If you have heard any talk on habits, you have no doubt heard that it’s the little daily things that you do that will make a big impact…eventually. All true. The emphasis is on setting our sights on the longterm benefits. That is honestly, really really helpful so we don’t get discouraged when we results aren’t immediate, but I want to play devil’s advocate and put the focus on the possibilities of immediate results.
No you won’t lose 5 pounds after not eating sweets for a day (wouldn’t that be nice!). No you won’t have perfectly smooth skin after one night of your new regimen. I’m not talking about those results. I’m talking about the little highs you can get from each habit.
I think if we associate an immediate benefit from habits we are trying to create, we will be more motivated in the moment to keep going. This isn’t a fix all. We still need the patience and steadiness that comes from perseverance, but I think we can double down on our efforts by simply seeing the joy in our daily habits AND in longterm results.
Not sure what I mean by this? Here are just a few examples.
- Long term – lose weight, get healthy
- Immediate – feel energized, joy from endorphins when you leave the gym
Remember face lotion
- Long term – repair skin
- Immediate – dewy skin that feels soft (this is how I actually keep my own routine going!)
Read Bible or pray
- Long term – grow and know God better
- Immediate – feel comfort in his presence
Hands free moments
- Long term – investing in kids
- Immediate – hearing my kids laugh makes me smile
- Long term – heals body
- Immediate – refreshes me
Brush teeth after every meal
- Long term – protect teeth
- Immediate – minty fresh breath and clean teeth feel good
- Long term – makes week smoother, saves money
- Immediate – fun time with Vivi in the kitchen, listening to music
I think this also works when thinking about habits you want to break. What are the immediate consequences?
Watching too much TV
- Long term – lots of time lost, depression (it definitely affects my mood!)
- Immediate – not feeling like I just wasted 2 hours of my evening
Eating too many sweets
- Long term – health issues, medication or doctor bills
- Immediate – mood crashes, belly aches, brain fogginess
Here are two tools for you:
- A worksheet to write out your long term and immediate benefits for each habit you are trying to create. Get access to the worksheet and other helpful tools here.
- I use Tally to track my habits daily. The designers of Tally have a similar one but a different layout, called Done, that my sister actually prefers depending on how your brain works.