I’ve been thinking about habits a lot lately. What mine are, what others might be, where they come from, and how they impact our lives.

I’m realizing that our mindless, little habits often add up and become the sum we call: life.


Sometimes I do things not because I necessarily want to, but entirely out of habit.

Like working out, for example. I can honestly say that there are plenty of times when I’d rather do anything but workout, but I do it because it’s a habit I’ve created. Because I grew up with a mom who exercised daily and modeled that lifestyle, I followed in her footsteps and it’s been a part of my routine for as long as I can remember. It’s like brushing my teeth; truly habitual. Second nature, if I may. Exercising and brushing our teeth are good habits, of course. However, not all habits are so great.

I’m sure something comes to mind as you read that last sentence.

One of the first not-so-great habits that came to my mind is how often I’m on my phone.

I don’t want to be on my phone 24/7, but often times I’ll mindlessly open up an app, start scrolling, and before I know it it’s been 30 minutes! 30 minutes of wasted time, robbing myself of being present, and little brain activity or positive emotions. That’s a habit that I’ve formed and need to break. And it’s not just going to break by itself. I have to be intentional. (But we’ll come back to that in just a minute.)

By now, you’re probably wondering what waking up at 4 AM and blocking someone’s number has to do with this post…

Those are actually two real-life examples of how someone I know is changing her life by changing her habits.

She is waking up at 4 AM to go running so that she can train for a marathon. The habit of sleeping in and making excuses is no longer holding her back.

She also blocked an ex’s phone number in order to protect her marriage and cut off the temptation to reconnect with him. The habit of succumbing to temptation (in this way) has been removed from her life.

So I don’t know what habits are in your life, but we’ve all got some good ones and some not-so-good ones.

Maybe it’s the habit of running to the arms of a new person each time your love tank runs empty. Or approaching your spouse out of anger rather than gentleness. Or doing things for your kids rather than letting them do it themselves. Or choosing to party (because FOMO) even when you know you should study. Or swiping your credit card mindlessly. Or biting your nails.

Maybe it’s the habit of waking up and getting a 20 minute workout in. Or consciously taking deep breaths before you speak. Or leaving early so you’re always on time. Or speaking your spouses love language. Or choosing to say “no” rather than over-committing.

Doing something with intention requires action. And it won’t be easy, let me tell ya. BUT YOU CAN DO THIS! We can do hard things.

So, decide which habit(s) you want to break or create and make a plan.

Share in the comments below so we can encourage each other!

XO

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10 comments

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Reading a the book “Power of Habit” right now, so this was especially spot on. Great post!

Xo,

Kaci Nicole

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Aw that’s great to hear…I’ll have to look into that one! I’m on another binge – reading 6 books right now! 🙂 haha

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Oh man. All your posts always get me right where I think I’ve hidden all my sins away. God always speaks to me through you. Love you and your articles!

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That’s awesome, Allie. Thanks for the love and encouraging comment! I’m so glad He’s being glorified in all that I do, write, and share. 🙂

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I love you and your blog and everything about you so much! I go to a small private Christian university near Seattle, Washington , if you’re ever in the area or would like to come please let me know! We have this events we call ‘chick chats’ which are just girl nights for everyone on campus and we have differnet speakers on different subjects.. I have a feeling you’d be wonderful and we’d love to have you!!

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Sofi,

Thank you so much! I would love to come out to Seattle sometime. I will remember this and post something on social media next time I’m traveling that direction to see if it would be possible to coordinate something. Thank you for the invitation 🙂

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I’m trying to use my voice. Im learning to say no, and to put myself first when I need to. I’m also rebuilding my yoga practice, after several surgeries and procedures made it impossible to do yoga for a few years. I’m learning how to be okay with being disabled. And to learn how to respond to people who have the insatiable urge to try to be “helpful” by offering advice.

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I agree with the intent of your message, but take a slight different perspective on mindlessly cruising through media postings. If I didn’t give myself permission to read miscellaneous posts, I never would have read your blog. So I think we just have to be careful not to lose track of time in this “other” place. It’s not a waste if knowledge is gained.

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Stumbled upon your article at just the rght time in my life. I’ve been working at forming new habits (hitting the gym each day, training for a charity event, reading – something I loved and lost) and dropping some bad habits by doing just what your friend did…blocking the number, the email, etc.

They say it takes 30 days to firm a habit…well, I’m halfway there! Thanks for an inspiring read!

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Thanks Manda! I’m learning to say no more as well. My perspective on time and how precious it is has changed now that I have a 14 month old. I’m trying to soak in the rare moments, like when he falls asleep on me and resist the urge to put him down so I can start checking things off my ‘to do’ list.

PS. I also read the letter to the guys on the train post and really appreciated your perspective. I am a teacher (who married a teacher) and both my husband and I liked how you compared your experience teaching to a ‘real world’ job. There are so many articles defending teachers, but yours felt different and spoke to both of us. My husband even shared it with his colleagues at work and he NEVER does that. Thanks.

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