A habit is something we routinely and sometimes unconsciously do. There are good habits (brushing our teeth, fastening seat belts) and bad habits (smoking, talking with mouth full). They are important elements of our unique lives but they best serve us when done choicefully.
- I actively choose my habits to shape my life in productive ways.
Key Learning Points:
- Everyone has good and bad habits but they can be added or changed. Be deliberate; choose how you live your life then act with discipline. Surround yourselves with people who actively support you in making good choices.
- Habit change is a combination of knowledge (what), desire (why) and skill (how).
- Some of our habits are shaped by our faith beliefs, e.g. daily prayer, going to church or “love our neighbor”. Pray that the Holy Spirit directs your habits to honor God.
- Take some time to reflect on the habits you have established in your life. Decide which ones are serving you well and which are not. Set a personal goal to develop one new good habit (or undo one bad habit).
- Decide how you will implement the habit. If you are developing a new skill then research the topic by searching for advice.
- Develop the structure to remember and practice, e.g. a note in your to-do list or post-it someplace obvious.
- Develop a deeper understanding of the real reasons why a habit continues.
- Reward yourself for positive change.
- Creating Good Habits. Habits are powerful. They bring about change one step at a time, and they help you ensure that these changes become part of your life. However, you’re far more likely to reach your goal if you make your new habits part of your regular routine. Follow these steps to make good habits stick:
- Identify what you want to achieve.
- Build good habits into your routine.
- Reflect on your habits.
- Develop self-discipline.
- Get support.
When you decide to establish new habits in your life, focus on one at a time. If you try to overhaul your entire schedule at once, you’ll likely get overwhelmed and quickly revert to old behaviors. Source: The Power of Good Habits on MindTools.com.
- Breaking Bad Habits. To break a bad habit, first commit to stopping the behavior by creating a plan, and develop self-discipline and self-awareness so that you can stay on track. Also, choose the right approach for dealing with it, reward yourself when you do well, and involve others in your efforts. Source: Breaking Bad Habits on MindTools.com
- Stick With It. On average, it takes more than two 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. Source: How Long Does It Take refers to a Phillippa Lally study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.
- Addictions. If a bad habit is also an addiction, seek professional help.
Exercises for Older Teens and Adults:
- Exercise 1. List some good and bad habits you have? How did those habits start…family, friends?
- Exercise 2. Which of the following habits would you like to have?
Exercises for Younger Teens (13-16):
- The above exercises should work.
Questions to Encourage Critical Thinking:
- What good habits do you need to put into your life to accomplish your most important goals?
- What bad habits are holding me back? How did these habits start?
- If I could add/subtract/change just one habit in my life, what would it be? Why?
Tools and Templates:
- None at this time.
- Habit. A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
Web Sites/Web Articles/Short Stories/Essays:
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (pdf summary). He writes another one titled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens (pdf summary).
- Transform Your Habits by James Clear (on-line pdf).
- The Power of Habit.
- Bad Habits – How to Break Bad Habits the Easy Way by Noah Hammond on YouTube
- I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
- “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” – Aristotle
- “The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” – Samuel Johnson
- “A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It’s an undo-it-yourself project.” – Abigail Van Buren
- None at this time.
Summary 2-page Lesson Examples, coming soon:
- Life Habits (handout)
- Life Habits (with instructor notes)