As Christians, we desire our daily habits to be worthy, God-honoring pursuits. But sometimes we just don’t feel motivated. This lack of motivation can get us off course from desired good habits like daily worship time, exercising, or getting enough sleep. I recently read a devotional from Arise that suggested, maybe we over value motivation. Being motivation is often a feeling that stimulates a person to act and behave to achieve a desired goal. But feelings have no intellect. They often prove untrue and unrewarding when followed.
Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent surely lead to success.” Somehow we need to look at our plans and follow them rather than waiting to feel motivated. Do we just have to grit our teeth to make ourselves change a habit? Sometimes grit can help, but James Clear in his book, Atomic Habits said, “Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.” Proverbs 13:20 says, “Watch the company that you keep. Surround yourself with others who will continue to inspire you to your betterment.” So maybe we should look at adjusting our environment to make good habits a bit easier on ourselves.
Here are a few steps that may help us create a conducive environment to follow our plans rather than our lack of motivation, and hopefully find more success.
1. Make it harder to do the wrong thing. Example: If you want to eat better, try to keep junk food out of your house.
2. Make it easier to do the right thing. Example: If you want to exercise first thing in the morning, set out your exercise video, or clothes where you see them first thing in the morning.
3. Get in the flow. Example: If you want to prioritize devotions, put your best-loved book or Bible by your favorite chair. If you exercise at a gym, choose a gym closest to your home to make it easier. Design your habits so they fit in the flow of your current lifestyle.
We can choose and plan what we do with our lives. By looking at our environments, let’s try to make it easier on ourselves to choose good habits no matter our feelings of motivation.
Juanita Edge, Communication Director