We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. ~ Proverbs 16: 1-3 (NLT)
To what are you truly dedicated? Many of us are dedicated to wellness much of the year, but those thoughts blow away with the first frosty wind. Holiday events and foods + less time to exercise and connect with God and family = dropped wellness plans. To avoid our well-being turning into bad Thanksgiving leftovers or discarded Christmas wrappings, let’s dedicate to a new plan this year. Following our HOLIDAY acronym, D is for Dedicated to Detail and details happen with habits.
Dedicated to Detail
As discussed in our first week of the Holiday Wellness Plan series, habits either help us stay on track or undermine our best intentions. Creating new or tweaking old habits takes dedication to details before the holidays. When we commit our actions to the Lord, our plans will succeed as our verse from Proverbs reminds us.
Habits include a cue or trigger, then a routine which leads to a reward. As we repeat this cycle, the cue or trigger creates a craving for the reward. Each of us must identify our own internal reward to make habits like exercise or life long change possible. So, understanding our triggers, rewards, and routines is imperative to creating new or changing old habits.
To institute new habits, we need new cues to trigger new routines and rewards. But to change an old habit, we simply need to change the routine. In order to decide which routines to change, first, think about which habits don’t align with our goals for the season. Then, dedicate to the details of the routine. The trigger and the reward can remain the same, just shift the routine.
Here’s a typical holiday example. I love hosting holiday dinners (the trigger) and crave connecting with friends and family (the reward). Nothing wrong here. But planning, attending to details during, and cleaning afterward (the routine) can leave me drained and anything but festive. The routine needs to change. I could enlist help before, during or after the event, scale down the size, or alter the timing of the event in the holiday season. Same trigger, same reward, but different routine.
Another is sending out Christmas cards. As the holidays approach (the trigger) we crave feeling valued by receiving cards and connecting with loved ones (the reward), so we send out our own cards (the routine). None of this is unhealthy. But the routine of sending out cards can eat time, energy, and money we’d rather spend differently. A routine change could be sending electronic cards or even doing a holiday call. Same reward from the same trigger with a varied routine.
Our Holiday Habits
Let’s look at our holiday habits to see if altering the routine could lead to increased wellness this season.
- Write out recurring holiday related habits-are any in need of a change?
- Does this habit need to stop entirely or is adjusting the routine enough?
- Having identified what has to change, think how to eliminate the unhealthy habits and/or change the routines of the healthy habits.
- What dedication to detail can you plan for now to make the routine different once the holiday trigger arrives?
Dedicate yourself to tackling some details now to solidify your wellness in the next few months. The ultimate plan is not ours but God’s. However, if we seek God with proper motives and commitment to the Holiday Wellness Plan He has for us, the Bible tells us we will succeed. Dedicating the details to Him will truly make all our holiday moments well and memorable.