If you want to break a bad habit, the first thing you need to do is establish some boundaries. The boundaries should tell you two things:
- How often can you do your habit?
- How much of your habit can you do?
Do you spend too much time on it? Is it unhealthy for you? Does it control you? It is hurting your relationship with God and others?
Talk to God about it and see if you can come up with a good concrete goal. It might be a number goal: 2 times a week. 3 times a day. Once a month.
Or it might be tied to an event: I can check my blog stats the day after each post. I can eat whenever I’m actually hungry. I can get on the Internet only after I’ve finished all my homework for the day. I can’t work after supper.
- How much time do you think God wants you to spend on this habit?
- What would be the best amount if you had the control to actually follow through with it?
- What’s the best amount for maximum benefit with minimum consequence?
If you’re dealing with a recreation or work habit, set a time limit: 30 minutes of television a day, 15 minutes of Facebook three times a day, one hour of writing a day.
If you’re dealing with an eating habit, limit the quantity in some way. You could count calories, carbs, or Weight Watcher’s points, or you could just eyeball the food before you sit down to eat and decide on a healthy amount (with the additional boundary of no second helpings). You could also look into hunger/fullness eating boundaries from sites like Thin Within.
Once you’ve established your boundaries, focus on renewing your mind whenever you break them – or even better, whenever you feel like breaking them.