I once heard Jason Hatley say that people often overestimate what can be done in two weeks and underestimate what can be done in a year! I can see this being true and it plays out in a few key concepts – Consistency, Compounding and being Proactive. A little each day really does go a long way.
What could happen during this year for you? I’m not sure what examples would inspire you – but let’s say you want to learn how to play piano. You can’t cram to become a pianist. It takes longer than two weeks. But, if you began lessons this week and played for 20 minutes most days, you would definitely be able to play some great songs twelve months from now.
Another example may be a desire to have a better or more intimate relationships with your children. Everyone’s schedule is so tight that we try to cram in meaningfulness. Something is better than nothing, but it’s not the best way to go about it. Make a calendar commitment to be home more, build times with each child into your schedule and create traditions to help keep moving the ball down the field of meaningful relationships at home.
There are some industries that make loads of money helping people get things done quickly – such as dating sites, weight loss programs, and quick income generating schemes. But the truth is, to have a happy relationship, to get on a better financial footing or to become healthy requires a more long term approach… and you have this year!
Here are three words to consider:
A little bit each day has amazing power. A little savings each week, makes a big difference in the long run. A little exercise each day makes a healthier life as you age. What project have you wanted to do? If you do a little a day, you will accomplish it amazingly well! This works great for writing goals, for reading goals, and other big dreams that need to be broken up into bite-size pieces. We just recently repainted the walls and put in a new wood floor in our living room. As I type this, I can look around to see newly painted walls, newly painted and redone baseboards, a new wood floor, and some new decorations (mostly rearranged from what we already had in place). This wasn’t a one-day project. But, over the course of about four weeks, we chipped away a little each day. We moved the furniture to another room one day. We ripped up the carpet and staples another block of time. We took off the baseboards. We painted for about a week – a little each day. And on down the line until today – it’s mostly finished, with just a couple little pieces we need to put in once they come in at the store. Consistency is your friend! As you do a little each day, you will be surprised what happens in a year! They say, if you want to become an expert, read something from your field of choice for just an hour a day and you will become an expert. Consistency is a powerful tool.
Much like the interest in a bank, each day alone doesn’t seem like much, but as you add it together, stacking each day on top of another, it begins to roll quickly! If you add in one habit today – maybe the habit of writing each morning or playing a little music each day, or exercising, then tomorrow, the little you add to it will even be more valuable. I can’t claim this is scientific data, but if a ten-minute workout today is valued at a full ten minutes, tomorrow’s ten-minute workout may actually have more value for your body – let’s say it’s worth 10.2 minutes. The following day’s workout isn’t just ten minutes, it’s more like 10.4 minutes, because each day you’re building – the work you’re doing compounds. As Charles Duhigg describes in his book on The Power of Habit, one little thing can really have a domino effect on other areas of life. It’s not just a new morning routine anymore (or whatever habit you put in place). It’s become the key to a more healthy life overall. One little thing makes a huge difference as it stacks up in your life each day.
Instead of procrastinating – begin right this very minute. You have 365 fresh days ahead of you. What will your plan be? What are your steps? Get them in place and begin following the plan. Don’t just wait to see if something might work out or if it will come together. In confidence, jump on board and make plans. There’s a lot in the Bible about committing our plans to the Lord, counting the costs, and trusting God with the desires of our heart. None of us know if we will have the chance to live another day, but while we are alive and breathing, let’s error on the side of jumping in and being proactive. I love the quote from Mark Twain that says, “Twenty years from now, you won’t regret the things you did do, but the things you didn’t do.”
What will you accomplish this year? Put some ideas down on paper (or in your phone notes) and make a commitment to make it happen.