Getting back in the habit is not as easy as it sounds. Maybe you’ve experienced that in the past. As we lose those good habits that we love and value there’s good chance that we want to go back to them and regain the good habits that we were in. If you didn’t get a chance to read my last post, take a look at it sometime. It examines what happens when we lose those good habits that we value. But in this post we’ll take a look at how we regain them or if there could be something even better.
No Looking Back
It’s easy to look back at what the good habits we had were like and wish that we could get back to it. But I believe at least two things happen when we look backwards. 1) We realize that we’re not where we once were in our life and start to feel bad about it. It increases our sense of shame. (Again, read my last post.) 2) When we look backwards, we’re not looking forward. Sure that’s a, “well, duh,” statement, but think about it. When we’re just looking at the past and wishing that we were there we aren’t looking forward to the future and what could be.
As God takes away our shame through His work on the cross, He also sets us free to experience life anew. Without this freedom we would be stuck in a rut and have no way forward. We might have the knowledge that our sin and shame are paid for, but we wouldn’t have that future forward outlook on life. Jesus sets us free from that shame so that we can look to something new. Not something that we used to do, but something that could be even better.
No matter what happens in life, we can’t go backwards. Whether it’s the good ol’ times or the mistakes that we make, we can’t go back to what it was like. No matter what happens next it will be something different at the least. But in Christ, who makes all things new, it can be even better than what we had before. The first step to re-establishing a good habit or starting a good one in the first place is looking to Jesus to go before us. He can make the outcome even better than we could dream. Boldly pray for His work and help to set you up for success. Pray that the experience that will be something where He gets all the glory.
Back in the Saddle
I have only ridden a horse once in my life and I never fell off the thing, luckily. However, the old saying is, “If you fall off a horse, get right back on.” I understand the thinking behind it. It’s the idea of not letting a failed attempt define us. It doesn’t matter what the failure might have been, it shouldn’t be something to stop us or to shake our identity. In Christ, we are a new creation and defined by his accomplishments on the cross not by our failures.
With that in mind, what does it really take to get back in the saddle again? Understanding who we are in Christ is a huge part of it. But even then it’s sometimes easier said than done.
Make a Plan
As I’ve been trying to figure out regaining my workout routine, I’ve had to figure out if there’s a better time or place to be able to do it. Luckily there are a lot of options. But it definitely takes some planning in order to make it work. The same really goes for my getting back to eating better. Shortly after writing last week’s post my wife asked me if I wanted to get back to the eating habits again. We talked about how it would be really different than last time because of what our life is like now compared to when we went through it last year. There will have to be a lot of preparation and planning in order to make it happen.
In all of these things, they’re really not a reason to stop the pursuit of regaining the habit. It just takes time and effort. That’s often a problem for us in the reality of it all too. Life can be hectic and sometimes you feel like you’re just hanging on by a thread. In order to regain these habits and figure it out takes time that we might think we don’t have. More likely it’s the energy that we don’t want to put into it, but either way it’s easier said than done. But if these habits are something we really value then the time and energy it takes to figure it out is well worth it.
Just Do It
At some point, we’ve all got to just do it again. A plan is no good until it’s executed. So, in your plan set a date to get started. Make it realistic, but make it firm. And then when that day comes along, do it!
Get everything ready the day/night before that you need to work out, or get into eating, or get back to your hang out. Gas up the car, get plenty of sleep and tackle the day when it comes with determination.
Again, I realize that a lot of this sounds easier than to actually go through with it, but don’t let that stop you. You really can do all things through Him who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13). Take your plan and put it into action.
This is probably the part that I fail at often. I can get a plan and put it into action alright. It’s the follow-up and giving someone permission to check in on me I don’t do well. But this really is an important part of helping to stick with the plan that we’ve developed.
When you have someone else to encourage you and cheer you on it’s easier to accomplish your goals. In the couple 5K’s that I’ve run there are a bunch of people that line up along the race path to cheer the runners on. I don’t have a clue who those people were, but they were a huge help. In some ways it gave me an energy to keep going where I might have stopped running and started walking.
Having someone keeping you accountable shouldn’t be a scary thing, but should look like those runners along the path. It’s a chance for someone to cheer you on and help keep that goal in front of you in a good way.
Whatever your goals and plans might be for getting back into the saddle of your good habits know that you can do it. It might not be just like the experience you had before, but look for it to be even better. Make a plan, execute the plan, and find someone to help cheer you on. You’ve already got the biggest Cheerleader in the universe cheering for you and helping you. So get out there and do it!