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Give Your New Habit A New Home

May 27, 2020

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This post is by Jen Stanbro.

There’s a lot of great advice out there for creating an ideal space to enable your new, powerful habit of spending time with God in the morning.  Appealing to your five senses is a particularly wonderful strategy: choosing pretty journals, bibles, and your favorite pens, a cozy chair with velvety soft throws and pillows, prepping your favorite morning drink so that yummy smells and tastes greet you first thing, and putting together a playlist of music that inspires, motivates, and helps set the mood for your tryst with the Lord.  

So many awesome ideas! I’ve felt personally blessed and empowered to re-imagine the space that would draw me to accept the Lord’s invitation to meet with Him in the morning.  

Over the years, I think I’ve tried to have my God Time in every nook, crevice, and corner of my house.  For a little while, I was so undecided, I put all of my God Time stuff in a bag and just went wherever I felt like going each morning. The reality is the Lord faithfully met me in every place I plopped to spend time with Him. He always has and He always will, for every one of us. But if I’m being honest, the vagabond way I approached my God Time didn’t make it easier to solidify this new habit. It actually made it a good deal more difficult.

Recently, I got intentional about designating a space for my God Time that didn’t have to compete with any other task or habit, and it’s been game-changing. I encountered this idea in James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits.  Clear explains that in any given space, there are elements that act as cues to us to do certain things in that space, whether we’re consciously aware of them or not.  For example, the smell of donuts in the entryway of our grocery store makes me want to head straight to the bakery!

For me, my kitchen table is a great place to plan and prep for the coming week because I can spread out my calendar, homeschool materials, and recipes everywhere, and work methodically through my planning process. But when I’ve tried to do my God Time there, I feel the pull of my To-Do list. My small desk near the dining area is where I do my writing, and my basement desk is in our studio surrounded by instruments, so the cues in those spots make me feel like creating!  

But I do have this one wingback chair in my living room that practically screams, “Relax here!”  I decided to position it sideways to the TV so that I wouldn’t use it for vegging out. I have assigned just one task to this spot. When I sit down in my wingback chair, I’m ready to calm my spirit and meet with Jesus. 

By intentionally designating one habit to one space, I’m able to do the one thing I want to do in each space with less struggle, less effort, less will power. Yasss!

As an innate night-owl, sleep-lover, and path-of-least-resistance kinda gal, I have to testify: the effectiveness of choosing one spot for this one habit, being intentional about designing that spot to cue or trigger this habit, and then protecting that spot from triggering any other habit besides my God Time was well worth the effort. For me, this small detail has been fairly revolutionary. 

If you’re looking at your own spaces and thinking, “I don’t have any ‘spots’ that aren’t already serving other purposes,” do a little re-defining or rearranging. You’d be surprised how small, subtle adjustments to a space can make it feel fresh and pave the way for your fresh start to a new habit, a habit that God can bless to yield more sweet fruit than you can imagine. 

It’s feelin’ like a God Day.

 

Jen Stanbro is the singer/songwriter behind the Hello Mornings podcast theme song, God Day. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, five fun-loving, cuckoo kids, and a sweet, sassy granddaughter. She has a heart for the oppressed and marginalized, and seeks to reignite God’s holy fire in the hearts of His people to love courageously like Jesus.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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