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The #1 Key to Success in Life Change

Jonathan Malm - June 27, 2017

Here’s a paradox for you. Crazy life change seems like it should be something that’s extreme. Right? You should behave one way or operate your business one way or respond to God one way, then in an instant, you change.

And most people go life change that way. They find themselves down a road they never wanted to be on, then they make the drastic decision to go a different direction. Cold turkey. All at once. Change course.

There are some areas of your life where you need to do that. When it comes to things that will lead to death, a cold turkey change is important. Salvation works like that. You’re heading toward hell, then you repent. Drastic.

But when it comes to the more nuanced changes in life, cold turkey rarely works. Without the penalty of death or other horrible consequences keeping us accountable, we often swing from one extreme and back to the other.

There’s a better approach:

Balanced, Steady Movement

Imagine in a diet if, instead of cutting all sugar from your diet, you just stopped drinking soda. Then two or three weeks later, you cut something else out of your diet. Then again in another two or three weeks. It seems like you’d make no progress. But in a year, you would have cut about 20 categories of bad food out of your life.

Now think back on your last few drastic diets you adopted. Have any of those stuck? Probably not.

They key to life change isn’t in giant leaps. It’s in small, intentional steps toward your goal. It doesn’t feel sexy. It doesn’t feel glamorous. But it will actually get you where you want to go.

Resist the urge to “change your life” overnight. Break your goal down into small, manageable steps and then start taking them. Here are some ideas for you:

  • Instead of stopping watching TV altogether, choose one hour in the evening when you normally would, but decide not to.
  • Instead of adopting an hour-long devotional each day, choose to one Proverb each morning and say a quick prayer.
  • Instead of dropping everything and becoming a full-time minister of the Gospel, start giving and praying for an organization. Start donating your time.

You can eventually reach those lofty goals. But unless God commanded those extreme changes, small steps are far more likely to get you there.