11/12/2008

Be faithful in the little and you'll be faithful in the much

In the book of Luke, Jesus makes a profound statement that I believe holds the key to true success in the area of personal development. His words are often repeated in my mind over and over whenever I challenge myself to reaching higher levels. He essentially says that if we are faithfull in the little things, then we will ultimately become faithful in the bigger things.

Most of us work on our development by creating these grandiose goals and working diligently to become faithful in taking big actions to reach those goals. Most often, we fall short of reaching our goals simply because we weren't capable of sustaing such massive change long term. If you are the kind of person who is constantly chasing big goals only to experience disappointment, may I suggest to you an alternative, small commitments.

In all honesty, if you don't give a dime to charitable organizations now, you likely won't donate money if you received a hefty pay increase. If you don't include anything green in your diet today, don't count on losing those extra 10 lbs by eating only salads for the next couple of months. Drastic changes are rarely sustainable. Why? Because if you couldn't do the simple things, such as parking farther away from the store so you'll walk more, then you will not have what it takes to wake up at 5:30 and work out every day.

Forget about creating any more goals for yourself that you know you won't be able to maintain. Instead, I want you to make a small commitment to yourself. The smaller the commitment, the better. The only catch is that the commitment must benefit your development. The commitment is not a goal to reach, it is a promise to yourself that you will do something. The commitment must be to take some sort of small action daily.

Examples of commitments to yourself could include:

* Eating one apple each day
* Flossing each day
* 15 minutes of meditation each day
* Putting your loose change into a jar each day
* 15 minutes of stretching each day.
* Walking up stairs instead of using the elevator at the office
* Journaling each day
* Calling/emailing one person each day
* Turning off the television 1 hour earlier each day.
* Spend 30 minutes studying/writing each day.

The list is endless. You don't even have to pick a daily action that directly correlates with your goals. My daily action was to floss daily. Flossing daily will not help me reach any development goals. My daily flossing helps me to establish and keep a commitment to myself. Its that simple.

Why pick a small daily action? Because smaller actions "easier" to do consistently. Small daily actions are your way of setting up a habit for yourself. Just say you'll do something every day and do it that day! In my personal experiment with taking small daily action, I was amazed at what I experienced. I'll go more into detail in my next post. For now, I want to you pick one daily action to commit to and stick with it!

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