Attitudes vs. habits

at⋅ti⋅tude:
–noun

1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.

hab⋅it: 

–noun

1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.

 

I am not suggesting that people confuse these two words.  I doubt that it happens often, if ever.  I just think I have made a discovery about myself.  It has not been life-changing yet, but I suppose if I continue to be aware of it, it could help things a bit.  In regard to my home being constantly cluttered and downright messy, I have always tried to change my habits so that it won’t be so bad.  What I realized today is that the root of the problem is not those bad habits in housekeeping, it’s my bad attitude about it.  I do dishes each day – more or less – but my attitude remains the same: I hate doing dishes!  I find it very hard to see the point in daily housekeeping, but I also can’t stand the way my house looks when it is a mess.  I feel like taking care of my house each day will just make me bitter about my role – this is all about my attitude.  And to be honest, I don’t really know how to change it. 

I realized something else yesterday – I try to make change occur quickly, rather than one step at a time, and this is probably why that change never sticks.  It’s like fad diets – they work fast if you stick to them, but if you come off the diet for even a short time, it’s all too easy to gain weight back.  The picture that came to my mind was a mountain.  The distance from the ground to the top of the mountain is equal to complete change.  You may have access to a helicopter that can fly you directly to the top, saving you time and helping you to feel as though you have changed, but hiking up will actually be more effective.  It may take far longer to change – weeks, months, even years, but in the end, you will have experienced the change one step at a time and will know the way if you backtrack at all. 

So, as uncomfortable as it is, I am going to try change one step at a time.  This is applicable not only to my house, but also to my faith, my relationships with others and the opinion I have of myself.  It may take years to accomplish a noticeable change in any of these areas, but I know it’s the better way to go.

Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”   This scripture backs my view that change cannot be accomplished in one move.  If the work God began in us cannot be finished until the day Christ returns, then surely a change in attitude or habit cannot be finished for a good long time, either. 

I generally don’t mention my faith much on this blog, as its purpose has been more of a rant about the state of my house and other earth-bound topics, but here, I feel it is worth bringing up.  Whether you believe what I do or not, I believe most people will agree that any change is best accomplished slowly, so as not to fall off the wagon, so to speak.

Anyway, I will try to keep you up to date on how my step by step change of attitude and habits is going.

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