Take small, intentional steps and you’ll make little changes that make a large impact in your life.
My son just rolled the change he has been collecting for seven years in a jar. He kept track of every coin he added over those years, and when all of the coins were rolled, he was only 40 cents off from his estimation. Over seven years of saving, he had a total of more than $500.00
That’s a lot of money –pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters at a time.]
Little Changes That Come Small
I’m convinced that for the most part, this is how God intends for us to grow as women, in every area of our lives. Not in $100 bills but a penny saved here. Then another. And another. Little bits at a time, until you look back and see a significant quantity of change. (Pun intended.)
In his book, Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results, James Clear talks about how easy it is to “overestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis” and how meaningful it is to make 1% changes. He says, “The difference a tiny improvement can make over time is astounding.”
Consider this same idea in 2 Peter 1:5-8, where Peter encourages the followers of Christ to make every effort to add certain qualities, like goodness and self-control, to their faith. But he says we should possess these qualities in “increasing measure”. I want to hug Peter right here because he doesn’t give a specific measurement. Thank you, Peter. There’s just supposed to be a constant increase.
What if we can add a 1% measure to our faith every day? Not perfect self-control, like a New Year’s resolution, would suggest, but just a little self-control. A little bit more than we had a while ago?
I’ve told a lot of my personal stories of adding small measures of good qualities to my life, in my book Blameless, but I need to keep writing new chapters. As God works in my life, to make me the blameless person he has always intended, adding measures of goodness will always need to be in the works.
Small Ideas for Big Change
Like my recent change in my coffee habits. I really wanted to cut out the sugar in my morning coffee, so I went from using a heaping teaspoon of flavored creamer to a not heaping teaspoon for quite a while. Once I got used to that new taste, I tried using a little less for some weeks. Then I bought some good half-n-half from our local creamery and tried using a little bit of that and no sugared creamer at all. This was my 1% change over several months, and now I can say I use no sugar in my coffee. It matters, as I try to live a healthy lifestyle. Every little bit matters.
For Christmas, I received a fun sticky pad that has days of the week on it. I had the idea that maybe I could use these to plan out a housekeeping schedule. (Let me stop here and mention that I’m 52 years old and still haven’t mastered the art of regularly cleaning my own home. But if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, eh?)
So, on these sticky notes, I wrote 10-minute cleaning tasks I could do every day, over two weeks’ time, in order to clean thoroughly three rooms in my house. It doesn’t sound like much, because it isn’t. But I’m pleased to say I’ve actually been doing these cleaning chores precisely because they feel small and do-able. It’s a 1% change, but can you imagine what this will mean for me by the end of this year if I can cement these little chores into my daily routine? It will be a wonderful housekeeping success.
So, what about you? What 1% addition could you add to your faith? Where would you like to focus on adding some little piece of goodness in your relationships or home management or health or spiritual discipline? It will make a difference.
Much love from Montana,
Christy Fitzwater is a writer and pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She has a daughter who is married and a son in college. Christy writes to help people know God, and you can find her new book about becoming blameless on Amazon. Or follow her devotional blog at ChristyFitzwater. You can follow Christy on Instagram here!