The Hardest Part is Getting Started

Jan and Dixie were away in England visiting our daughter’s family, so this seemed like a great opportunity to whip this old body back into shape. It was time to eat right and exercise, but I was finding it hard to get up in the morning. The house was quiet and the pillow was soft. Hanging clothes covered the treadmill and the Total Gym was buried under boxes. Lying in bed, was easier than pulling on my dirty sweats. It was a matter of motivation.

Eventually, the dog and the cat conspired to get me out of bed. They wouldn’t take no for an answer. The dog scratched at the door to get out and the cat sat on my face until I finally got up to fix their breakfast. Perhaps it was the second cup of coffee, or it might have been the shock of stepping on the scales, but eventually, I began working out and discovered two things. First, I actually enjoyed it, and, second, I discovered it was easier the next morning to get up and start again. Isn’t that surprising? I discovered it is easier to become motivated after you begin than before. Once you start, it’s easier to keep going, so the key must be to make it easy to start.

We all want to be better Christians. We want to spend more time with the Lord, but it can be hard to begin. Here is the key:

Make It Easy to Start

First, put your decision making on autopilot: schedule the time. Don’t waste time wondering, “Should I read my Bible this morning or wait until tonight?” Nail it down! “It’s 6:30. Time to study and pray!”

Second, use the power of ritual. I suspect when you step into the shower, you don’t wonder where you should begin! The power of a ritual takes away the need to make a decision. You don’t have to think about getting started. My friend wakes up every morning and his wife hands him a cup of coffee as he steps out of the shower. Then he sits down at the same place every day and opens his Bible. One, two, three.

James Clear notes: “The key to any good ritual is that it removes the need to make a decision: What should I do first? When should I do this? How should I do this? Most people never get moving because they can’t decide how to get started. You want starting a behavior to be easy and automatic so you have the strength to finish it when it becomes difficult and challenging.”[1]

Exercise

Do you have a set time for Bible study or any rituals that help you practice the spiritual disciplines? Please share them here.

Be a Blessing!

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