Sunday, May 17, 2020

Habitize: How to build new habits

Is now the right time?

How many times during the COVID-19 crisis have you heard someone talk about working on their side hustles or using this time for self improvement? Or have you been told that Shakespeare wrote one of his plays while quarantined from the plague? No pressure.

I've told the staff at our church that they shouldn't think of this as "extra" time. They are working from home during a crisis, not just working from home. They aren't homeschooling schooling, they are collaborative (with teachers) schooling from home during a crisis. It's a lot to think about. It's stressful. And while you really want to read the Bible all the way through, the idea of tackling it seems overwhelming. Procrastination sets in in many areas of your life and I just want to tell you...that's okay.

Procrastination involves our brains making a calculation between now versus later. In our present culture, we are surrounded by more and more distractions. Our everyday environment pulls at our attention with an overload of temptations to quickly and easily shift our focus from one thing to another. Our brains have increasing difficulty in making the correct calculation between the tasks or projects which need to be accomplished now or later; and we delay or postpone completion.

So if you want to tackle something new during this time, here a few tricks to engage your brain to get over procrastinating...
  1. Break it down - break it down into smaller components. Read a really short book of the Bible. Then another. Then read just a few chapters of a larger book. Before you know it you have read a LOT!
  2. Repeat.
  3. Action - keep doing it every day. If you skip a day that is okay. I tend to go by a "two day" rule when forming new habits. I never go two days in a row without practicing my new habit. That gives me a few skip days here and there.
  4. Information - Get more information about the habit you are forming. If it is about reading the Bible, grab a good commentary. If you are trying to exercise daily, read a blog or watch a video about the exercise you are trying to do. I used to get information first and it took me forever to start new things. Now I start something and supplement the routine with information.
  5. Never give up! Okay you may get in a rut from time to time but get back to it when life allows.

If you want to remember these steps, they spell out BRAIN. But don't feel obligated to start something now. Start when you are ready. We are all trying to adjust right now. Do something small to grow closer to God (pray, read your Bible, do some Holy Mischief) but don't feel you have to write King Lear...that's already been done. Grow closer to God and He will mold you into the person He is calling you to be. 

-Until Everyone Hears

P.S. - When it comes to washing your hands frequency counts. To look at the science go here or here. And wash your hands!
habits faith prayer spirituality holy mischief

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gave up on many things this week... faith, hope, church

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