Making new habits

There are only a few days left to 2022, and most people have the habit of writing new year’s resolutions. However, most fail by February or even before January ends because people fail to establish new practices to achieve their goals. It’s usually hard in the beginning, but if you persevere, you will be rewarded:

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

The key to making good habits is to do the same thing over and over again in the same way. For example, if you want to exercise more, you must do it often enough until it becomes a habit. So, a pattern is something that you do over and over again in the same situation.

When something is done repeatedly, and in the same way, it forms an association, which then turns into a habit. For instance, someone who wants to lose weight might want to walk around the block more and eat more vegetables. This person might eat vegetables for dinner and then walk around the block for exercise. At first, this may need to be done on purpose. After doing the task several times, the body automatically links these three pieces of information: dinner time means vegetables, and having vegetables for dinner means going for a walk around the block. In other words, automaticity happens because the mind already knows that these three things go together. Even if the person misses one or two times, automaticity still kicks in and gets them back on track.


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