As the year grows ever closer to its end, I inevitably find myself reflecting on the past twelve months.
It’s certainly been a packed year full of its usual ups and downs, but I think that this year—more than any other year—I have learned the following great and valuable truth that will forever impact the way I live my life (I know there’s a quote somewhere that basically says what I’m going to say, but Google has failed me when it came to trying to find it, so bear with me):
I often overestimate what I can daily accomplish, but I also underestimate how much I can accomplish over a long stretch of time by doing just a little each day.
Wow, so that’s kind of a long motto.
So, maybe a better motto for my year would be:
Do a little each day.
My organization project definitely taught me this lesson—if I left all my projects until the night before I wanted them done (which I’ll admit to doing), I usually didn’t complete the project as effectively as I could have otherwise, and I was usually pretty cranky about it. I also noticed that the newly organized areas often didn’t stay that way permanently, like I’d intended. So, lately, because I’ve realized that making a habit of simplifying and organizing will make a much greater difference in the long run than occasional “projects,” I’ve kept telling myself, “Just clean or organize for 15 minutes each day. That’s all.”
It’s amazing what a difference 15 minutes can make when you are completely focused on a single goal.
I’ve also proved this truth in my reading goal for the year: instead of setting a goal of how many books I wanted to read, I simply said that I wanted to read two chapters of a book on most days. By doing this, I have managed to read more books this year (almost) than I read in the past two years combined.
The power of daily, consistent habits may at first go unnoticed in the general busy-ness of our lives, but when we seize those moments that tell us to reflect backwards on our progress, our eyes are opened to the difference a month or six months or a year that consistent, daily habits make.
It is often the power of our habits, not our occasional mighty pushes, that molds us into the person we become.
If you had to choose a motto for the past year, what would yours be?