I used to be loaded down by bad habits. I smoked, drank too much, and focused way too primarily on women. I was irresponsible. At the time, I didn’t see it that way. Then, I became a husband—and even more significant, a dad. I realized I wanted my family to look at me with pride. But I had no idea how to become a person they’d be proud of. Then I discovered that faith and prayer are powerful tools of renewal. They led me to examine my life in a way I never had before.
So I set out in a new direction, on a path not darkened by the temptation of destructive habits, but that offered the opportunity to grow. Here’s what I found there—the secret to how to break bad habits.
A Brand New Path
I had no strength to stop the habits that were wrecking my life. I wanted peace and my habits were poor attempts to find it. I needed a new environment and better teaching to follow. So, I began to pray sincerely, openly, and tearfully. This led me down a brand new path. I began to see that the habits were the result of a lot of bad choices. When I chose to live as my creator desired, I finally could overcome the chains that had shackled me. I felt joy for the first time since I was a kid.
The Quitting ProcessWith bad habits that aren’t necessarily addictions, what we are quitting is a deeply ingrained lifestyle.
Quitting is messy, painful, and revealing. With bad habits that aren’t necessarily addictions, what we are quitting is a deeply ingrained lifestyle. My smoking was an addiction that had damaging health effects. But the other habits were byproducts of an unhealthy lifestyle I had to leave and replace. Sometimes that requires leaving relationships and locations that may hold special places in our hearts. It can be painful and messy, but it’s also liberating. Good will begin to pour into the spaces that were once toxic.
Transformation: A New Beginning
The consequences of the habits linger, like having lungs that won’t fully cooperate. But the feelings of shame for the many ways I let others down or the sadness that comes with living an ill-advised lifestyle are gone. Previously, I lived selfishly, for my own pleasures. But now I have a deep passion for leading those I love honorably and selflessly. This brings me purpose, joy, and growth. That is the reward and the secret to how to break bad habits. Choose to live for someone else rather than for yourself.
Sound off: How have you broken bad habits in your life?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What bad habits do I have that you need me to change?”