As a former procrastinator, I want the good stuff that comes from routine. Healthy habits keep my feet on the path I intend and help prevent my wandering. “Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established.” Proverbs 4:26.
- Enables me to do the most important things so priorities receive regular focus.
- Helps me use time, thought, and energy wisely.
- Eliminates the drain of constant decision- making and exercising will power.
- Brings relief to life.
Keeping a routine going is easier than getting it going in the first place. What do I do to set up a routine? How do I form a new habit?
Here are some basic things that help me:
- Determine the priority you want to focus on. Seek the Lord. Understand clearly your priority and write down why it is important to you.
- Commit to change. The process of forming a new habit takes time, energy, and focus in itself. The new habit is not natural yet so it requires attention and effort to get going. Stumbles are normal. The change is a big deal – until it’s not! It may take weeks, but this phase will pass. You’ll cease striving because you’ve moved into automatic. Yea!
- Employ action triggers or cues to remind you of your new habit. Cell phone alarms, running shoes in the bathroom, a large note on the floor, laundry pile in the hall – whatever will prompt you to take action.
- Share with others. If your change involves family, of course you need to communicate. In any case, it can be motivating to share your plan with an accountability partner. Some of us benefit greatly from this, some not as much. Be honest and maximize this one if it applies. (It does to me.)
- Focus on your priority from God – not on the discipline it takes to change your ways. Michael Hyatt says, “Discipline is not really about will power so much as focusing on what you really want. If you get clear on that, it suddenly becomes much easier.” This simple tip is remarkably effective! If kids’ brushing teeth right after dinner seems a hassle, remember the blessing will be time for family reading or games. If running errands early in the week seems a drag, remember your aim is a freer weekend. To persevere, concentrate on where you’ll be, not on what you have to go through.
I discovered Tuesday, September 6 is Fight Procrastination Day! How about that? Let’s put on our boxing gloves and win over procrastination by starting a new habit this week! Mine is to establish 7 a.m. as exercise time. (I’m now faithful each morning but need a consistent time on the clock.)
Will you do stretches when you wake up? Spend five minutes daily on scripture memory? Write two pages a day?
What new habit will you get going this week? Tell us!