I’m sure you’ve all heard it before – 21 Days to a Better You. Apparently, that’s the length of time it takes to truly form a habit. Good habits produce fruit and we’re all about that, right?
What about when it gets hard? When your goal seems too far to reach?
A good friend/mentor of mine used to always say, “Lia, how do you eat an elephant?” At the age of 21, I would roll my eyes and say, “One piece at a time, William…” He’d watch me get flustered over the thousands of things I wanted to do in my home life, work or friendships and my youth left him with a friendly smirk almost daily.
I didn’t understand how deeply that message penetrated into my being until the age of 28 when I started sharing that small piece of advice with others. It’s funny how the words of wisdom you once ignored don’t seem so great until you get older.
We all do this, by the way, so don’t feel alone in it. Our to-do lists are fifteen miles long and we want to do all of them at once. If only we could become the PERFECT person…whatever that is.
So, over the years, I’ve learned a few things and continually add to this flow of knowledge.
Whether that’s brushing your teeth every night and choosing to say your prayers and read a chapter or two of your favorite book, do it for a month. Just one month! Pretty soon, you’ll realize that what once looked like a chore is now a part of your daily routine.
Now add something else.
Put your clothes in the hamper rather than in the floor, choose a “drop zone” for the things you’re carrying, or spend 30 minutes picking up the toys strewn across the living room. When you walk through the door, before you do anything else, do ONE THING habitually.
Not only will the small task increase your productivity, but you will feel peace and will effectively be CREATING A HABIT!
Wa-lah! It really is that easy.
Once a month, add something new! It may take years, and please give yourself grace in this area, but before you realize it, all that you wanted to be will be staring back at you in the mirror.
Live well and happy habit forming!