Bible Reading Habit Hacks

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. – Joshua 1:8, ESV
The beginning of a new year is usually the time to start new habits, which makes it the perfect time to start new Bible reading habits. The best way to build a habit is just to start. And as you get started, just focus on regularly doing it. Once you complete two days in a row, go for three. Once you complete three days, try for five, and keep going. It usually takes a minimum of 21 days for a new habit to stick.
Before you form the habit, busy schedules, family obligations, and conflicting priorities can make studying Scripture feel challenging at times. Thankfully there are some “hacks” that can be taken to overcome the challenge.
1.    Make it stick
The easiest way to create a new habit is by linking it to something you already consistently do. If the first thing you do in the morning is reach for your phone, try to put your Bible between you and your phone so you are reminded to read it first. When you combine a new habit with an already established one, it gives your new habit more “stickiness.”
2.    Teach someone else
If you have a goal to teach the Bible to someone else, whether it is your children, your spouse or your unbelieving friends, you will be motivated to study the Scriptures more thoroughly. Disciplining yourself to create a new habit can be hard, so it helps if you have other people that you are accountable to.
3.    Reward yourself
Incentives may be necessary to motivate yourself. You can promise yourself (and don’t lie to yourself) that after you read the bible, you can have that cup of espresso, or if you complete 1-week streak of reading the Bible, you can eat a steak dinner. Use anything that motivates you as long as the reward justifies the effort.
These “hacks” are just temporary measures. When you have formed the habit, you might not need to use them. You can try 1 or more of these “hacks” or you can come up with your own. Remember that 21 days is a minimum, but it might take a couple of months or longer depending on what works for you.
The more you build your habits, the easier it becomes to recognize God’s voice and understand what His will truly is.
As you commit to studying Scripture regularly, remember that the God who created you can also enable you to break through the resistance holding you back, so you can consistently engage with His living and active Word.