Monday's Musings: The Power of Habits

by Mary Denman     @MaryDenman
Recently, I had a lesson in seeing how much of my life is a myriad of routine. In seeing the power of habits. In not seeing much at all. 

Don't worry, my eyes are fine.

But my electricity wasn't. 

We had some very powerful storms come through and it knocked out power to over 14,000 customers. We were some of those. 

Our power company is usually pretty good about restoring power quickly. This time, we ere at the tail end of the 14,000 and went 24 hours without power. 

Really, I'm not complaining. 

The night it happened wasn't too bad. It's summer here, but since the power went out in the evening, the house didn't get too warm. Sunrise was another story.

After getting my family off to a retreat and after the neighbor across the street let me borrow some power to keep my fridge going, I did the only thing that I could at that point. I left. 

I headed off to my eldest daughter's home and got to spend some time with her. That was really nice! 

But before I did leave, I started to laugh at how many times I turned on the lights, only to be reminded the power was out. I thought maybe I could stay if I could just use a fan instead of the AC...only to realize a fan needed power. It got comical. 

That's when I thought about the power of habits. I flipped light switches on, expecting light to shine forth. And I did that over and over even though I knew there was no electricity. 

Why? I couldn't break the habit. 

You go into a dark closet to look for something, you flip on the light. It's a no-brainer. You do it automatically. That's what a habit is. Something you don't even have to think about. 

And you can't break long-term habits in 24 hours. 

This showed me the power of habits. For the good or for the bad.

If I establish good habits, they can help carry me through life with strength. I don't have to spend energy thinking about them. 

Good habits bring discipline. 

Bad habits can be powerful as well. And they're hard to break. They require mental energy to overcome. 

This all made me think. 

What are my good habits?
What good habits do I need to form?
What are the bad ones that need to go?

I'm asking God for wisdom to figure out what needs to change and in what order. My personality tends to be all or nothing, but trying to change everything at once is bound to fail. Guess how I know! 

So instead of getting excited and jumping in with both feet, I'm going to actually prioritize and figure out which new habits are most important to my life. And which habits need to be broken. 

They may be different than yours. But I hope you'll think about the habits that serve you well and those that need to go. 

I need a couple of new habits to help me be more organized about paperwork and blogging. Those are new habits from my to do list, not from my dream list.   I also need new habits to help me get going towards my dreams. These may take a little time to figure out. That's okay. At least I'm thinking about them now. 

It took me losing electrical power to figure out how strong the power of a habit really is. 

I'm glad it happened. 

What habits are you glad you have?
Is there a new one you wish you had?
Which ones need to go?

The Power of Habits (click to tweet)



  1. I am in the same boat only I think worse than what you described. I need new organizational habits for my blog,my home office and my writing. You gave a great reminder of what we all do as habits. It's important to evaluate and re-learn some things.

    1. It is Barbara. Remember that if your change small habits first, it's easier to make changes. :)

  2. To do list, not to dream list. Yes ma'am! Next to you at 60-thenew40. Susan