I am a creature of habit. As bad as I can be about maintaining a routine, I really thrive when I do. Whether it’s exercising or flossing my teeth, if I establish a habit, I will typically stick to it…until I don’t.
Science tell us it takes about 2 months to develop a habit (not 21 days like previously thought, but wouldn’t that be nice?). Regardless of the amount of time it takes you to form a habit, it requires two things:
1. You must start. You have to have a day. You will never form a new habit without starting. Duh. Right? But really, how many times have I wanted to start doing something but haven’t? Too many. That’s exactly how many. Start!
2. You must put in some effort. 2 months is a long time, and during those months you’re going to have to work to establish this new habit. Set an alarm or a reminder on your phone. Leave yourself notes all over the house. Ask a friend to call and check in. Establishing good habits is not easy, unfortunately. If it was, I would have my Bible memorized cover-to-cover and be super fit. As it stands, neither of those things are true. Hard work is required. But great news! The research tells us that missing a day or two here and there does not negate our progress toward establishing a habit. Awesome, right? So don’t beat yourself up if you sleep in or get busy with the kiddos. Just get back out there the next day. Grace abounds!
So what habit are you wanting to start? Personally, I need to spend more time in prayer and study. The long summer months took a toll on my quiet time, and now that the school year has started, I recognize how far I’ve slipped. Since all of my kids are in school, the best time for me to grab a cup of coffee and my Bible is just after I drop them off. In my kitchen I have a flip version of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I like to read that as soon as I wake up, but I have more relaxed time after the kids are settled at school, where I can really listen and focus. I’m taking the next two months to focus on building that habit. What about you? When is the best time for you to spend quality time with Jesus? Is it a habit you’ve already formed or are you willing to work on that with me?
I encourage you, as we get into the school year, to establish a new habit…preferably a good one! Maybe it’s doing your Bible study homework throughout the week instead of leaving it until the last minute. Maybe it’s memorizing a new verse each week. Whatever it is, get started and work hard. Allow the Spirit to give you gentle reminders, and always, always remember that grace abounds.
We can do this!
Psalm 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.