At the beginning of the New Year, we are often driven to make new promises to ourselves. We are called to start fresh and look at making better habits. Maybe you made a resolution to change a habit, to aim for a healthier lifestyle, or make better connections with people. We know that our inner drive and will-power can help us attain these goals. However, this is often not enough.
How can we then call on our spiritual strength to help us break these bad habits and make new ones? How can God support us in new habit making? After all, Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
One key goal to forming new habits is mindfulness toward that habit. Mindfulness is important because one can only break a bad habit when you recognize that you are doing it. For example, if you made a commitment to watch less television and read more, it is important to recognize the habits that lead you to turn on the television in the first place. If you intend to eat healthier, the first step to mindfulness might involve consciously not buying unhealthy foods or bringing mindfulness into food choices when you are about to eat. A visual reminder can be another way to maintain mindfulness toward your new habit. It might be helpful to write down the positive habit and have it positioned in a place that you will see often.
If you find yourself struggling for success, prayer is another important tool for breaking bad habits. Call on God for strength to make new decisions and actions. It is important to remember God can give you the strength to overcome difficulties and challenges in life. God is always there for you, supporting and carrying you.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
3. Reframe & Resolve
Forming your resolution in a positive way can create a positive perspective around the change. For example, instead of resolving to stop eating junk food, it might be easier to make the resolution to eat healthier food. If you are hoping to pray more, reframe the intention to create a better relationship with God. These changes turn the resolution into an encouraging and positive message of change, instead of a burden or rule to follow.
Ephesians 4:22-24, “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Lastly, it’s important to remember that habits aren’t changed overnight. It takes time and energy, and prayer, to shift behavior. You may not be successful every day or every moment, but through steadfastness and support from God, you can shift bad habits to a more positive and healthier choice. Through prayer and mindfulness, you can be strengthened to make positive changes in life for a healthier and happier self.