Goodness me, our goat kids have been developing some nasty little habits..such as squeezing through the hen house door to wreak havoc in the coop..naughty! We all know that once a habit is formed it is very difficult to break. For the life of me, breaking this habit is proving quite trying around here..
Even so, our children have also developed some naughty habits...but so have the adults. Let's be honest, when we see a naughty habit in our kids we can often find that habit - or one very close to it- in our own life. For example, if chores are being neglected, it may be that I too have become neglectful in my duties. And, as we say, once a habit is formed it is hard to break.
The first step we take in habit correcting is to recognize - admit - there is a problem...something needs to change. Once we reveal it..time to deal with it. In my experience, prayer is a necessity. Part of admitting the wrong habit is admitting it to God - He already knows, so just admit it..then..
Seek help with it...through prayer..through scripture..(I place cards with relevant verses around my house to encourage me).. and with an accountability partner. Be sure this is a trusted person .. some one respectful of your privacy, and loves you enough to be honest. For example, if my emotions are out of balance, I may ask my husband to gently remind me when I need a break to regroup and refocus.
Then have a plan and work the plan. An example: if eating habits are needing adjustments, don't expose yourself to areas of temptation until you are strong enough to face the temptation and succeed. When you are facing a week moment, pray...seek your accountability person if you need to. Place those scripture verses right near the area of temptation (example..if phone or computer is taking over your life....place a verse on the handset or screen) Habit changing takes time..it is a process and it does not happen overnight.
And finally, when you mess up..when you face a setback..and you will, I do...admit it and move on. There is no need to keep beating yourself up about the situation, just determine to do better from here on out. Remember, God is our strength..He knows our weaknesses and His word is full of promises and wisdom to guide us. He will forgive your and give you the ability to forgive yourself.
In facing some challenges in our own lives...we often agree as a family to unplug. This means remove the entertainment aspect of our daily routines...no TV, music, radio..limited phone and Internet use (basically job/school activity only). Use our time to repair damaged family attitudes and relationships..clean and declutter not only our living space, but our minds, souls and physical environment.
Here at home, we are working through some habit changing...it is a process, we are making progress - the goats are another story. Let's hope we succeed with both!