A couple weeks ago I shared with you my desire to see change in my life and we talked about some of the “How”, Biblically, for getting there. We talked about renewing our minds with the truths of God’s Word. (Romans 12:2 and Philippians 4:8)
I mentioned, only briefly, that the only way to be different is to begin doing things differently. That is what I want to talk about today.
I’ve come to believe the adage that “habits form character”. If I want to change, and I do, I must create some new habits into my life. Ultimately, our thoughts come first (that’s why we talked about them already). Our renewed minds help lead to building the good habits that will lead to good character, and lives changed for the better. If I want to change, I must change what I do.
How to make changes
Habits are a great tool for making changes in your life. I recommend taking one habit at a time, but since I’m not very good at that, I won’t judge if you have a few you want to work on. As you begin to build a habit, you have a decision to make each time. Is your habit brushing your teeth before bed (ahem… like I’m working toward)? Then each evening you are presented with a choice. Am I going to brush my teeth? Or skip it? Every night that I decide to brush, I am laying a brick in the foundation of this new habit. For every brick laid, the next decision is easier to make until you don’t have to think about it at all. You’ll just do it because it’s what you do. When you do it without thinking, that’s when it’s a habit.
I feel like some habits are easier than others, but more often than not, I need some accountability to stay on track. The first week of January, I was doing great! I brushed my teeth every night, was self-controlled in my eating and spent time each morning in God’s Word. As the days have passed though, I’ve missed a day here or there with each of these… and the self-control thing has gone right out the window. I need accountability! Having a partner helps. Reporting in each day about your habit to someone else is a great way to stay on track, but maybe that doesn’t work for you. Maybe you don’t have anyone you trust. Maybe you are working on too many things at once and need another way.
There are so many ideas for habit trackers on Pinterest. You can put one in your bullet journal or create one to print out.
I’ve designed a couple different habit trackers for myself, and I’ve added them to my shop as well for those of you who would be blessed by a little (or a lot, like me) of accountability for your new habits. One is a tracker for one habit at a time. Maybe you are trying to add a bit of exercise each day. Or laundry. Or packing lunch the night before. Or daily time in God’s Word. When you succeed, color in the heart for that day. There is a key at the bottom so you can chose a different shade of each color for different responses. Light pink for “kinda did it” and dark pink or red for “yes! did it with gusto!” You choose!
The monthly seasonal habit trackers have room for multiple habits. These are great for keeping track of established habits while you add others, or if you are like me, just start with several at once and see how you do. These have artwork to match each month, and religious and non religious options for the holiday months.
Habit trackers are great for two reasons (maybe more, let me know in the comments if I missed any!) First, some of us, like my teen daughter, will make a point of doing the new habit so there won’t be any holes in her tracker. She’s very upset when she can’t color something off, so she’s careful to stay on track. For the rest of us, it acts as a tool to see how you are progressing. It helps to show you where you may need to pay more attention, or whether your “occasional going to bed without brushing your teeth” is becoming the norm again. Whether it is accountability or a tool to help you see, habit trackers are one way to help you accomplish your goals!
Did you start working on a new habit this year? Did you mean to? It’s not too late. Find an accountability partner, create a habit tracker of your own, or pop over to my shop to grab one of mine! Let me know in the comments… what are you working on this year? I’d love to cheer you on!
Images sourced from Canva