Tip of the Week

Don’t underestimate small changes in your life.

We laugh about them, don’t we?  New Year’s resolutions.

  • "I’m going on a diet."
  • "I’m going to manage my money better."
  • "I’m going to leave the office earlier and get home sooner."
  • "I’m going to start exercising."

I work out at the YMCA about four days a week.  The other day, some guys were in the locker room talking about how busy the YMCA will be after the first of the year.  Then someone laughed and said, "Of course that will only last a few weeks."

It is true.  So many people make resolutions and then discard them before January is over.

Yet, I do want to suggest that there is value in making the decision to do things a little different this year.  There is great value in desiring to get out of your rut.  At the beginning of a year, I will often do some reflecting on what specifically needs to be different.  I will make a list — not worrying about any of the details.  The list simply reflects what needs to change.  Then I will select the four items that seem to be especially important. 

Suppose, for example, that one of the items on the list is "I would like to read more."  That is vague and doesn’t really say much.  I want to get specific.  How much do I want to read per week?  In order to read that much for the week, how much do I need per day?  What time of the day will I be reading?  How many days per week do I envision reading?  What is the length of time alloted for reading each day?  With all of these, the more specific the better.  Do you not read at all?  Try reading ten pages of a book each day, five days a week.  That may not sound like much but in fact that is 100 pages per week!

Bottom line: Don’t underestimate small changes carried out each day.  A seemingly small change can be quite significant.

I suspect that some of you have other ideas that have been helpful as you have tried to create new habits.  These are a few that have been helpful to me. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Tip of the Week

  1. Jim, I pray you and your family has a wonderful and grace-filled 2007!  One thought regarding habits.  With reference to reading, the questions you posed are mostly about quantity–and they are important questions.  I’d add a few quality questions to help establish a basis for the quantity.
    Why do I want to read more?  What do I expect to learn from reading more?  How do I expect to be changed by developing a reading habit?  How will reading more make me feel about myself?  What books, authors, etc., do I believe will feed and nourish my soul and why?  What will I think about myself when I’ve develop the habit of reading? 

  2. Jim, I think your words here have alot of wisdom.
    Sometimes we can simply turn away, thinking our thought towards a goal is not significant enough. But it’s good to start out small but true, in advancing towards doing better in something, surely, as a rule.

  3. Ben,Great comment and great questions.  I hope that everyone who reads this post reads your questions as well.  They are important.