January 31, 2012

Making & Breaking Habits

In the month of January I ended up making a new habit and breaking one also. I didn't really set out to do that but it is what happened. And I was thinking that there are many other habits I would like to add to my life and several I could do without as well. So I've decided to do a monthly focus on one habit to make and one to break.

January Habits Results
Make: Keep and post a daily food tracker.Today will mark 31 days of posting my tracker (actually I don't know if I did it on Jan 1) and they say that 21 days of doing something makes it a habit. I feel confident that I will continue using the tracker and making it a priority to post daily. It has been just the kind of structure that I am inclined to run from but is exactly what I need. It is restrictive in the fact that I am tethered to this tracker all day long and I am committed to doing a blog post every single day but there has been great freedom in creating this as a habit. It is no longer drudgery for me but actually something I look forward to doing and something that I appreciate very much.

Break: Posting and commenting on my personal Facebook account. I mentioned in an earlier post about time management that I constantly assess how I spend my time to keep it manageable. Through these repeated assessments it has been made clear to me that I am capable of spending a large potion of time each day on Facebook. Rather than totally deleting my account, I decided that I would change the way I use FB. I still check out my news feed from time to time, mainly because we serve in the student ministry of our church and this helps me keep tabs on what is going on in their world. But I no long make posts/comments. Therefor, I am not inclined to go back every 5 minutes and see how people are responding and I do not have the obligation to continue interacting. I also have found that now when I read something that is convicting or inspiring, or experience a special moment, rather than running to FB to make sure everyone else knows about it, it really sinks into my heart and mind. It convicts me. I thought that breaking this habit was just going to free up some time but it has actually produced a special season of gratitude, personal conviction and introspection.

* For now it seems that I am able to keep my time on the REAL FAT page to a minimum but if that were to change, I would likely delete that page.

February Habits to Make & Break
Make: Daily Quiet Time. I try to do this. But try is the key word. If I am being totally honest, this is not a priority for me. It is just something that I would like to happen in my day and if it does that's a bonus. But my relationship with Jesus is not a "bonus" in my life--He is my life. I can not live or move or breath apart from his grace. Things need to change so that I am actually living out my faith in this area. I remember doing a lesson with my FP4H group about having a quiet time with God. As I was preparing for it the Lord impressed upon me the many practices of my everyday life that I would not dream of going without: brushing my teeth, bathing, feeding myself and family, watching my favorite shows, etc. Yet, spending quality, uninterrupted time with Him was optional? I'm not really talking about doing Bible study workbook or studying for a lesson but having actual quiet time to be still before Him.  There was a time on this journey that I literally could not function until I had that kind of time with God. I want that back. Not that everyone reading has to understand this, but I would like for you to--I want this to be a habit because I believe it is key to abundant living, or living life to the full. I know that without it I am daily trying to live on my own strength and eventually that is going to fail me.  How arrogant of me to think that I could even go a day without needing Him in this way!

If possible I would like it to be in the morning but the main goal is to have it each day, period. I am considering adding an extra space on my tracker, perhaps just for this month, to detail what takes place during my QT. This will be mainly for me to see a record of God moving and just some extra accountability. I am going to take an ABC approach to making this habit.
  • Plan A: 5:30 am
  • Plan B: During Nap time
  • Plan C: 8:30 pm
I will continue to focus on this as my "make habit" every month until it is, in fact, a habit.

Break: Sugar in my coffee. Ha! The other one is so serious and this seems so trivial. It may seem like an easy one but for me this will be difficult. I was just drinking my coffee with the hazelnut creamer and realized this is yet another example of something I have said "I will NOT give that up" and at this point in my life I feel like I should not be that obstinate about anything food-related. I am trying to take power away from the food-stuff in my life. So bye-bye sugar in my coffee. And yes, this includes my beloved Hazelnut creamer.


Thena said...

I'm not sure if you have heard of it or not but there's an app called Lose It. I got a Nook tablet for Christmas and I have it on there for free. Also my husband has a the app on his phone. We love it, it helps keep us accountable for what we eat.

Jamie said...

I also need and want to make a daily QT a priority. This goes back to a lack of discipline on my part though. I am praying that God will give me the desire to make Him a priority daily! We can all get arrogant at times. Thanks for the reminder that I will always fail me but He will never fail me!

Absolutely, Positively Josie said...

Keelie, there were so many neat parts of this post I don't know where to begin. I have not yet checked out the video you recommended, but I hope to. I like the title, and I hope it goes in a we-are-not-Job direction. =)

I love the idea of making *and* breaking a habit. I cringe to think of all the habits I need to break. You're so on-point with specifically where you need to go. It takes honesty!

I like your temperate approach to facebook. I hate myself for being there - but that's just me and my issues - and think seriously of deleting it altogether.

What you said about daily trying to live on your own strength: guh so very true, and something hitting home with me more these days. And what I hate, that I do. But on the mountain or in the valley, Jesus Christ is my only hope, and my only true joy in life. I am wondering if God isn't showing me that in real-time right now. Somewhere along the line I thought I was above chastisement; those verses were for other people. Anyway, not to make a book any further, but thank you for your insight.

safire said...

Love your break down. I'm trying to get my bf to stop putting sugar in his coffee. For now, I'm happy that he's dropped the amount to 1-2 tsp instead of 1 Tbsp (baby steps).

Good luck with your goals.

BEE said...

love ur blog great post

Physicallee Fit said...

Instead of going cold turkey with no sugar in your coffee, you could try agave. It's sweeter than sugar and lower on the glycemic scale. I use a teaspoon to sweeten my herbal tea in the morning. Baby steps.

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I like my coffee Willie Wonka style... with a Milky Way bar melted into it. Talk about bad habits!

Stacey said...

Yes to making and breaking!! I absolutely love what you said about now using the time for introspection and gratitude instead of posting on fb! Wow!

You can do it with the no sugar in the coffee! I used to add many tablespoons per cup and have since cut it out. I still use real half and half but no sugar. It took a bit to adjust my tastebuds, but part of the whole coffee thing is the ritual of me having the warm cup in my hands in the morning.