You now understand how triggers (or cues) lead to the bad habit you are trying to change. Let’s refer to them as holes in the road.
Yet it just seems you are painfully aware of the holes.
And you still follow through with the bad habit — over and over.
The first goal of awareness training is to make you fully conscious of scenarios which lead to bad habits. Is it working? Are you noticing what triggers you to follow through on a bad habit?
If not, you will very soon. Add to your written list of any situations which immediately precede your bad habit. This process shouldn’t take very long — a few days to a few weeks.
Eventually you will begin to notice, “Wait, this is one of my triggers!”
The second goal is to set yourself up to avoid your triggers and weaknesses once you are aware of them. Pastor James MacDonald refers to them as “holes” in a road in this post.
Here is a powerful excerpt (actual source unknown) explaining the concept of holes:
Day 1: I went for a walk down a street. I fell into a hole. I didn’t see it. It took me a long time to get out. It’s not my fault.
Day 2: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. It took me a long time to get out. Why did I do that?
Day 3: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. I got out quickly. It is my fault.
Day 4: I went for a walk down the same street. I saw the hole. I walked around it.
Day 5: I went for a walk down a different street. I can’t handle it when I go down that street. Every time I go down that street, I feel something sucking me down that hole! I’m not going down that street anymore! I don’t like what happens on that street. And when I get there, I can’t handle it. I don’t want sin to reign in my body so I’m not going down that street anymore.
You know where this road leads. You know there’s a hole in it. You know you don’t want to go there.
However, being aware of your triggers is not enough. This buys you a little time as you realize the routine you are about to slip into. But knowing there is a hole there is not enough to stop you from falling into it every time.
You have to actively avoid the holes.
But how can you just avoid holes? How do you not do something?! It’s not that easy!
You’re right — it’s not easy. Yet it can be done. This is worth finishing!
Notice the narrator in the story eventually went down a different street. More on that in the next post.
How do you avoid something you don’t want to do?