Making it stick: how habits make for lasting resolutions

Posted by Difference on January 24, 2022


It’s part of being human to desire positive change in our lives, relationships, communities and the wider world. Perhaps that’s why many of us take the opportunity of the New Year to create new goals, but it can be hard for us to change our behaviour with the flick of a switch or the change of a date. Research suggests that 7 in 10 of us will struggle to keep our resolutions all year, and by February we might already be preparing our excuses for people we’ve mentioned them to! So as some of these targets fade away, how can we bring about lasting change?

Habits have the power to change what’s going on beneath the surface, so when we intentionally apply positive habits in our lives they can give us new patterns of thinking, speaking, praying and acting. Just as reconciliation is a process, not an event, our habits can be built over time, equipping us in both the big and small moments. We may not see instant change, and reconciliation is often a lifetime’s work, but habits offer us a way to engage meaningfully in the process.

Repeated celebrations and traditions that shape habits have powered faith throughout history. Many religious communities follow a ‘Rule of life’, a schedule and set of practices and relational rhythms that help them create space to be with Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what he did.

The Difference course teaches three habits rooted in scripture to help us cross divides, navigate disagreement and pursue a just and flourishing world:

Listening to other’s stories and seeing how the world looks through their eyes

Encountering others with authenticity and confidence

Finding hope in the places where we long to see change

Why not begin your year by bringing people together in your church, small group, workplace or neighbourhood to learn the three habits as a community? Getting involved is simple, you can create an account on our Training & Resources Hub for everything you need to run the Difference course.

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