The Power of Once a Week

If you were trying to lose weight or improve your cardiovascular condition, would you rather run three times a week or once a week? OK, we all jumped at three? But, we don’t do it. Instead, we will run once a week and feel like a failure…or not run at all and continue to dream about running three times a week. This conundrum was discussed recently on a podcast discussion I listened to between Tim Ferris and Ramit Sethi.

Why not just run once a week? Some of us might reply, “Because that doesn’t do anything.” So, we’d rather dream of running three times a week than actually run once. The funny part is, if we pay even moderate attention to our diets, running once a week (a good, long, sweaty run), might be enough to keep us all from gaining weight. We might not lost any or much weight. It won’t make us an Ironman/Ironwoman, but it’s not nothing. It would also be a key cog in a broader healthy living wheel, because it reminds us of our bodies and the importance of health. Eventually, we might want to run more often. And, we will.

Where are you going with this, Tim? Well, I’ve come to realize the guts of what I do best is contained in habits I do without failing, once a week, and occasionally more often. They are the habits that hold my life together–not the habits I aspire to–but those I actually DO. I’ve found that I’m more likely to DO things weekly than daily. Many of the things I do daily I do without effort. They formed as a habit when they were a goal weekly. When I did them weekly without failing I also often did them more than weekly because I enjoyed them or felt as though they add value to my life. However, I didn’t set “more” as a goal. In fact, these habits have no goals. They are just habits.

Examine your life and ministry. Don’t make goals. Create habits.

Habits > Goals, and goals can only usually be reached on the back of habits. Goals aren’t irrelevant. They get us excited, help concretize vision, and provide meaningful aims. They just don’t matter as much we think. Habits do. Our habits form the scaffolding for our lives and ministries. Then, the question becomes: What habits do I need to cease, or start?

Spiritually, vocationally, personally, emotionally, health-wise…

Weekly. Without failing.

Then, we’ll do them more often.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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