Hope vs Habits

Updated: Mar 6, 2020

For the past few years I’ve competed in a Half-Iron Triathlon in my area.  It is pretty brutal and I have not done well during the race.  I finished, but very slowly.  Each year I have thought, “I’m going to do better this year.”  However, each year I’ve gotten busy during the important training time and the lack of training has shown.  The truth I have had to face is my hopes won’t help me in the race.  My training habits have to change if I want to improve my performance.

The beginning of the year man men are filled with hope for a fresh start.  The most common thought or saying of many men this time of year, “This year will be different!”  However, we know that too often the year isn’t different.  Last year is eerily similar to the year before which is similar to the year before that.  The reality for many men is they start the year with new hopes but not new habits.  Hope makes us feel good, but only a change of habit will bring about a change in our life.

Habit Realities

  1. We must take an honest assessment of our habits as men.  If they do not change, we won’t change.  We can act different for a little bit, but actual long-term change comes when our habits change.  Many men will start a fad diet this time of year and lose weight, but once the fad stops they put the weight back on because they didn’t change their habits.  Many men will complain about their marriages, but complaints don’t fix anything they just help us to justify our side of the issue. 

  2. We must honestly look at our regular habits and see which ones need to be changed.  The best way to do this is to approach each habit without  judgement, but with practicality. Don’t get caught up in what you did or didn’t do last year, but look at your reality right now.  This will help us stay away from the pain of guilt which can often paralyze us from real change.

Habit Helps

  1. Changing habits is easy to say but very difficult to do.  Many men know the changes they need to make, but they have not done it.  Successful habit change usually comes when people seek help.  Almost every man who has had a successful long-term habit change, has gotten help.  We need to creatively seek ways to get help with our habit change.

  2. We cannot trust ourselves to change by sheer willpower or we would have done it long before.  Help can be in the form of a personal coach, a regimen change, a workshop, a friend who can help us, or etc…  Finding a way of getting an outside perspective on our situation is crucial to success.  We will often make excuses for ourselves, but an outsider can see the realities of our situation and speak truth into our lives.

Your new year can bring change, but not just because you hope to change!  Take the time to do the hard work of changing your habits.  Start with one area and let this year bring real change to your life.

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