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The 6 steps of habit formation (The routine arc)

There is a word you may have seen multiple times in the Bible but may have neglected.

It’s the word steadfastness.

It’s not a word or character trait to ignore because, God loves and rewards steadfastness.

Steadfastness simply means staying true to a commitment, till the end no matter what.

It means being resolute and committed to a venture irrespective of challenges and distractions along the way.

God promised David that he would bless Solomon if he remains faithful and steadfast to his spiritual pursuit of God.

God promises us the same thing if we remain steadfast to certain Godly pursuits. Thus, we need to learn how to develop steadfastness.

1 Chronicles 28:7 NKJV

[7] Moreover I will establish his kingdom forever, if he is steadfast to observe My commandments and My judgments, as it is this day.'

Steadfastness can be achieved by a process called the routine arc. That is because, the routine arc helps you form repetitive behavior also called steadfastness.

The process of building a habit (or routine)can be divided into six simple steps:

  1. External factors

This is the environment you are placed in that you have little or no control over. This environment usually helps cultivate or build good or bad behavior.

Example. If you grew up in an environment where the first activity of the day is family prayers. Or your work environment strongly discourages late coming, or you grew up in a family where break fast was served every morning unconsciously, these habits are built inside you.

2. The trigger

Most actions we take, are triggered by something. Example waking up in the morning triggers hunger because of the external environment we are used to. For some, a hot day triggers a cold beer, a feeling of being ignored, triggers anger. These triggers are developed based on the external factors we have being exposed to over a period of time.

3. Yearning

The trigger always creates a yearning for something.

The reason a person will go for an early meal in the morning is because, the morning triggers a yearning for food. The reason a person kneels to pray first thing in the morning is because a new day triggers a yearning to pray. That trigger, was developed because of the external factors he or she has been exposed to for sometime.

4. The action

The next step that forms a routine, is the action carried out. Each time a person responds to a yearning, it leads to an action. If this circle is repeated, it produces an unbreakable routine also known as a habit.

5. The reward

This is the most crucial part of the routine arc. If you take an action, and feel a sense of satisfaction, the tendency to keep repeating the action is very high.

6. The reversal

This is where the word of God comes in. As you study the word of God, your mind is introduced to a new level of thinking that interrupts the feeling of reward when you do something against the commands of God.

Example: A sexually promiscuous man feels satisfied each time he engages in pre-marital sex. Thus, he continues re continues repeating the action until it becomes a routine and an unbreakable habit. But as he reads the word of God, the action that previously brought a sense of reward and satisfaction, now brings a sense of conviction and guilt, thus, reducing the probability and desire to continue that part.

to be continued….

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