I learned something recently that has totally changed the way I approach things.
Our family has gone through a number of changes in the past few weeks and one of the things we’ve been working through is a change of schedules. As I worked towards an earlier morning and new routines I came across an e-book called Maximize Your Mornings. The biggest thing I took from the book is the need to practice faithfulness. When you set a goal and you consistently do it again and again and again, you develop a habit in that area – you practice faithfulness.
Many times we fail simply because we have set big goals for ourselves without breaking them down into steps that are easily reachable because we want to change everything NOW. 😕 You know how it is….you decide that tomorrow you are going to:
- get up 2 hours earlier than you are used to (but you forget to go to bed earlier – oops)
- get dressed (we hope you already do that every day but you never know!)
- do your hair (complete done instead of pulled back in the pony tail you’ve become famous for at home)
- put makeup on (which seldom gets worn)
- go for a 2 mile run (even though you haven’t run in two years)
- spend an hour in the word and cook a 3 course breakfast (instead of instant oatmeal or cereal or whatever your go-to breakfast is)
…all in 2 hours time (which is the time when you would usually just be opening your eyes)! Um yeah. And then three days into it you give up – stressed, exhausted, and discouraged. A few weeks later you try again, only to give up again three days in and your life becomes a series of stop and go – full of inconsistencies and defeat. It’s a set up for failure. The goal may not be unreachable – we’ve just been approaching it the wrong way.
So what can we do? Set smaller “must do” goals.
Small goals reached consistently, and carried out faithfully, are much better than large goals seldom reached.
If one of your goals is to get up earlier, try simply making it your goal to get out of bed at the set time. That’s it! If you get out of bed at your set time you’ve succeeded, period. You know, that takes a LOT of the stress out of getting out of bed for me. I can’t even tell you how many times I stayed in bed simply because I knew that if I got up it meant I “had” to go for my 2 mile walk. When I freed myself of that and separated the two, getting out of bed was suddenly a reachable goal. Getting out of bed no longer means that I have to go out in the cold and walk. It simply means getting out of bed.
Having a big goal for exercise and fitness is great. But starting out, try breaking it down into smaller goals that are easily reached. Running 2 miles is great but you know what, if all I do is run around the house for 5 minutes – it’s better than nothing! I shouldn’t be left feeling like it’s 2 miles or nothing. If you can run two miles, go for it. But if you can’t for some reason, have a fall back plan. Pick something small and achievable that you can have as your “must do” thing each day.
As you make these changes, focus on making it simple and achievable. Remember, the goal is simply to begin a new habit and practice faithfulness in that area. Then as your smaller goals are reached you can add on and make them bigger. Before you know it your bigger goals are within reach and don’t look so overwhelming.
This can be applied to so many areas of life! Where are you needing to practice faithfulness?