Monday, April 30, 2012

habit forming (updated with disclaimer)

Habits are funny things. They come, they go, they can be hard to form or hard to stop. I wonder why that is? The difficulty or ease with which they form.

And what makes a habit stay for a lifetime? That's something I'd like to understand. Because there are a few habits I'd like to stick around for as long as I the habit of recording my "sacrifices of praise" to God. He desires it. It brings deep, abiding joy, and yet, for the past two months I'd gotten out of the habit of writing them down.

Sure I would make a mental note of them as they happened and think, "I'll remember this forever." I don't. And it's funny how writing them down solidifies something in my spirit, but that doesn't happen when I just leave it as a thought.

So I'm left wondering how can I make this habit of recording gifts a lifetime habit. After all, I've successfully (to this date) made a habit of getting dressed, brushing my teeth, making meals even on days when I'd rather not. Does fear of what might happen if I don't do these things motivate me (e.g. I wouldn't be decent in public, my teeth would rot and my breath would smell, I'd go hungry).

Or is it because I've been doing these things for years and they've become a part of me?

If anyone has wisdom on this habit-forming subject, I'm all ears. Because the alternative to not doing this daily is to miss out on the greater joy God has in store for those who look, who seek, who knock.

Gifts from today...
  • Reese having a good day at school, experiencing joy in a place he'd rather not be (for now)
  • Impromptu get together with friends on a warm afternoon
  • Dave home early from work
  • Boys time with Daddy
  • Chili on the stove - a meal for more than one night
  • Maple keys falling like rain
  • Eyes on God
  • Shredding paper

If you're looking for a place to record your gifts, your thoughts or even your to-do list, perhaps consider a journal from Delicate Fortress Creations (if you don't already have one or are almost at the end of your current journal). Like these mini ones from (so portable).

Or maybe a larger one just begging to have its pages filled to the brim with the gifts God gives you.

By purchasing one through DFC, you'll be helping women and children in extreme poverty.*


Linking with:

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase at DFC through my unique ambassador link, I will get a portion of the sale which I can use towards my own purchases at DFC. But I share about DFC because I believe this is what our consumer culture must move towards - fair trade and justice for everyone on God's earth. You also have the option to make a purchase through DFC without going through me too. :)


Dolly@Soulstops said...

Hi Andrea,
There is something that actually happens in our brains when we write things down so that is one reason it helps to write our thanks. As for the habit, like you, I notice that when I write down my gratitude, it forces me to be fully present to them. Blessings! and happy counting with Him!

kendal said...

this is a great question - how to form a good habit. i am in the habit of turning on my computer and going to my emails, facebook, blog, twitter....but before that, i open my bible. i started by not allowing myself on the computer beforehand. now? it's a very very desirable habit.

Amy Sullivan said...

Just saw your request through Jen so I thought I would pop over and let you know I just prayed for you. Thanks for putting it out there so we can be included.

ps You know I love DFC!

Anonymous said...

Have you read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg? Practical suggestions for changing/creating habits . . . as well as why habits form or don't form.