What is a habit?
Before I dig deeper, I want to give you three truths about habits…
1) Habits are automatic actions we take on a regular basis.
2) A system moving us towards a bigger picture or goal.
3) Embody our identity.
Why is it so hard to change or create habits?
Do you want to know the #1 reason why changing habits is so hard?? Because so often, we’re trying to change the wrong thing! Let’s hone in on truth #3 above. Habits embody our identity. When we are not living out our purpose or in alignment with who God created us to be, we cultivate disordered, out-of-control habits. Stop for a minute and think with me…are your habits—the things that you’re choosing to do every day—accurately reflecting your identity? What about your goals, your values, and your vision for your life? Or are your habits working against you? The power of habits can create or destroy.
This is not about shame or blame -I’m only asking you to observe. Let’s focus on growing in awareness. As we grow in awareness, we can make better choices, and when we make better choices, we have better outcomes. If you see some habits that don’t honor your identity, you’re in the perfect place. No change can happen until you identify the problem, but watch out! When we get frustrated with ourselves or our circumstances, and we want to see the change in our lives, we tend to want to do all the things…right now. And we just dive right in with these massive changes. (I will… never eat sugar ever again, stop ALL discretionary spending, or get up at dawn every morning. And all this starts TODAY!)
Focus on baby steps
Believe it or not, we quickly get burnt out and frustrated when we choose a bunch of big goals all at once. We set ourselves up for failure. Many times, in our desperation for change, we forget a few things…
- There’s a difference between goals and habits.
- We have to break our big goals into small pieces to find the right habits to change.
- Trying to change too much too quickly is just a fast track to frustration.
Do you want some help changing your habits without doing too much at once or wasting your efforts focusing on the wrong thing? Check out episode 6 of the LightHer Way Podcast, where I dive into the process and best practices for creating habits that stick. Learn how just a 1% change can have enormous results. Also, check out this helpful article about how to break your goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks.