Habits Revisited

As I look back over my previous blog posts and as I look at the things I want to accomplish with my life, I’m reminded of the significance that our habits–good or bad–have in molding what our every day life looks like.  And more importantly, how consistently doing even the little, seemingly insignificant things, can have an impact on us either to our benefit or to our demise.

I’ve expressed before how many of my bad habits are very situational.  I drink diet soda like it is going out of style….when I’m at work. Weekends often find me not even thinking about the stuff.  My habits surrounding my sleep times, what I eat, when I eat, whether or not I exercise, how often I talk disparagingly to or about myself, etc., are all areas that I need to tackle. As I look back over successful times in my life, I had a consistent, healthy habit in these areas.  As I look back over the years of struggle, that lack of consistency in small habits related to these areas is glaringly apparent.

I’m reminded of the story I shared in a previous blog post about Coach John Wooden.  How many of you are familiar with Coach Wooden? He is awesome! Find a few minutes sometime to read about him and who he was.  It will be well worth your time.  Coach Wooden coined his own definition of success:  “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best you are capable of becoming.”

Coach Wooden spoke often about the difference between success and winning.  He taught that we should never try to be better than anyone else, but never cease to try to be the best we can be.  Don’t get too engrossed in things you have no control over or it will have a negative effect on those things you do have control over.  Practicing well is more important than winning.  The process is more important than the outcome.

I LOVE THIS.  You may be wondering how this applies to the topic of habits.  Well…..habits are essentially practice.  They are the effort that we put in day after day in hopes that we will be victorious when our challenge arises.  Little do we know, though, when we are in the throws of our mundane, everyday “practice” or habits, that the final battlefield is far less important than the day-to-day effort that we put into becoming who we want to be.  We can’t expect to do our best or be our best if our effort leading up to the challenge is less than the best effort we have to offer every day.

Another quote from Coach Wooden–one that was among his Seven Point Creed (given to him by his father upon his graduation from grammar school)– is, “Make each day your masterpiece.”

What is it that allows us to make each day our masterpiece?  How we practice!  The small, seemingly insignificant things we do daily–otherwise known as habits–that are the conduit to us making the effort to do the best of which we are capable.

So….bad habits…you are on notice.  You won’t be a part of my every day anymore.  And, while it may take some time for me to weed you out completely and replace you with habits and practice that better serve the best I am capable of becoming, I will not let you interfere with my daily masterpiece!.

Bad Habits on Their Way Out

  • Eating like every meal is a celebration of something
  • I’ll exercise later tonight, or tomorrow, or twice on Friday
  • Stinkin thinkin and negative self-talk

Being Replaced by Good Habits Taking Up Residency

  • Eating in a way that honors the body that God gave me stewardship over
  • Start my day with movement and show gratitude for the blessing of a healthy body
  • Positive affirmations and realistic thoughts

What habits do you employ to help you in making each day a masterpiece?

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