I decided last spring to start incorporating strength training into my workouts. For a long time I had primarily been doing aerobic workouts like jogging, but with increasing data on the importance of strength training, I decided to figure out a way that I could do it regularly. I ended up choosing a program that gave exercises to do with increased time over several weeks. The slow increase kept me from spending days in pain, but I would still have sore muscles each time the exercise’s duration increased. It turns out that this is exactly what most athletes look for. In fact, they want to work out just hard enough that they create micro-tears in their muscles. Then, they give their bodies a rest period to repair that muscle stronger than it was before.
This tear, rest, repair cycle can be utilized whenever we are undergoing habit change. Let me show you.
Tear: You push yourself to change your habit. You come across difficult circumstances and keep yourself on track.
Rest: You make sure that you create time periods where you can rest from will-power and self-control by keeping yourself away from temptation.
Repair: Evaluate how your tools and beliefs are serving you. Ask someone for advice. Tweak your systems as needed. The next time you are in a temptation situation, you will most likely find yourself even more ready than normal to handle it well.
The apostle Paul mentions this building of our character in Romans 5:3-5, NIV Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
My love, I pray that as you undergo this change that your perseverance will produce the character you are determined to see. If it was easy, everyone would do it. You are choosing to do what is right for you and what God has put on your heart to work on.
Journal Prompt: Have you noticed periods when you are feeling burnt out on your habit change? How do you provide rest for yourself, giving yourself protection from temptation? Are you taking the time to learn from your moments of difficulty? Are you seeking advice and implementing new tools to support your growth?
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.