Four years ago this month, I started setting my alarm for 6 am. At the time, I needed to build a habit intentionally, almost any habit it seemed. Since then, the alarm has been set for 6 am most mornings. And now my body is set for 6.
Back then, I had a plan for that hour. Fifteen minutes of praying, fifteen minutes of reading, fifteen minutes of catching up with online, fifteen minutes of writing (a series of posts on signs for that first month.)
As I think about the four years since then, much has changed in our lives. And I’ve discovered that I can add habits a little better than I used to be able to. (You are reading one of those habits right now).
But I’m also looking at this particular habit and discovering…
Habits sometimes need to be reviewed. I’ve clung to the 6 am habit. I’m still consistent with the social media part of it. But I have to be honest that the other three quarters of that hour aren’t nearly as consistent. Going back to the original intent of the habit is helpful.
Habits sometimes need to be renewed. Having seen where I’ve not been consistent, it’s time to renew the commitment, to look for ways to restore the balance. Not because it’s more spiritual to pray and read the Bible than look online. However, the plan was a good one. It was healthy. And I need the consistency of morning quiet and reflection.
Habits sometimes need to be refused. Some mornings the habit is to get up at six and stare at the screen. Those mornings, I would be better served by laying on the downstairs sofa and catching an extra hour of sleep. Because the beneficial habit isn’t just 6. It’s the content of the hour.
This is the second of a series of posts on 6. The first was Psalm 6.