For over four decades, I’ve been serving in leadership roles. And, I’ve learned at least one small thing that always leads to big things. Now, I’ve seen loads of good intentions. I’ve read the written goals. I’ve heard the New Year’s resolutions. I’ve listened to the commitments. But in my experience, this one small thing, is the big thing.
You’ve probably seen it too. Every station and every machine at the gym are full the first two weeks of January. Many are talking about their new diet or a new weight-loss program. People show up in church that I haven’t seen since last January. New faces are visible at business networking meetings. Weekly recovery meetings have a bump in attendance. On and on. But, by February and March, it is back to the same old, same old. Nothing has changed.
Here is the one new tip for the new year. It is called,“The Consistency Effect.” It is really quite simple. But not very easy. Here it is: “Small things done consistently, over time, lead to big things.” Now, don’t misunderstand. Commitment is good. Commitment will get you to the starting line. It can set your intention. It can get you through January and maybe even February. But consistency will get you to July, September, and next December. You can change your life with small, consistent steps in the right direction.
“Small things done consistently, over time, lead to big things.” Thirty-five years ago, my wife and I started a church for our community. It was very small church. We had only two other couples in our core group at the very beginning. And, by the end of the first year, when we were ready for our public launch, only 18 adults and 19 kids, 37 total people were committed to the effort. But then we launched, and 60 new people showed up at our first worship service. But still, we only averaged 65 the first year. And it was 90 the next year. Small things done consistently, over time, can lead to bigger things. In our third year, we broke 100 in our average attendance. Now we measure attendance in thousands every weekend. But we were consistent. Day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, we leveraged the consistency effect.
Don’t forget, consistency isn’t always a good thing. Consistency can go either way. I’m talking about consistency in the good habits, not the bad habits. We’ve all seen consistent poor service, mediocre effort, bad attitudes, rotten behaviors, or irrelevant methods and they definitely won’t grow something great. Only consistent excellence, quality, relevance and authenticity will lead to growth and effectiveness of an organization or one’s personal sphere of influence.
So where do you need consistency this year? Is it in your work life? Family life? Relationships? Health? Exercise? Developing your spiritual life? Enlarging your knowledge? Expanding your leadership footprint? Growing your business? A hobby? Increasing your emotional well-being?
What is one small thing you could do more consistently this year? You probably already know what the one thing is that you intend to do or to change every year but by February or March, you’ve not followed through with it. If you don’t know what that one thing is, ask a friend, a counselor, a dietician, a chaplain, a pastor, a co-worker or a coach. They can probably help you to know what it is with a 30-minute meeting. Schedule it now. That one small thing, might have a huge impact in your life over the next decade. Leveraging the consistency effect can create the big thing you have been dreaming of for years and years!
And, finally, the most consistent help you can get to be consistent is from God himself. He wants you to be the best version of yourself. He has said,“let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”(Galatians 6:9). And with our consistent effort, we can always count on His strength to be readily available in increasing measure when we lean into Him and trust Him.
What is one thing you want to be more consistent in during 2022? Would you mind sharing your “one thing” in the comment section below?