Does it really matter if today you:
- Exercise or go to the gym
- Eat a healthy diet
- Zone out in front of the TV all night instead of doing something more productive
- Hold a grudge
- Spend time improving yourself through reading and study
- Neglect the most important relationships in your life
- Complain about things that aren’t going well in your life
My response is, no. In the big scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter if you did one or all of those things today. In fact, I would even argue that it likely wouldn’t matter much if you did or didn’t do all of those things for a whole week.
But eventually, it will matter.
Suppose you want lose a few pounds and be healthier, so today to start eating better and exercising. At the end of today, after you’ve eaten well and exercised, are you going to notice a significant difference? Will you be healthier and at your desired weight? No, you won’t. You’ll look the same as you did the day before. It’s likely you won’t even notice much of a difference after a week. This is a point where people become frustrated, and often give up on a long term goal; when significant results don’t immediately follow effort.
However, if you stick with your plan to eat well and exercise every day, after 365 days, you’re going to notice a big difference. At the end of the year you will undoubtedly look and feel much different, and better, than you did 365 days ago.
Now suppose at the end of 365 days of sticking with your plan I was to ask you, “So which day out of the last 365 days caused you to achieve the results you’re enjoying today?” You might say it was the day you decided to take action, to which I would absolutely agree. But if I pressed, to know which specific day’s effort made all the difference, your answer would be: they all did.
Likewise, suppose you’re in good shape and living a healthy lifestyle, but you decide to skip working out today and also to eat foods that aren’t the healthiest. Will this day totally ruin your health? No. If you return to your healthy lifestyle tomorrow, will this one day’s activity even make a dent in the big picture of your health? No, it won’t. But, if you continue this habit for 365 days, you’ll also see significant results in the deterioration of your health.
It’s the compounding effect of our consistent actions that yield results in our life, both positive and negative. This compounding is at play shaping all areas of our lives: health, relationships, career, personal development, finances, and attitude.
Is there any area in your life where you’d like the compounding effect to work for your benefit to achieve results you’re looking for? If so, begin by following this simple checklist:
- Think about the change you’d like to make, and what your life looks like as a result of this change.
- Determine the actions you need to take today to achieve your desired result.
- Take those actions.
- Go through all 4 steps in this checklist again tomorrow.
We’re all building something with our lives, and the compounding effect is a significant principle that will yield powerful results, both positive and negative.
So decide today to put the compounding effect to work for you by providing consistent actions that will yield the results you’re after. And if you mess up or miss a day, don’t be too hard on yourself, and certainly don’t give up as a result. Just recommit the next day, and get back to providing the consistent effort that will be rewarded by the compounding effect; because it really does matter.