The Power of Getting Back Up Again

I first recognized this power when I was in college. I really wanted to establish a regular Bible reading time in the mornings. I was in a discipleship group that used the Navigator’s material called, The Colossians 2:7 series which emphasized the importance of the spiritual disciplines. Throughout the course we were challenged to accomplish various “feats” of discipline. One of them was 30 consecutive days of Bible reading. I would do great for a few days, but miss one. That led to missing two or three. At some point, I realized that historically, this is where I lost hope and jumped off the wagon of establishing the discipline of reading. This would never lead to a new habit. So, I did something different. Regardless of how many days, or even weeks I fell off of the daily Bible reading wagon, I got back up again and started fresh. And you know what happened? The gaps became fewer. The stretches of reading daily became longer. And with the help of an accountability group through the Col. 2:7 series, I eventually read the Bible for 30 days consecutively. And it’s true that once you start a habit, it’s more uncomfortable not to do it than to do it. That habit (for the most part) is still in place 20+ years later.

I am once again faced with this power of getting back up. There are so many areas in which I want to establish a habit or a routine but keep falling off.

My diet. Two months of depriving myself of one of life’s pleasures: sugar! I only lost 5 or so pounds and it was soooooo hard! So, I gave up. The sacrifice simply didn’t seem worth it. But now those 5 lbs are back and I have to do something about it because I’d rather be losing just a few pounds here and there rather than let it become 30 through neglect of diet. (I hate this aspect of aging!!!)

My blog. I really want to be consistent to write each day. I can never seem to get into a routine of writing. Life gets busy and the blog goes by the wayside, which is appropriate, but once I stop it’s soooooo hard to get back into writing. So I have a series going right now, which should make the process easier since I’ve thought through this material before, but once I miss the little window in the morning, my opportunity is gone!

Exercise. My new friends are an amazing group of gals who are serious about fitness. All of them exercise regularly, most of them via running. They inspire me. I have always wanted to be a runner. It seems like a very efficient form of exercise and very practical. So, I downloaded an app called Get Running. It is a form of the couch to 5k program. I started it enthusiastically. But again, good intentions succumbed to laziness, apathy, and a busy schedule. Buh-bye running.

There are tons of categories where I have plans that are so hard to stick to. A housework routine. Homeschool schedule. Family night. Dinner menu plan. I seem to get a good start, but can’t make it long enough to have that ingrained habit. I hate this about myself, really, I do.

Why am I saying all of this? Well, first of all I’d love to hear any helpful processes you use to establish good habits in your life, and maybe how to break bad ones. But I want to state the obvious just in case anyone out there is like me and has a hard time sustaining new habits. There is power in trying again. In falling off the bandwagon of diet, exercise, reading, whatever…get back up. I know myself. I’m not going to be able to establish 10 new habits at a time…but oh how I want to. I so want instant, painless, flawless success. But hat’s just not me. I’m a fall and get up again girl.

I did something pretty amazing today. Rather than throw up my hands in disgust over my lack of diligence and discipline, I went outside and used my little Get Running App. I pulled up this blog…fully knowing I’m supposed to be in the middle of a Mommy Series, but wrote something anyway. I hope it lasts a few days in a row, but even if it doesn’t, I want to keep trying. You only really fail if you give up completely, right?

Now, I’m serious here… what do you do to establish new habits? What are you success stories? What makes you fail? Share away!

I still plan to get back to my blog series. Mostly because I’ve fallen off that bandwagon too… I need to remind myself more than anyone else that children are a blessing and a reward! Thanks for hanging in there with me, friends.

6 thoughts on “The Power of Getting Back Up Again

  1. 🙂 LOVE
    okay, I have the same habit failures…menu planning started & failed, exercising…ditto… and funny thing, the same habit to be in the Word that has stuck with me…Maybe that’s cause it’s God pursuing & sustaining us so we won’t be miserable, or maybe it’s because we actually see its effectiveness!
    I am smiling at my screen because I think there are probably some good habits you have that you don’t see 🙂 So before you start another habit…May I suggest you ask Jason & kids to tell you where you are successful??…hm…a couple of years of surviving homeschooling & liking it must have a good habit or two in there somewhere. I have one habit that I think you do too…it has to do with the routine night-before coffee setup so the timer can kick it on & brew so I can have a cup in hand about 45 seconds after I walk out of the bedroom…Hey, maybe I’m not so habit challenged after all~~too bad it’s not something important like meal planning…just beverage planning…LOL okay, so for you well-skilled highly-organized~schedule ladies, I’ll be reading all your replies too!!

  2. This, among so many other reasons, is why we are so easily friends. 🙂 I love ya, girl! I’m a fall and get back up again girl, too.

    I remember something your dad said in a msg he preached…I’m sure I won’t quote it exactly, but the heart of it has remained with me to this day (as many of the truths your dad has imparted to us over the years of his faithful delivery of the Word)…and that was the biblical principle of a man falling 7 times but getting back up again. He said something along the lines of what you are saying here–the walk of a faithful believer is not that he doesn’t fall but that he always gets back up again. I cannot tell you how many times those words have resounded in my mind and have provided motivation to get back up again. Oh boy…so many times over so many areas in my life including dark battles with depression. Those moments have been some of the hardest.

    THe 30 day challenges have been great for me this year. Some things are “sticking” even after the challenge is over. The things that haven’t stuck as well, I may either re-visit or decide I really don’t care enough to make that change in my life right now.

    Can’t wait to hear from others on this one.

  3. I like Rachel’s comment, too, of first taking stock at the good habits that, by God’s grace, are already in place. One thing I have to say I am so grateful for my momma’s hard work of training when I was a child is in the habit of orderliness. Now, one would not necessarily think that I have a habit of orderliness if she dropped in on me at any given moment in my day. However, I know it would be A LOT worse here if it wasn’t 2nd nature for me to be picking up all.the.time.

  4. A friend recommended me to your blog when you first began your current series. It’s been SUCH a blessing. Thank you. As the mama of three little ones (ages 4 and under), I TOTALLY relate on many of those fronts. My best advice, and you kind of already hinted at it, it ONE change at a time. Burnout less likely, more likely to succeed. And accountability in that area, whatever it is. We are so much more likely to do something when we know we’re going to have to share with “so and so” whether or not we did. Many blessings and thank you for sharing your life/wisdom/encouragement.

  5. Thank you for the encouragement, ladies. I just finished reading the book Habit Factor. It isn’t Christian, but it was interesting and somewhat inspiring. I am thinking of implementing some of the principles, but hopefully in a way that is dependent on the Lord and directed at bringing Him glory. I’ll talk more about it sometime. It would be great to have fellow habit-makers along the way. Accountability is so important. I’m rambling. Sorry. Bye!

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