Do you find yourself struggling to see the fulfillment of many of the good things you’ve started in your life? Here’s the scenario – you get an idea, you see possibility and you start a process to make it happen. Then, difficulty comes and without really deciding to, somewhere along the way you’ve quit without really noticing. What you may be experiencing, like so many others, is the problem of inconsistency. You’re able to start but perhaps are not very good at finishing. There is good news for you – you can overcome this and when you do, I promise you will begin to live a different life. But, make no mistake, there is work to do and you must be intentional about doing it. Below are a few concrete steps that have helped me shift the direction my life was going.
#1 – Start in a minor area of your life rather than one that is life or death to you at the present moment; a place where can begin the process of change immediately. There are typically small areas of your life that you already know could be managed better and, with a little effort, would produce something better but you don’t focus much effort there because there are more pressing issues to deal with. It may surprise you to know that these “small areas” are often the very tools God uses to develop your character and train you in righteousness – requirements to successfully manage the weightier matters in your life.
#2 – Make a list of each task you must complete to see the desired change and get someone you trust to hold you accountable to it. If you don’t have anyone, keep your list handy and visible each day and it will serve the same purpose. Forgetfulness is one of the ways inconsistency quietly creeps in unnoticed causing your goal to possibly be lost in the shuffle.
#3 – Set dates for each task and stick as closely to them as possible. This will help keep you on track and moving forward at a steady pace. If you refuse to compromise on this point, you are more likely to go through the process in a more orderly manner.
#4 – Begin practicing each task on your list to whatever degree you know how to. This forms building blocks that take you from the lower levels of immaturity and frustration to greater levels of maturity and fruitfulness in a systematic way that teaches you the importance of discipline. You will see yourself moving forward by your own decision and the steps you may not have known up front will start coming to your awareness making every step more fruitful. I’ve found that obedience and diligence working together increases my awareness and understanding (much like faith and works).
#5 – Check off each task as you complete them and consider documenting the process as you go. This will keep you mindful of your progress and encourage you to press forward. It also reveals God’s hand along the way and the fact that you are never alone.
#6 – If you get stalled or discouraged along the way, stop and confess it, forgive yourself knowing that God has already forgiven you and get back in the game – in other words, dust yourself off and keep it moving. Don’t allow yourself to have a pity party. This will drain you of your strength and make it easy to abandon your goal.
Practicing the above steps will train you, strengthen and support you and equip you to effectively manage those “more pressing” matters that impact the fruitfulness and quality of your everyday life. Developing in this critical area of consistency will also establish you and enable you to walk in your God-given destiny. Allowing a place for inconsistency will slow down your growth and development and prolong your part in the advancement of the Kingdom of God through your life. However, you get to choose if this will be your story going forward. Be intentional and choose life!
James 2:26 – “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”