by Charles R. Swindoll
I used to bite my fingernails right down to the quick. I'd bite them off just as soon as the first signs of new growth would appear. Research shows that it takes only three or four weeks for an activity to become a habit.
Not a person who reads this is completely free from bad habits. It's the price we pay for being human. Let's focus on five suggestions that will help us overcome bad habits.
Stop rationalizing. Refuse to make comments like: "Oh, that's just me. I've always been like that." Such excuses take the edge off disobedience and encourage you to diminish or completely ignore the Spirit's work of conviction.
Apply strategy. Approach your target with a rifle, not a BB gun. Take on one habit at a time, not all at once.
Be realistic. It won't happen fast. It won't be easy. Nor will your resolve be permanent overnight. Periodic failures, however, are still better than habitual slavery.
Be encouraged. Realize you're on the road to ultimate triumph, for the first time in years! Enthusiasm strengthens self-discipline and prompts an attitude of stick-to-it-iveness.
Start today. This is the best moment thus far in your life. To put it off is an admission of defeat and will only intensify and prolong the self-confidence battle.
One day at a time, attack one habit at a time.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.