The Power of Habit


Habits are interesting parts of our lives.  They are things we just do naturally! A habit is what we respond with, or fall back on when everything else fails. We often do habits without thinking, some are really good and some are very bad.

There is a saying that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. The truth is: the only habits that should be deliberately developed are good ones that replace bad ones.

It was Samuel Johnson who said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken”. Good habits and bad habits need equal attention.

May I suggest the following steps to help you create or change a habit in your life?

1.      Identify the habit you want to change.  Over the next several weeks I am going to give you some that I think every leader needs to have, and if they don’t already have them, they need to be working on them.  To change or develop a habit means you have to choose to be focused on that one habit for at least 21 days.

2.     Write down why you want this new habit.  Place these notes (maybe use sticky notes) around the house, in the car, on the desk.  Whenever you feel like letting it go, or skipping it ‘just once’, reread why you want it.

3.     Mark your calendar.  It will take three weeks, 21 days, to began to accept the new habit. Stephen Covey, who wrote the book,  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says, “We become what we repeatedly do”.

4.     Watch your self-talk.  Tell yourself that you can succeed in this.  Do it!  Tell yourself that you want this more than whatever else is tempting you to stop trying. Don’t allow yourself to say, “I can’t”

5.     Keep it going.  When the month is up, start a new habit.  I will send you a list of suggested habits a leader should have, things he needs to do naturally. Don’t forget to keep practicing the one you just changed.  Make it a habit to develop new habits and in just a year you will be a different person.

Mahatma Gandhi said “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

Let’s start with the habit you already know you want to change or develop.

You know what to do…do it!

I send you the list of important habits for a leader to develop, one by one, soon.


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

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