Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

10 Rules for Effective Habit Change

10 Rules for Effective Habit Change

1. Look forward. I believe God isn’t so much concerned with you reliving your past as He is with you walking with Him in your present.

2. Ask God for help changing. If God is the Author and Perfecter of faith, won’t He do just that? Take the pressure off your shoulders and trust His might to change you.

3. Make God-confirmed change quickly. Never permit your fluctuating emotions to veto your God-inspired heart.

4. Don’t overcommit. A study has found people can sacrifice a pleasant immediate response (example: giving a rapid-fire yes in order to feel good in the moment) by considering the benefit of the future person (example: by saying no I’ll be able to love my family more). Put this into action by asking yourself: When this commitment becomes due, will I end up a love spreader or an anxiety producer? Will I love my family well? Will it tax my emotions? Will I complain because I hate that I have to do it? What are my decisions producing?

5. Get support. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Prov. 15:22).

6. Limit habit change. Too much can feel overwhelming; just think of shopping in a store with way too many racks. Suddenly, you want to try on nothing. In the same way, if you see too much to tackle, you’ll tackle nothing. Limit your habit change to one to three things at a time. Consider this approach with this book: hone in on a chapter, select a few points, and give it time to settle in. Too much is not good and usually results in . . . no action.

7. Know what “flicks” you. My daughter has a blankie. When she holds it, she likes to wet it with her mouth and rub it on her face. This then triggers her finger-sucking. Something likely triggers your bad habits:

•A specific feeling: hunger, jealousy, inadequacy, and so forth.

•A placement of something: a wine glass left on the counter ready for an evening pour, shoes left on the floor by a husband, and so on.

•A person: a mean response makes you mean, and an evil eye makes you want to tell someone off.

•A poke of an injured area of your heart: adults laugh at you the way kids used to, or someone tells you you’re dumb and it reminds you of your worst fear. What sets you off?

8. Re-create in your mind a new outcome. See a new response in your mind. Speak in your mind what you might speak out loud. Address the issues that might come up beforehand.

9. Remind yourself. Do it with images. Do it with notes taped around the house. Do it with reminders on your phone, or with a screen saver. Do it with a bracelet that has just the right message.

For example, if you want to spend more wisely, put a reminder where it counts: on your wallet. Draw a picture of a sad self and tape it inside, next to your cards. Remind yourself when you open that wallet how you’ll feel if you waste the money you’ve been saving for graduate school.

10. Get specific. A Harvard University study shows that the more you specifically plan something (how, when, where), the more likely you will be to actually follow through on it. It reminds your mind at the right time regarding your detailed approach to accomplishing things.

Kelly Balarie is the author of the book, Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Copyright © July 2018. Used by permission.

Battle Ready  is a hands-on scriptural plan that teaches you twelve easy-to-implement, confidence-building mind-sets designed to transform your thoughts and, therefore, your life. You'll gain practical wisdom, like how to 
· make new habits stick in just five steps 
· disarm the seven most common attacks that plague women 
· exchange self-limiting thoughts for purpose-driven, love-releasing thoughts 
· implement thirty-second mind-lifters that deliver peace 
· create boundaries so you live life full of what matters 

Visit www.iambattleready.com for a free prayer journal.

Kelly Balarie, an author and national speaker, is on a mission to encourage others not to give up. Through times of extreme testing, Kelly believes there is hope for every woman. She shares this hope on her blog, Purposeful Faith, and on many writing publications such as Relevant, Crosswalk, and Today's Christian Woman. Kelly's work has been featured on The Today Show, 700 Club Interactive, Moody Radio and other television and radio broadcasts.

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