Did you know that most of your bad habits are mostly caused by stress and boredom?
You've probably got that one habit that makes you almost crazy. The thing is, most people assume they have bad habits because they just don't have the willpower to stop doing those things, but that's usually not the case.
The bad news is you actually don’t eliminate it based on the recent research of author James Clear who wrote a book about habits. He mentioned in his book that bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.
So many people fail when trying to remove bad habits such as binging on sweets, smoking, snapping at co-workers, and more. They never reach their desired success simply because the habits have become too much of a part of their lives and they don’t know sustainable techniques that will break them.
Your bad habits aren't a problem with willpower—they're mostly caused by stress and boredom. But that doesn't mean that you have to keep doing them. Here are the Bible verses and steps to kick some habitual behaviors to the curb:
Identify The Triggers & Cut Them
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
James Clear said in his “Atomic Habits” book “Habits are a double-edged sword. They can work for you or against you, which is why understanding the details is essential.”
The first step to breaking a bad habit is understanding why you do it. If you know your triggers, you can plan ways to avoid them.
If you tend to overeat, try to cut back on groceries and your access to them. If you tend to smoke when you drink out with your friends, try to limit them. If you rather scroll mindlessly on your phone for hours uninstall your social media apps. Just simply, Identify what causes your bad habits.
The key here is gradual, not abrupt changes and changing your environment to form new habits. Even just simply seeing food will make you want to eat even if you’re not hungry.
Nailing these 2 points alone can immensely help you on your journey towards breaking bad habits.
Think about the benefits of breaking your bad habit.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
For example, smoking can cause serious health problems, and quitting smoking will reduce your chances of getting cancer or other diseases.
Think about how much money you’ll save by eating out less and how good you’ll look and feel when you lose those extra pounds you’ve been wanting to lose for so long.
Rewards keep us going when self-drive fails to do so. By saving the money you would otherwise use to buy cigarettes or food you can spend it on something else that you’ve been wanting.
Whether that’s a new tech gadget or a vacation, do something with that money that brings you joy and makes you feel accomplished.
Get specific about who you want to become
“And give no opportunity to the devil.”
James Clear discusses in his book that the most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
Ask yourself three questions, “Who do I want to be?” “What does this person have?” and “What does this person do?” If you don’t know the answers, then you need to spend time thinking about them.
It’s difficult to change your habits, but it can be easier if you focus on who you want to become.
Write down and post where you can see daily the specific things you want to accomplish.
We tend to easily forget things and what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed. We’re all capable of creating habits that positively affect our lives. But some of us get stuck in a rut, fall into bad patterns, or don’t know how to break out of a funk or situation. It’s not easy, but sometimes we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to improving ourselves and changing for the better. That’s why focusing on becoming “a certain person” can be an effective motivator that moves you forward.
Replace your bad habit with a good one
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Once you can identify the trigger, have something lined up in your mind so that when it happens, you are prepared with a positive alternative. For example, instead of just deciding not to drink at night once your kids leave home or your day at work is over, decide what you will do instead! You could plan to read or journal.
Every day, you have the power to make choices that can change your life for the better. Whether it's removing time-wasters from your schedule or adding beneficial habits to your routine, making these changes can bring increased productivity and improve happiness as well.
Habits take time and energy to both create and break, but if you remember that there's always an alternative good habit that can replace the bad one, changing won't seem nearly as daunting.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
Breaking bad habits can be tough, but you don't have to go it alone.
Finding a brother or sister in Christ to talk to and pray with can make all the difference. Christ's love is powerful, and when you surround yourself with other believers who share that commitment, you will find the strength to overcome your struggles and bad habits.
By communicating our struggles and our victories, we strengthen each other and encourage each other to keep going.
Surround yourself with people who are working toward the same goals, but also help hold you accountable for your actions and mistakes. This is how we learn and grow together—and this is how we truly become better versions of ourselves as we connect with God.
Breaking your bad habits is through consistent actions. The very first step is trying to be better and become the best version of yourself. Within each of us is the ability to rise above our own sins and faults, having victory over the world through God.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
- Philippians 4:6-8