As I like to say, I am a creature of habit; they’re just not always good habits. It’s true.
Creature of Habit
I am generally a creature of habit. For the most part, I enjoy routine. I like for things to be and stay the same. I enjoy eating the same foods over and over again — in some restaurants that I go to, I don’t even have to order, because I go there often, and because they know I always get the same thing.
Technology is a different matter with me, for some reason. I love new technology. I love upgrades and new devices. I like trying new apps and versions and features. I enjoy helping use technology to find new and better ways to do things.
I have some bad habits, and I know it. Some of them are quite visible to everyone, while others are known only to me. And the older I get, the more interested I am in improving my bad habits. But as we all know, changing habits can be a hard thing. Especially for someone who is a creature of habit. So how have I had success lately in changing or improving some of my bad habits?
Ingredients of Change
To start, I need motivation — the why — for changing or improving my bad habits. For me, those motivations came to mind easily:
- Myself — Some of my habits needed to change simply for myself, for my own health, for my own benefit.
- My family — Some of my habits needed to change because they were negatively impacting my family. I want to be a good husband to my wife, and I definitely want to be a good father and a good example for my son.
- My job — Some of my habits were negatively impacting my job. Not that they were always noticeable, but because I like to do things well, and I always like to do things better — better than a competitor, better than another co-worker, better than I did it last time.
- My God — I put this one last on the list, not because it’s the least important, but because it may be the most difficult for others to understand. As a person who strives to follow Christ, I want to bring Him glory in what I say and do.
Next I needed knowledge — the how — for changing or improving my bad habits. I think this is where some of us get stuck. I had motivation — I knew why I needed to change — but I didn’t know how to change or what to change. And so I used this as an excuse to put off true change for many years.
Then I came to realize that the problem wasn’t so much a lack of knowledge. In many cases, I knew the basics of what I needed to do. Now I needed to take that knowledge and apply it — I needed to put it into action. For instance, if I wanted to lose weight and be healthier, I simply needed to make better eating choices, I generally needed to eat less than I was currently eating, and I needed to incorporate exercise into my daily schedule. But this can be another point where some of us get stuck — we don’t know what step to take first, how to get started, and how to keep it going. So I knew needed help.
Thankfully, we live in a time when we have so many tremendous tools available to us, and at little or no cost. I’ll spend the next few posts writing about some of the tools that I’ve used successfully, and how they’ve helped me make positive change. I hope it can be of help to you.