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Asking Questions


Can habits produce immediate results?


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.

Can habits product immediate results? | Val Marie PaperNo 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. 

Working out 

  • 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

Drink water 

  • 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 

Prep food

  • 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

Can habits produce immediate results? A FREE WORKSHEET | Val Marie Paper 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.

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