Therapists and others who study human behaviour will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. “It’s all about their habits,” they say. 

 

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.

2. They reveal where you spend your time.

3. They reveal the state of your mental health.

4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.

5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

 

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.

Tell me your dreams and then show me your calendar.

Tell me what’s most important in your life and then show me how that is really actioned in your life.

A habit as simple as arriving late or constantly procrastinating can show what you rank at the bottom of your scale of priorities—and also what you rank at the top. What do you hold as important and unimportant in this life? Just take a look at your habits. They will speak for themselves—and most likely, they will speak to others as well.

If you have a habit of working hard, helping others or always being on time to work, it shows that you see a great deal of value in your future, your character and your work ethic. Likewise, if you are always late, interrupt times with friends because you always answer your phone or commit initially only to back out late, it will be clear to the people around you what comes first in your life—and what doesn’t.  It destroys credibility.  It empties the relational bank account and creates distrust.  Trust is such a great lubricant for promotion and opportunity – without trust the opportunities and promotions pass by us and restrict us to a lower level of adventure and experience.  Good habits foster good relationships and a healthy relational bank account.  They demonstrate personal integrity and capability and contribute to a proven track record of faithfulness.

Small things have a larger role in who we are and who we are becoming.  They create a big picture view of who we are.  We may consider some habits as inconsequential but they have an impact in creating credibility with people which in turn has an impact on where we are heading in life.  

Habits can hinder us, or they can be shining stars in the way we live our life publicly and privately.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  Jim Ryun

 

2. They reveal where you spend your time.

Habits don’t just happen overnight. If a habit takes 30 days to form, then those 30 days will tell you a lot about your commitments. Are you cutting down on your Starbucks habit so that you can read the Bible in the morning before work? Or are you routinely hitting snooze and falling off your exercise program 10 days in? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and have to make choices about we’re using our time. We make trade-offs based on what we consider most important at the time—for better or for worse.

I myself have worked hard at creating a habit of getting up early and exercising.  This habit says that YES I do value my health, wellbeing and also the dreams I have that require me to be fit and able instead of sick and tired.  I have had to make significant choices that support my new habit and deal with the voices in my head that entice me to hit snooze.  But I value the progress I am making over another hour or so of sleep.  I trade sleep for long term gain.

 

“We become what we repeatedly do.” Sean Covey

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
― Samuel Smiles

 

3. They reveal the state of your mental health.

Some habits are internal, more than external. They live in our thought processes, our attitudes and our outlook. And if these mental habits go unchecked, it can cause us to live in a state of mental compression because our habits are living our lives for us. But the truth is, mental health is the beginning of all habitual health problems. If a habit, such as envy, lust, comparison, discontent, takes root in your mind, that mental habit is eventually going to be given the reins to the rest of your health if not taken care of.

Creating a new habit is a mental challenge.  It requires will power and discipline.  It requires us to have a bigger YES in our lives that empowers us to say no. 

Steven Furtick says that our mind is like a factory.  We are the quantity managers the determine whether a thought, a product of that factory, meets the grade or needs to be rejected and taken off the production line before it gets delivered into the world.  Likewise our habits.  We can choose how we live our life.  We can chose our habits.  

We demolish argument s and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and
we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
—2 Corinthians 10:5

Becoming aware of our habits doesnt need to be limited to actions but also our emotions and the very way we think and process information.

In UNGLUGED, Lysa Terkeurst instructed participants (our mums group) to keep a reaction journal.  To document those moments when we came unglued and reacted to a situation in unpleasant ways.  This revealed our current status quo.  It intentionally caused us to become aware of what emotional habits we had and then was the springboard to choose new emotional habits, to create a new normal.

 

4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.

Your habits play a massive role in your sinful nature. Our habits are shaped by either a self-disciplined will, or a powerful felt need—and the latter can often pull us into habitual sin. If you really think about it, most sin is derived from a habit that has been formed over an extensive period of time, and then exposes itself when that habit yearns to be activated. On the other hand, forming habits of prayer and worship can also create virtuous habits that can counteract the destructive pull toward sin. 

The choices we make and the habits we live either feed our flesh or feed our spirit.

 

If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. 17 The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. 18 But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you. Galatians 5:16-18

Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. Romans 13:14

 

5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

We’re a society of busy people—and there’s a multitude of fast food, drive-thru options just for our convenience.

Look at your food and exercise habits: do you make late-night chocolate runs, put off your gym membership renewal, lounge around playing video games all weekend? Or do you make it a point to work out three times a week, floss your teeth daily, fill your shopping basket with fresh veges? Your habits will tell you a thing or two about your physical health.  If you want to improve your health and wellbeing then change your habits.

It’s easy to go about our days as usual—with our habits and routines fixed in place without a thought. But if we do evaluate our default patterns, we might learn what we’re doing well and where we have room for improvement. And in 30 days, we might even be able to turn ourselves around and create new normals in our lifestyle.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  Galatians 6:7-8

Sow healthy habits and reap health.  Sow a block of chocolate a day… and  yes.

 

“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
Margaret Thatcher

 

 

 

Ammended from an article (see link above), and inspired by RELEVANT MAGAZINE

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