Are you tired of being stuck in the same old cycles and habits year after year? Let's break free and make this year different!
Cycles are repetitive, perpetual, and endless and can be a detriment to growth and development.
As the first month of the year ends, which is typically when most people set the tone for their year with goals, visions, and aspirations, it's a perfect time to assess your lifestyle for unhealthy patterns and cycles as they can undoubtedly impact forward movement and the accomplishment of such goals.
You can ask yourself questions such as: What mental hurdles always seem to get in the way? Where in my life do I feel stuck? What self-behavior or habit am I tired of seeing?
Or, take it a step further and ask a trusted family member or friend: What patterns in my life block me from reaching my full potential?
All to ultimately unveil the perpetual cycles in your life that hinder you from thriving and walking into who you were created to be.
Some may be easier to identify than others, like the frivolous trips to Target. You only have one thing on your list and leave with 8 (guilty!) – How does that behavior contribute to your financial goals? Or that nightly bowl of ice cream after a stressful day – But that doesn't align with your weight loss plan. How about the people pleasing (guilty again) – Your yes to them is at your expense. Lastly, that unfruitful friendship that should have ended forever ago.
Others may be less apparent or surfaced and, thus, may require deeper digging to recognize. What is that fear rooted in? What is the driving factor behind the shopping habit? What words were spoken over you that make you feel/think this way? Perhaps it's generational and has presented itself as an acceptable norm.
I have had ideas and visions that, unfortunately, never came to fruition because cycles of negative thoughts and fear kept me stagnant. I had every intention of taking the necessary steps and doing the work toward completion, but there was something in the way – ME.
Breaking free from a cycle has its challenges, especially since the adversary would love for you to be stuck in a draining web that has a hold on you. One targeted to intentionally hinder you from the abundant future God has planned for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).
Negative cycles and patterns can be a response to unhealed pain, learned behavior, and trauma. It's one thing not to recognize cyclical dead-end patterns, but it's another when you're aware and just plain stuck. Imagine being caught in that web while knowing greater is in store for you and desiring more. Yet, there is something sticky that just keeps holding or pulling you back. No matter how hard you try, you cannot detach yourself.
Despite how much of a hold the enemy has, God has the power to sever the root of all negative cycles and habits.
Friend, I am here to encourage you that if you're on that web, you don't have to stay there. Here are 6 tips to help guide you to break free from cycles in 2024:
1. A personal and surrendered relationship with Jesus.
Listen, this will always be number one. Jesus is the source of our healing, wholeness, true identity, and fullness of life. John 8:31-32 says," To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The enemy cannot tell the truth. He is a liar that comes to steal, kill, and destroy our God ordained greatness. But we can take hold of God's truth, and there is freedom in it that releases us from the web, mental cycles, and hold of the enemy.
2. Joining a likeminded community for transparency and accountability
Like mindedness is critical. There are several groups and communities that one could join. But it is essential to know what they are rooted in. What advice are they giving? Who, what, and where are they leading you toward? Furthermore, what does their fruit look like? A like-minded community should also be a safe space where you can share your current struggles and hurdles.
3. Implementing Spiritual (Biblical) Disciplines into your lifestyle
We can encounter God in numerous ways, such as prayer walks, compassionate acts toward others, prayer, or even a retreat. Spiritual disciplines transform us while drawing us closer to God. And when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us—leaving no room for the enemy's lies to take root. Spiritual disciplines also help us remain in alignment with God, His will for our lives, and His promises. Please see the link below for examples of spiritual disciplines.
4. Developing Healthy and sustainable Routines
According to the National Institutes of Health, it takes approximately 10 weeks of daily repetition for a habit to form. Even though it might seem like a long time, there is beauty to be found in the end. I encourage you to integrate new healthy and achievable habits to your life as another weapon to fight against unhealthy habits and negative cycles.
5. Finding One-on-one Mentorship and Encouragement
If you feel that thrive best in a one-on-one setting, I get it. I suggest finding a coach or mentor who can assist you in overcoming and breaking free from negative cycles and patterns. Remember, you don't have to face these challenges alone, and seeking guidance can be incredibly helpful on your journey of growth and healing.
6. Keeping Scripture References in your heart
Scriptures are a reminder of God's truth and promises. Whenever you find yourself stuck in a web, you can meditate on God's Word (Psalm 119:15) and be set free. I encourage you to find scriptures that specifically address the areas where you struggle to help you victoriously overcome.
I pray the resources and information provided were helpful to you. If you'd like to join a like-minded community or prefer 1:1 support, click the link below. Purpose in the Pain is a community that encourages and uplifts women to overcome pain and confidently walk into who God created them to be.
I look forward to connecting with you!
Spiritual Disciplines: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/spiritual-disciplines