5 Tips For Launching A Successful New Habit

September 19, 2016
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We know what bad habits are. But what about developing the good ones? Do you want to change or develop a new habit? How do you start a new habit?

Forming New Habits

My summer routine was interrupted by the start of school. A little voice reminds me that I don’t have school age children. So what about school interfered with my schedule? The school buses early morning route interfered with my trip to the gym. I quit going. My excuse is lame. I’ve tried to start back but without success. Does this sound like you, when you’re attempting a new routine?

So I’ve decided I need a restart.

Planning for success

 

  • Start Small
  • Be willing to make adjustments
  • Be practical
  • Keep a diary
  • Find an accountability partner

 

Starting one new habit at a time, will keep you focused. And it’s easier to stick to your goal. Trying to implement multiple changes at once, doesn’t work for me, so I don’t advise it.

A web tool that might prove helpful is https://www.healthyhabitbuilder.com/ I confess I haven’t tried this one but it sounds good.

 

Be aware that you may have to adjust some areas. If the time of day won’t work because of your work schedule, change the time or get up earlier. Perhaps the weather is a factor, develop an alternate pattern. For example with my goal of walking, I could choose an exercise video.

Don’t try something new like a diet if you going on a cruise or a vacation. Plan for success. Look at your calendar.

Keep a diary or a log of your new habit. I know this worked for me in the past. When I was working on my novel, a schedule provided the boundaries needed to finish the manuscript.

And finally, pick an accountability partner to hold you to your goal. Check in with your partner weekly to get encouragement and report your progress. In my case about walking, I talked with my husband who gave me a pep talk.

Time needed to establish a routine

 According to James Clear, “On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.” The answer is backed up by a study done by the University College of London.

The time needed to establish a routine has many variables.  Most important is getting started. For more information read the article on this subject in the Huffington Post.

Are you trying to form a new habit? Are you struggling or finding success?

Please comment. I’d love to hear about your experience.

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

Warning: Refusing to Forgive can ruin your health.

September 12, 2016
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Did you know that unforgiveness can be deadly?

According to research done by Dr. Michael Berry, 61 per cent of cancer patients have a problem with forgiveness. Negative emotions caused by harboring a grudge can shorten your life.

Why are people unable to forgive?

Forgiveness seems impossible in situations such as marital infidelity, murder, or car accident. The list could go on and on. Broken relationships in families cause great pain and division. Friendships are cast aside due to wounded feelings.

Feelings associated with unforgiveness.

When holding a grudge against an offender, thoughts of revenge creep in. You feel wounded and thus justified. Negative feelings take over. It’s like biting into bitter fruit and having the taste linger in your mouth. Anger and bitterness can cause depression and anxiety. Sometimes you can feel distant from God. Your other relationships can suffer.

Forgiveness and You

Do you find it difficult to pardon others for an offense?
Unfair treatment can leave you feeling betrayed. Anger and resentment often follow. If left unchecked, these emotions can be damaging.
Consider the account of Joseph and his brothers in The Old Testament.

“Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming!  Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!” Genesis 37:18-20 NKJV

Can you imagine being thrown into a pit and later, sold as a slave to a passing caravan? Even if this sounds drastic for today, consider feelings you have experienced in a broken relationship.

In the account of Joseph, he did forgive his brothers. But what if he hadn’t? Would he have been able to cope with his captivity? Perhaps he would have succumbed to temptation to enter an adulterous affair with Potiphar’s wife. And he wouldn’t have been able to follow God’s plan.

The clinical staff at Mayo clinic recommends, “As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding.”

In my own life, as a Christian, I am required to forgive others because Christ has pardoned me for my sins. Believe me, I know letting go of  an offense isn’t easy. Through prayer and reading scripture, I can work through it.
Hanging on to negative feelings related to an offense can make you sick. Statistics show the effect on mental and physical health. Are you harboring anger and resentment? How could you get rid of these lingering and destructive emotions? Please feel free to share with me.

How Can You Be A Person Of Influence?

August 29, 2016
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Who is a person of influence?

What do Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Billy Graham have in common? They have been leaders of influence. All had vision, integrity and faith.  Ronald Reagan “pursued peace through strength.” Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in loving your enemies and pushing away fear. “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” Billy Graham believes in vision. In one of his speeches he said, “when there’s no vision then the people perish.”

 

Merriam-Webster defines influence as “the power to change or affect someone or something.” 

Can you think of people who have made an impression on you through your life? Perhaps it was your parents, grandparents, teachers or friends. Why are these people important?

Why be a person of influence?

  • To encourage others
  • To encourage moral principles
  • To lead others to a stronger faith

“Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” Isaiah 55:4 KJV

Martin Luther King had courage to speak out for racial inequality. Ronald Reagan communicated with passion about family values and freedom. Billy Graham spoke of personal faith and belief in God. These leaders affected millions of people. They spoke with boldness about their beliefs. They shared these qualities.

 

  • courage
  • passion for freedom
  • personal faith

 

How can you touch the lives of others?

 

You don’t have to be a leader recognized by the world to impact others. Know what you believe and why. Be willing to share some of your wisdom.  You can have an effect on your family and friends by standing true to your convictions. As our culture drifts morally and spiritually, it’s important to stand for integrity.  Encourage morality. Demonstrate faith.

 

In my own life, my grandfather encouraged me to think for myself. He worked his way through college and became an ordained minister. To support his family, he farmed. Current events and politics were frequent subjects of conversation and he was an active member of the community. Later in life, he was honored for his work and given a “This Is Your Life” award. Attending the ceremony made a lasting impression on me. It demonstrated that hard work and deep faith in God can make a difference.

 

How have influences of others affected your life? Can you be a mentor or an encourager to someone?