Over the years I’ve attended many weekend conferences and one-day seminars.  I consider myself blessed if I come away with a single idea that significantly impacts me and seems to be the kind of idea that can also be of help and encouragement to lots of other people.

Gaining leverage through small but consistent habits over time

A number of years ago I attended a conference on the east coast.  I don’t remember the city, the nature of the conference, or any of the speakers’ names.  I am sure I received lots of good information, but can’t remember any of it, except for one idea.

The cumulative effect of small things over an extended period of time…

I can’t give credit where credit is due, as I don’t remember who said it. I even googled it, but that didn’t reveal the source.

This is one of those life principles that is true in any context, for any person, at any time.  It works in all areas of life.

1.  Financial – If a person saved just a little bit each month, but did so for a long period of time, having sufficient funds for retirement would not be the issue it is for many people.  On the other hand, those who spend just a little more than they make and do it for a long time are amazed at how fast the debt accumulates.

2.  Exercise – It is better to exercise 3 times a week for 30 minutes over a long period of time, than to leap into action with a guilty conscience every once in a while.

3.  Reading – Most people are hard pressed to find large amounts of time to read, but sincerely want to read.  If you are one of those people, try reading consistently for 10-15 minutes every day over a long period of time and you will experience the joy of reading 20-25 books a year. This has been totally doable for me for 25 years.

4.  Relationships – It is better to invest consistent but shorter times with those you love week after week after week than a larger block of time once or twice a year.

5.  Eating – Eat a little less than you normally do and, if you are consistent over an extended period of time, you will lose weight.  Eat just a bit more than your body really needs and do it consistently and you will gain weigh; it sort of sneaks up on you.

6.  Intimacy with Jesus– It works as you deepen your intimate walk with Jesus as well.  Spending time alone in his presence. Praying, scripture, confessing and repenting works better if you are consistent as opposed to once in a while.  He wants to hear from you daily not when you think you can get around to it

The bottom line is that many of us can’t seem to stay consistent with anything over the long haul, which is why our finances, exercise, reading, relationships and weight take a hit. Charles Swindoll said, “The problem with life is that it is so daily;” Funny but true. We live life daily–not monthly, quarterly or yearly. 

Look at the six areas listed above (and maybe add some of your own) and determine what you can do empowered by Him and to honor Him as you experience the cumulative effect of small things over an extended period of time.  Try it and you may like it, “Sam I am!”