Changing Habits: Keep Them Where You Can See Them
Last week I had had enough with letting my good habits slip. It's definitely that time of year when I tend to lose focus on the important things that have helped me feel like I'm on top of it, which affects my entire mood and attitude. My guess is you might be struggling with or have struggled with same thing at some point. The major problem I run into when trying to implement a new or better habit into my daily life is that I can't seem to keep the goals top-of-mind and in front of me as a reminder to keep myself motivated and accountable.
In order for me to be the man, husband and father that I want to be, I felt like it was time to reinstate some of the good habits that have been an after-thought as of late and kick some of the bad habits.
The solution: Make a short list of habits I want to change, and set it as the image on the lock screen of my iPhone.
I kind of can't believe I haven't thought of it before. Typically I have a super cute picture of my girls as my lock screen. But, as much as I love them, I need to master these habits in order to lead my family effectively.
I envision keeping these goals on my phone where I can see them until they become solid habits (probably a month or two) and then rolling into a new set of challenges. For now, here are my four areas of focus that I'm trying to make habits again.
- No pop: I love pop! I think it's the carbonation. But it's so unhealthy (have you ever looked at the ingredients list?). So, I'm trying to give it up. Maybe not forever, but for the next month or so. I plan to replace my pop intake with either water or tea. So far, so good.
- Roll out - 05:00/weekdays and 06:00/weekends: I used to jump out of bed at 5:00 am every day before Roo was born. Since then, I've had a few disruptions in my sleep patterns and I've gotten lazy about snoozing and getting up at the last minute. It's easy to press snooze when you were awoken at 3:30 am by a crying baby. But I feel so much better when I have my personal time before going to work (during the week) or before the rest of my family gets up (on the weekends). I'm hoping to get up early again and take charge of the day. The early bird gets the worm. So far, so good.
- Go to or watch church weekly: Recently we were busy with Thanksgiving travels and going to Kansas City and we haven't been able to attend church. And with as many services that our church offers and being able to watch it any time we want online, there's no excuse. It seems like we miss one week for a valid reason and then it is no longer a habit. I want to make this a priority again for our family. So far, so good.
- Daily devotional: I used to read my Bible every day, but somewhere over the summer months I fell out of habit and haven't been able to get in the rhythm again. But I've done well for the past week. Kelsey and I also started reading a parenting devotional. So far, so good.
Will I be able to achieve these goals and make them habits for the rest of my life? Not likely. Nobody's perfect. My hope is that I can make them enough of a habit that I don't have to think about them, and they just become automatic. At which point I can move on to a new set of habits.
How do you change your habits? What are you trying to make a habit currently?
P.S. If you want to create your own image for your phone, you can use an app like Phonto or a website like PicMonkey to create you own. Then simply save it to your phone and set it as your lock screen.