photo © 2010 D'Arcy Norman | more info (via: Wylio)This past weekend as I was vacuuming my house I came to a realization: I’ve been developing the bad habit of slacking off with the day-to-day household chores. As I mentioned earlier, my house has been in need of a good ‘spring clean’ for awhile now, but even with that I had been keeping up with the regular dusting and sweeping and such. Yet little by little over the past couple of months I had began to procrastinate on the daily chores as well. The bathrooms were spiffed but not really scrubbed, dusting was delayed, and a casual observer could logically assume my husband and I were in the process of cloning another cat via bits of fluff on the linoleum. In other words, our house was becoming messy. And I didn’t like it. So there I was, vacuuming the basement on Saturday morning and wondering what I could do before my fear of ending up on Hoarders became a sad reality. And it hit me: I need to stay faithful in the little things. The Bible calls it ‘sowing and reaping’ and ‘not despising small beginnings’, Darren Hardy calls it ‘The Compound Effect”, but the end result is the same: Small habits, good or bad, will over time add up to some big results, also good or bad. Consistently putting off daily household chores, for example, leads to a messy house and an eventual, tear-filled guest appearance on a reality TV show. But doing those chores – especially when I don’t feel like it – will lead not only to a clean home for not only my husband and I to enjoy, but for family and friends to come into as well.
It can be overwhelming and/or tiring to be sure to change a habit, to keep plugging away at things with what seems like next-to-no payoff. But as I realized while sweeping up cat litter (I think the cat clenches it between his toes so he can better track it throughout the house), there will be a payoff no matter what I do. Whether it ends up being good or bad is up to me.
How do you encourage yourself to stick with developing a good habit?