the shape of leadership

Eight Purposeful Habits for a Spiritually Focused Life

Justin Whitmel Earley proposes a common rule for our distracted age

George P Wood on January 7, 2019


Every New Year, millions of Americans take time to write resolutions about who they would like to become or what they would like to do in the next 365 days. Researchers at the University of Scranton suggest that only 8 percentof people keep their resolutions. According to U.S. News & World Report80 percentof those resolutions fail by the second week of February.


What if we’re chasing the wrong thing? What if we need new habits, not New Year’s resolutions?


That’s the question raised by Justin Whitmel Earley’s new book, The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction, which InterVarsity Press will publish on February 5th. According to him, “We are all living according to a specific regimen of habits, and those habits shape most of our life.” He goes on to propose eight purposeful habits Christians should develop to lead spiritually focused lives.


In Episode 163 of the Influence Podcast, Influence magazine executive editor George P. Wood, talks to Justin about his new book, those eight habits, and what to do when we fail.


Justin Whitmel Earley is the creator of The Common Rule, a program of habits designed to form us in the love of God and neighbor. If his name sounds familiar, that’s because he wrote “Habits of the Tech-Wise Heart,”the cover story of the November-December 2018 issue of Influence. He is also a mergers and acquisitions lawyer in Richmond, Virginia, who previously spent several years in China as a missionary. He and his wife, Lauren, have four sons and live in Richmond, Virginia.


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