This article was written by Clay Barton and published by Home of Grace
Habits are powerful. They can either be healthy or destructive. With a little determination and a great deal of prayer, those who are overcoming addiction are much more likely to remain clean by sticking to a few healthy routines. The key to forming habits is to set SMART expectations: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. And the more you declare your goals and intentions publically, the more likely you will be to succeed.
Habit One: Check In Often
Staying clean is nearly impossible without the help of others. Schedule a recurring phone call with an accountability partner. Attend recovery groups or alumni meetings. Send frequent updates to a few trusted friends.
James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Habit Two: Stay Spiritually Disciplined
Keeping a daily quiet time and engaging in corporate worship are essential to a life of recovery. One is not less vital than the other. The more we tune our hearts toward God’s love through prayer and scripture, the more prepared we will be to face Satan’s attacks.
Deut 6:5-6 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.”
Habit Three: Set and Review Personal Goals
Right now, create a personal manifesto, a mission statement you commit to live by and reflect on often. Then take your action plan you created at the Home of Grace, and write down the steps needed to accomplish them. Update your goals yearly, and see where God takes you.
Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
Habit Four: Journal
It’s difficult to see the full picture of how far God has brought you if you aren’t tracking your journey. Keep a record of prayers, personal victories and struggles, as well as major life events. This creates a barometer of self-reflection and establishes milestones for encouragement.
1 Samuel 7:12 “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’”
Habit Five: Give Back
God has called you to be much more than just a “productive member of society.” You are uniquely equipped to bless those around you and share the love of Christ. Take what you’ve learned to help others struggling with addiction. Use your talents for His glory. Volunteer and donate generously.
2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”