Melvyn Tan
December 23, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

What Are Your Good Habits?

[blockquote source=”Zechariah 4:10 (NIV)“]“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”[/blockquote] When You Wake Up There are certain things that you would do when you wake up. Some of us […]

[blockquote source=”Zechariah 4:10 (NIV)“]“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”[/blockquote]

When You Wake Up
There are certain things that you would do when you wake up. Some of us jump straight into the shower. Some of us lay in bed just for a little while more. Some of us grab our phones and start checking our emails or Facebook. Some of us would immediately make our beds. Some of us would drink water. Whatever the action may be, these are all habits.

Habits are those actions that we perform without even thinking much about it. It almost becomes natural that you would just do it even without thinking consciously about it. For instance, you would not need to remind yourself each morning the need to add toothpaste to your toothbrush. You would not need to remind yourself to put soap on your body when you shower. You would not need to remind yourself that you need to tie your laces when you wear your sneakers. You’d perform these tasks without much thinking. These are habits.

Emotional Habits
Sometimes the habits are actions such as the ones above, sometimes they are emotional responses. For example, how do you feel when someone say these words to you: from “you are making a mistake”, “you are being foolish”, “you are stupid to do that”. Your emotional response to these three phrases could range from just shrugging it off to being upset to being angry. And the reason why this is so is because you are associating the words to mean who you are as a person. And each time someone says those words to you, you’d almost always react in the same way. These are habits.

Destructive or Constructive Habits
Now, there are two key habits: destructive habits and constructive habits. Say for example, whenever you feel stressed, do you (a) smoke or (b) go for a run. Both are actions that you might engage in consistently. Both are habits, but one is destructive, while the other is constructive.

Or take for example, whenever you are faced with a difficulty, do you say to yourself (a) I don’t know how to do it or (b) there is a way and I will find it. The first is a destructive habit, while the second is a constructive one.

Question – What Are Your Good Habits?
So, question is – in your daily life, do you have more good habits that are constructive rather than destructive? Or, are you even aware of some of these habits? Are there certain patterns in the way you do things? And are you even aware of it? The problem is that sometimes these habits are not at our conscious level. The habits may be something that we think, say, do, or feel. But you may not be aware of it.

Journaling
One of the ways to bring these to the conscious level is by journaling. When we write in our journal, we bring to the conscious level our thinking, our language patters, our actions, and our emotions.  I adopted the structure used in the Five Minute Journal to help me pen down my thoughts, reflections, and intentions on a daily basis.  To do this, I set up a “Journal” notebook in my Evernote account. Next, I used the TextExpander app to help me create a template for journaling. This has helped me save time typing and simply allowed me to focus on the task at hand.

Day of Small Things
Now, as we turn to constructive habits, these are the small things that you do on a daily basis. You may not see them as a huge contributor in your life at the current moment, but all these actions will eventually show up that has a huge impact in your life afterwards. For example, saving, reading, writing, thinking, are all small things that may appear to be rather inconsequential at the current moment. But the effects it would bring is essentially compounded that can be beyond your imagination.

God’s Work
When we do God’s work, we should not be discouraged just because we seem to be doing the same stuffs. Like my writing of the devotions daily, at this current moment it appears to be rather small in terms of making an impact on the lives of others. But when I make this writing a consistent daily practice, it will eventually lead to something that is beyond my current imagination. Only the LORD would know.

Prayer
Father, I pray that we hold on to the faith that these daily small constructive things that we do to bring ourselves closer to You and closer to being Christ-like will one day become the cornerstone of our works to build your temple. In Jesus name, Amen.