A New Year! A New Beginning! A Fresh Start! These are all the ways we see our world on January 1. How many of us make New Year’s Resolutions?
It’s not easy to keep resolutions, somehow, life always manages to get in the way. I plan to go out for a walk, and then the washer won’t work, or I need to get dinner started, or…. Whatever the activity, it seems to get harder and harder to change my daily routine.
You’ve heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Apparently, that data is very outdated. On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.
In other words, if you want to set your expectations appropriately, the truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life — not 21 days.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.” In other words, it doesn’t matter if you mess up every now and then.
Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process.
So how do we branch out and try something new?
We just do it! We need to decide what is really important in our lives, and pick one thing to change. I’d like for that one thing to be a commitment to St. Peter’s.
If each member, and there are a lot of us, picked up one additional volunteer activity in 2020, think of all the new accomplishments we could do.
The nursery would be staffed, we’d have more orphans in Busoka being cared for, we’d have someone besides the pastors lighting candles at Sunday morning worship.
“Want Ad Wednesdays”
Starting in January, you will see a post on Facebook each Wednesday detailing a volunteer position that needs to be filled. Please take a look and if something looks interesting, contact me and I will contact you with the correct person.
And remember, at the end of the day, how long it takes to form a particular habit doesn’t really matter that much. Whether it takes 60 days or 600 days, you have to put in the work either way. The only way to get to Day 600 is to start with Day 1. So, forget about the number and focus on doing the work. You’ll feel better for making the commitment.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:16