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S.T.E.P. away from bad habits

Do you have an unhealthy habit? You know… The one that makes you say, “Ugh. I did it again!”

 

  • I ate the things I told myself I would not eat.
  • I acted out in anger when I vowed I wouldn’t.
  • I stayed inside all day when I told myself I would—at the very least—take a walk around the block.

 

Those are some of mine. What are yours?

 

Listen to Paul—a great man of faith:

 

I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.

 

I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong…

 

But I can’t help myself….

 

When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. (Romans 7:15-19)

 

 

Talk about frustration and disappointment.

 

Sometimes, the mere idea of changing an unhealthy habit seems daunting, doesn’t it? After all, I can’t throw away all my food and start all over. And I can’t keep silent all day so I won’t spout out in anger. And walk around the block? That’s just too much effort right now.

 

 

So how can we tackle our unhealthy habits, then?

 

S.T.E.P. away.

 

Swap it out.

Many times, we pick up our unhealthy habits again because we didn’t replace them with a healthier habit. And when we do give in, the Bible says it’s usually worse (Matthew 12:43-45). For me, that means replacing processed foods with more wholesome, natural foods. That way, when I get a craving for something sweet, I have a natural alternative that I can turn to—not empty calories that I’ll later regret. What can you swap?

 

 

Thank your supporters in advance.

Sometimes telling our closest friends or family members what we’re trying to do and thanking them in advance for their support can help us change our unhealthy habits. When our loved ones see we’re trying to improve ourselves, they can be our biggest cheerleaders. That might not always be the case, so it’s important to choose our cheerleaders carefully. For me, that could mean sharing with my family that I’m trying to work on my anger and I would appreciate any support they can give me. Who can you recruit as a cheerleader?

 

 

Easy does it.

It’s difficult to make drastic changes to our ingrained habits. So it’s best to start small. In my example, instead of saying I’m going to walk around the block, I can break that down by focusing on the things that need to happen before I can walk around the block. I could say, “Today, I will simply put on my shoes.” It might not be a big deal to some, but for people who struggle with depression, putting on our shoes can be that step in the right direction to get us outside and then to walk around the block and beyond. Celebrate these small victories. Remember Zechariah 4:10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” What is your small beginning?

 

 

Pray, pray, pray.

Unhealthy habits are bigger than we are or else we would have already given them up. But thanks be to God that He is bigger than anything we could face—including our bad habits. The key is continuous communication with our Higher Power, Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible. Without Him, we are powerless.

 

 

It won’t be easy, but when you S.T.E.P. away from your bad habits, you’ll soon change your “Ugh, I did it again” to “Yes, God did it again!”

 

STEP away from bad habits

 

 

Come alongside…. Do you have an unhealthy habit you would like to change? What is it? Which S.T.E.P. can you focus on today? Remember, you can comment anonymously.

 
 


 

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6 Responses to S.T.E.P. away from bad habits

  • Dapne, always happy to meet a friend of Bills. I liked you profile as well as this process your calling STEP. My first AA exposure to this technique of letters forming words was when my youngesr son was at a rehab in Newport RI called Edgehill and they used BUDDING to outline the inner process that leads to a relapse–oops–a slip–only MSW’s and MD’s use that word—to them it indicates that someone has returned to old patterns having lost all progress they might have gained while sober. When times were good financially we loved going to Sanibel/Captiva island! We also had spent time with Marty Fromm from Miami Dade College a very good Gestalt therapist. Are you a person who attended Cursillo/
    Peace, love, health and happiness, Gerry McKenna

    • Daphne says:

      Thanks for visiting, Gerry. I’m honored.

      I looked up BUDDing: Building Up to Drugs or Drinking. Interesting concept. I agree that there are warning signs and situations that build up in us which, left unchecked, could lead to missteps or relapse. Oops. 😉

      There are so many lovely beaches in Florida. It’s been years since I’ve been to the Sanibel area. Might just have to make a weekend trip.

      I hope you will visit again soon.

      Blessings,
      Daphne

      P.S. – I didn’t attend Cursillo. I’ll have to look into it.

  • Deb says:

    Daphne, I love this. What a great way to remember the things to do to break a bad habit. Swap it out – is one I work on all the time. My struggle is often with negative thinking. Swapping out positive thoughts for negative ones is a conscious decision I have to make . . . but it is so worth it!
    Deb would like you to read…Which Will You Choose – Anticipation or Expectation

    • Daphne says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Deb. 🙂

      I deal with negative thinking too. It’s difficult not to go in that direction. It takes a lot of awareness and intentionality, for sure. You’re right: It’s worth it. He can help us with it.

      Blessings to you, my friend. Please let me know how I can pray for you.

      Hugs,
      Daphne

  • Linda Brayman says:

    Dear Daphne,
    I’ve subscribed to your “Daphne Writes” blog for sometime and I greatly enjoy it and appreciate the insights you give. This “SWAP” is great! I’m a Christian as well as a diabetic, among other health problems, and am struggling with blood sugar issues again. So I’ll be writing SWAP on index cards and posting these on my refrigerator, my closet where snacks are kept and even in my bathroom! That way I can be reminded from the time I get up till I return to bed of the steps I can use for the how of working on control and that I can control what I eat through the power of my Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you again.
    god Bless,
    Linda

    • Daphne says:

      Thanks for replying, Linda. It’s always a great encouragement to hear from readers who are being blessed by these words.

      It is difficult to change eating habits. My family is transitioning to vegetarian, so we’re already noticing more of those challenges. I like the idea of writing SWAP out on note cards throughout the house. I will definitely have to use that approach.

      Thanks for sharing openly. I will pray for you. I know God will help you as you rely on Him.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Daphne

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