throat.  I had to replace my routine by drinking, and growing to appreciate, refreshing water. My reward is a greater sense of well-being, along with quenched thirst. But I had to trust in God’s power to help me make this change for good. “For it is God who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve his purpose.” (Philippians 2:12-b13)

While changing that habit may be a very small piece of God’s purpose in my life, by trusting Him with my this issue, I acknowledge my need for His power in every area of my life.

So what’s the next habit I want to change? Hmmm … you first.

 

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2 Responses

  1. MarJean Peters says:

    Oh Carol, I’m SO glad you got off that poison! It could not have been doing good things to your mind and body. Now you get to redeem that addiction by encouraging others by using it for an example. My issue is watching movies because I often feel lonely and it is something my husband and I can enjoy together without much effort. Yet, too much also distracts from our relationship. I can’t say this is an “all-or-nothing” decision but we need to find other things or other people to fill more of our time. If we don’t watch a movie together then we each do our own project, which is not together and lonely. God will need to help us on this one because our choices seem limited.

    • carolnl says:

      Thanks MarJean. I am glad to be free of that addiction. I appreciate sharing your issue, and the desire to find things you and your hubby can share and enjoy together. Don and I often watch TV together in the evening too – sometimes we use the time to cuddle together, sometimes we each work on our laptops. It is the easiest way to relax together after a full day and doesn’t require as much creativity as finding other activities, so I hear what you’re saying. I pray God will help you find other options to help your connection and sharing time.

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