Last week, former procrastinators, we saw the large impact of small actions repeated over time. In Darren Hardy’s book Compound Effect we’re reminded that the large impact can be either negative or positive. Our repeated steps take us in a direction. Whether it’s mindless munching on potato chips (I’m so guilty) or steady review of Bible verses (getting better) we move away from what we desire or toward it.
A friend of ours points out, “We always reap what we sow. We reap more than we sow. We reap in a different season than we sow.”
We’re always sowing – a negative crop we’ll regret or a positive one we’ll rejoice in. It just comes later – and bigger than we expect. You’ve heard the cry, “How did we get to this place?”
In the moment, we think a decision doesn’t make any difference. That’s risky. We see the gravity of “big” decisions but discount the “inconsequential” potato chips, sarcasm, or scripture memory. Hardy asks, “What am I doing that I didn’t consciously choose to do, yet continue to do every day? …Which of those behaviors support me?” Which pull me down?
Based on a lesson the author learned the hard way, he recommends tracking. Have you derailed or suspect you’re heading the wrong direction? Tracking will reveal your direction. Therefore you track with intention of reaching your goals. (A healthy body, mind, marriage, finances, resume.)
Hardy says for one week track one behavior in one area of your life you’d like to change and improve. (money, nutrition, fitness, parenting, gratitude, etc.) Write down everything you do related to it. (extra cheese, cup of coffee, TV time) He says you’ll be shocked at where your time, money, attention, etc. is going.
Then he recommends tracking two more weeks. This will move you beyond shock to awareness. It will help you move toward a new habit. You begin to focus on the small things you’re doing right or wrong. You’ll make small course corrections consistently and begin to see great results. (Course Correction Is Normal May 28, 2018)
These suggestions from the author are a means of helping me die to self. In the moment, I think it’s fine to skip the gym, buy that bangle, or yell at the kids. It’s easy to think it won’t matter if I put off behavior that would move me toward my goals. Tracking can help me make course corrections that keep me moving as the Lord desires for my good and His glory.
Coddling self in the moment means I put off what needs doing when it needs doing – work, play, or rest. It means I’m sowing seeds that will yield a crop I’ll wish I didn’t have. I want to sow seeds that will yield a crop I’ll be grateful for. I’ll have to wait until later to see it, but the harvest will definitely come.
I’m going to track writing time on the computer.
What will you track this week?