At bible study we’re working through Jerry Bridges “Pursuit of Holiness” and even though it’s a Christian book there’s a lot in chapter 14 that’ll be helpful for this community! There are 4 key points when it comes to making and breaking habits:
1 - Habits are developed and reinforced by FREQUENT REPETITION. Another definition of habit is a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition. This is the principle underlying the fact that the more we sin the more we are inclined to sin. But the converse is also true! The more we say no to sin the more we become inclined to say no.
2 - NEVER LET AN EXCEPTION OCCUR. When we allow exceptions we are enforcing old habits or at least failing to reinforce the new one. At this point we must watch the, just this once type of thinking which is a subtle dangerous trap.Because we are unwilling to pay the price for saying no to our desires, we tell ourselves we will indulge only once more and tomorrow will be different. Deep inside we know that tomorrow it will be even more difficult to say no, but we don’t dwell on this fact.
3 - DILIGENCE IN ALL AREAS IS REQUIRED TO ENSURE SUCCESS IN ONE AREA. We may feel a particular habit isn’t too bad but continually giving in to that habit weakens our wills against the onslaughts of temptation from other directions. This is the reason for example that is so important for us to developed habits of self control over our physical appetites. We may think indulging these appetites isn’t so bad but such indulgences weaken our wills in every other aspect of our lives.
4 - DON’T BE DISCOURAGED BY FAILURE. There is a vast difference between failing and becoming a failure. We become a failure when we give up-when we stop trying. But as long as we’re working on those sinful habits, regardless of how often we fail, we have not become a failure and we can expect to see progress.
I hope this can be of some help to you all, I for one love it! Cheers and good luck out there!