August 14, 2014

How to Commit to a New Habit

Good morning, all! How are you today? I apologize for missing last week's post. I had wanted to write about the things I'd learned while working in food service, but unfortunately I was having trouble finding the right words. So I'm going to think that post over a little more before publishing it.

Today, I want to talk about taking chances--stepping out of your comfort zone. I don't know if it's just that I've had a lot of spare time this summer that I've been inspired to try all sorts of new things or if I'm inspired because the new school year is about to begin. Maybe part of it is that since this summer's series was more reflective side, it's time for a bit of a change to take up a challenge to do something spontaneous!

Sometimes, when I tell people, "Yeah, I do [insert whatever hobby here]," they say "I've always wanted to do that." I don't know if that's another way of saying that [whatever hobby] is super cool, but when I hear those words, I just want to ask: "Well, why don't you?"

There are also times when I think of something that I've always wanted to do but then have to ask myself, "Well, what's been holding you back?"

Some of these things for me include reading the Bible consistently and vlogging. For me, it usually isn't that hard to step out of my comfort zone and try learning something new. Starting things is pretty simple, as is outlined in a previous post "Take This Summer to Learn Something New." But sticking to those things would be the greater part of the challenge.

Did you guys know that I have a vlog channel? Last week, I posted a vlog briefly describing the 365-Day Bible Reading Plan that I've started, and I thought that my experiences trying to get into reading the Bible would be applicable to today's discussion.

(Here is a link to the reading plan that I've been using, and it's been absolutely great: Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers.)

I'm on my 19th day so far and I've found that every time is still fresh and interesting; this reading plan is certainly a helpful guide for getting into a good habit of exploring the Bible.

But, here's a question I had to ask myself: Why is this time around going so much better than all the previous times I'd attempted? Surely it isn't just the simple reading guide--as great as it may be--that's doing all the work!

So immediately, my thoughts went to something that I'd changed this time around. What helps the most is that I've been journaling with a special friend through Google Docs. On it, we write down our comments, highlights, and questions, and respond to each other's notes. It's been a great way to hold ourselves accountable--plus, sharing insights with each other makes the experience more exciting. We also gain each other's insights, which is very valuable to me.

And then, that made me realize that journaling and collaborating on a resolution with friends or family is a great way to stick to forming a new habit. Journaling if valuable because it holds you accountable to yourself. Writing will often make an abstract idea more concrete, so it will help organize thoughts and remind you of how much progress you've made.

Working with others is also beneficial because of reasons listed above--fresh perspectives, another level of accountability, and external sources of inspiration. Why not combine these two effective ways of sticking to a new habit?

The nice thing is that with Internet access, it's so easy to work with others to form healthy habits and try new things together that you don't even have to communicate face-to-face!

There are several methods for journaling collaboratively. I think that the easiest and neatest method would be sharing a Google Doc. Another good way would be to start a blog or vlog if you would like to share your progress with more people.

So next time you want to establish a new, healthy habit or rid yourself of a destructive old one, start by getting a couple friends involved and remember to write things down!

Good luck, and smile on,
-Riley XO


  1. That's a great idea- the google docs thing, but you'd need someone to be as motivated as you with similar goals to do it and finding those kind of people is rather difficult xD but it's a great idea. :)

  2. Great post as always - glad to see you're beginning to vlog again!! Hope to see more of those in the future!

  3. Catalina - that is a good point! Another option would be to tell all your friends about your new habit and ask them to check up on your progress every now and then.

    Kumar - Thanks! I hope that I will be able to keep it up throughout the school year as well. It may be tough though!


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