renewing habits – 6 am

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.

8 thoughts on “renewing habits – 6 am

  1. Rich Dixon

    Like so many other parts of life, habits are great as long as they’re not blind behavioral conformity.

    Seems like God wants us to renew our minds and hearts, not our behavior. When actions follow a changed heart it’s great. When actions follow a rule it’s … a rule.

    I agree that God would much rather have you sleep peacefully if that’s what’s needed than to force a “spiritual discipline” because it’s spiritual. Because it’s not.


  2. Matches Malone

    The bigger issue is, from what I’ve read, it takes 22 to 30 days in a row to create a habit, however, just one day to break them. Doesn’t seem fair. Also, read that you should eat within an hour of getting up for the day.


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  4. Matches Malone

    Don’t rightly know, Jon. I’ve always associated the word habit with something that you don’t want to have, as it’s always been preceded by the word, ‘bad.’ Is a habit a form of addiction? Also a pejorative….


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