Take Your Cue To Form Powerful Habits

Jesus went to the synagogue as was his habit.

The Gospel writers were not like today’s mass media reporters. They didn’t miss the big picture and report on mundane little things in Jesus’ life. Sometimes they did offer glimpses. A few times, they refer to a habit.

I just listened to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” interviewed by David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done.” I am not only a disciple of Jesus, I’m also a disciple of “GTD.”

As we form our Spiritual Practices into habits, there are a few essentials. Often I refer to a blog by Leo Babauta, “ZenHabits.” I guess he’s run out of ways to talk about habits, because he doesn’t update often anymore. But then I discovered Duhigg.

He talks about cue, routine and reward.

A cue, for example, may be to lay out your exercise clothes before you go to bed so that when you get up, you put them on and are mentally prepared for your workout. Perhaps you place your Bible or other current reading by your morning chair, so that when you get up and make your cup of coffee, your book is inviting you to sit, study and meditate for a time.

I have practiced the power of cue for years without realizing its power. But it helps the routine. And that is the one thing missing when I travel and find myself on odd schedules. Guess I’ll try that on myself Wednesday when I wake up in Cleveland (a conference on machinery failure prevention–sure to be exciting).

What cues do you use? Or have you even thought about using a cue to trigger your desired habit?

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