“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”  – Goethe

“Do we want to be at the mercy of life, or do we want to be at the mercy of our own decision-making?”  – Thane Ringler

“When things in your life are disconnected from your purpose and your meaning, those habits, even if something you desperately want to do, if it’s not connected with your why then those habits will eventually die off.”  – Thane Ringler

“You should think of your life in terms of habits, not in terms of actions.”  – Adam Setser

“What good am I going to do for others today?”  – Ben Franklin Question

“Once a habit is formed that’s your natural choice, but that doesn’t always make it your actual choice.”  – Thane Ringler

“That which we attain too easily, we esteem too lightly.”  – Thomas Paine

“No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or by emotional appeal.”  – Marilyn Ferguson

That which we attain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods.”  – Thomas Paine

“I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”

“We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we will also be truly effective only when we begin with the end in mind.”  – Stephen Covey

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”  – Goethe

Why habits are important

Habits are what make up our lives, and the reason LOOKING at them is so important right now is because we are at the Up and Comers stage of life.

If we don’t focus on what defines our life, we will fall into one of two alternatives:

  1. Detachment and surrender – “do my time”; “the system can’t be changed”; “don’t have enough responsibility to make an impact”; minimal effort required to cash the paycheck – mentality
  2. Overly ambitious and scatterbrained – “get rich quick”; “follow your passion”; application without solidification (sustainability)

Developing “right” habits (ones based on longterm goals and time-proven wisdom)

And it all must be tied to your ultimate purpose/meaning in life!

  • “How you do anything is how you do everything.” 
  • When it is disconnected, the habits will eventually die off

“Learning to love God is like learning to play Bach: it requires daily immersion in habits and practices that train the “muscles” of my heart to desire, and thus do, what it ought.”

The Definition of Habits

7 Habits of Highly Effective People —

  • “Habits are consistent, often unconscious patterns, that constantly, daily express our character and produce our effectiveness… or ineffectiveness.”
  • “The intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire.
    • “Knowledge is the what to do and the why. Skill is the how to do. And desire is the motivation, the want to do.”

Merriam Webster — “7 a : a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance b : an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary”

“Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits.”
– James Clear

“According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day.”

The Description of Habits: how they shape the way we live our personal lives

Thane’s Habits

Keystone vs. Activity-specific

  • Reflection (journaling specifically; started out during professional golf as catalyst for growth and has become a keystone for all ares of life)
  • Meditation (my mind is constantly going/planning; this practice has provided the most “unseen” benefit throughout all of life – allows me to be more fully present)
  • Fitness/Exercise (generates energy, positivity, motivation, and longevity in all areas of life – even helps improve sleep!)
  • Purpose-driven pursuits (connecting all I do to my “why” – aka the gospel)
  • Starting and ending the day in God’s Word

Adam’s Habits

  • Reading Bible in AM (keystone bcs foot soak, reading theology, studying the original languages all come too)
  • Pray on the way to work (keystone bcs it gets me in that mindset and I schedule my day with God in mind)
  • Clearing out inboxes in AM (keystone bcs I plan day in calendar and to-do list software, adding in emails to respond to, and review what I did yesterday; as well as saving articles for review for newsletter, which I do in downtime at work; asking myself the Ben Franklin question)
  • Read after supper (25 pages per day min outside of seminary, which gets jumpstarted then (vs tv))
  • Journal at night (to review, asking myself the Ben Franklin question)
  • Exercise (walk, yoga, weights, etc. which is keystone to maintaining diet and health focus)


The Habits Guide: How to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones | James Clear.