practice to habit: day two

Day Two = not quite as awesome as Day One.

For starters, I hit snooze twice. (Sorry, Mr. S.) Didn’t brew the fancy coffee, either; simply microwaved what was in the pot from yesterday. And I felt a little less jazzed about the whole ordeal.

But I showed up. Jazzed or not-so-jazzed, I showed up and that’s what counts.

To learn more about what makes a practice into a habit that sticks, I’ve been doing a little research. Gretchen Rubin, author of the fascinating book The Happiness Project, writes a bit about habits on her blog:”Fact is, habits are hard to alter, and that’s why developing a good habit is really worth the struggle; once you’re used to making your bed each morning, or going for an evening walk, or flossing, you don’t have to exert much self-control to keep it up.”

Reassuring, yes?

And Gretchen also points us to a study reported by Oliver Burkeman in the Guardian. University College London psychologist Phillippa Lally and colleagues found that the length of time it takes to build a habit varies for everyone. Some people need as few as 18 days; others, they reported, needed as many as 245. It’s individual.

Furthermore, the study indicates, the way we look at habits can impact how we make them or break them. Psychologist Ian Newby-Clark suggests we look at a habit as a response to a need. For example, we often say we want to swap the habit of eating junk food for a habit of eating healthy food. But if we run to cookies, ice cream and pizza as a response to our need for comfort, relaxation and happiness, then eating salads won’t fulfill the need. And so we shouldn’t be surprised when back to the treats we go. To really break the habit, we should seek a different way to fulfill the need.

What I know is this: This weary soul of mine needs the Gospel. This weary soul of mine needs these words of strength and truth and life beyond this one. This weary soul needs salvation. And Christ is, ultimately, what I need.

I love hearing what you are learning too! Please, share with me in the comments or on Twitter — I’m @sarahkoci. Friends, again, thank you for joining me on this journey.

(photo credit: my handwriting and Instagram app.)

Bored with me yet? I’m starting a fun little series tomorrow called Finish Something Friday. Get excited.

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4 thoughts on “practice to habit: day two

  1. I wasn’t so jazzed this morning either. And we don’t want to talk about how many times I hit the snooze button this morning- it’s ridiculous! Just have to keeping pushing through because, like you, I need the Gospel- desperately. By the way, thanks for being honest about the struggle. 🙂

    • Friend, thank you so much for your encouragement! Helped me so much today when I dropped the ball. Learning to focus on the word and not my own insecurities and anxieties when I’m not perfect. Moving along!

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