Photo by Bruno Nascimento / Unsplash

Couch potato. Video game addict. Online shopaholic.

Whatever your guilty habit, it owns you—and you’d be better off without it.

But resolutions to do better during quarantine haven’t helped. Struggling to summon up more self-discipline has fallen flat. Your life is knee-deep in good intentions that went nowhere and you’re as stuck now as the day you started looking to break free.

Here are four strategies to help you transition to that better place and leave your habit behind:

Get real
Ask: What’s behind your habit? If you habitually shop because you’re bored, fix the boredom and you’ll take the wind out of your habit’s sails. Ask yourself: What emotional itch does your habit scratch? What’s the need your habit is filling?

Bullet-proof your environment
Jesus was right: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak—so give your flesh some help. If you’re a Cookie Monster clone, purge the pantry now and when you’re craving a cookie they won’t be available. What’s one way you can habit-proof your home today?

Say it proud, say it loud
You’ll feel empowered for change if you reframe how you describe your efforts. Rather than “I can’t eat donuts” try “I don’t eat donuts.” This subtle shift signals you’re in charge of your actions—not the other way around. How are you talking about the habit you’d like to break—as a victor or victim?

Don’t go it alone
Ask someone you trust to hold you accountable and invite God to empower your efforts. When John wrote, “…for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 ESV) he probably wasn’t thinking about avoiding potato chips. But the truth remains: You do have God’s help as you move toward spiritual health and wholeness…if you want it.

How have you invited God into your struggle with your habit? And how might God be helping you?


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