Go for consistency before you add complexity.
It seems that the intention to change occurs with something that resembles the following sequence:
- Frustration with current and past decisions
- A decision is made to make some different choices going forward
- An incredibly complex, impossible course of action is laid out
- This lasts for 48 hours
- Return to previous habits.
Here’s a real world situation from a … ummmm … “friend” that may sound familiar:
- Step on the scale and realize I’ve gained some weight and become more shapely.
- I need to start working out and eat more fruits and veggies.
- I decide to go to the gym at 5 AM every morning and no longer drink pop or eat junk food.
- On day three I can’t take it anymore.
- Go to a Chinese buffet.
- Repeat in six months.
It seems that we tend to think that change works on the following formula.
- Get frustrated with the current situation
- Decide that we want to change the situation
- Create a complex series of events
I’d like to give a simpler, more doable and ultimately more effective approach.
Do the next right thing. Do that consistently and then add another right thing and do that consistently.
You may say that doing just pushups isn’t as good as a sophisticated Crossfit routine and you’re right. But it IS better than just reading articles and watching videos about Crossfit that you’re going to implement consistently ONE DAY.
- Reading a chapter in the bible consistently is better than thinking about studying systematic theology one day.
- Going for a run consistently is better than owning a gym membership with amazing equipment you don’t use.
- Engaging with your family consistently is better than an amazing family vacation once a year.
- Eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet one at a time is better than purging ALL junk food for a week.
So as you think about what changes you’d like to see in your life, I want to challenge you to resist the temptation to get COMPLEX. Pick one, simple, doable thing and get CONSISTENT.