I used to think that if I could just get it right this time, then I’d be set for life. An older, wiser person (or just myself a couple years later) would have told me that life doesn’t work like that.
Your life isn’t made up of the few big moments when you did well; it’s made up of your everyday: work, sleep, food, and everything in between.
The big events are like sprinkles on top of your ice cream – they make it look nicer and add a little flavor but no matter how much you add, it’s still called ice cream.
I’m beginning to realize how much of my life is made up habits – the things that I do over and over. Nicole Krauss describes habits in the book, Man Walks Into a Room:
“Without habits, we’d be unidentifiable.
We’d have to reinvent ourselves every minute.”
I was struck by the truth of that statement. My habits paint a picture of who I am and what I believe in; when I change my habits, I am reinventing myself.
Well, talk about pressure – and I thought my daily life was something I could just forget after a week or so passed. Seriously, can you even remember what you did two Wednesdays ago? My daily choices are in some ways even more important than the big ones. It’s the small things that are repeated.
I suddenly want to write up a list of daily habits for each area of my life:
- Run six miles.
- Drink a gallon of water.
- Serve in a homeless shelter.
- Write a book…
Okay, just kidding.
Reasonable Daily Habits
- exercise for 15 minutes
- drink a cup of hot tea
- read a chapter of a book I like
- eat dinner with my family
- start my morning with prayer
These things are small and may not mean much by themselves, but little things add up.
Being intentional about my habits also helps insure that I’m living the life I desire for myself. Even if I can’t remember what I did last week, I’ll know that it included my daily habits – actions that I can be proud of and stand behind.