Recently, I got Invisalign to correct the alignment of one particular tooth to prevent more severe movement in the future. Even though I had braces when I was younger, the importance of wearing a retainer wasn’t quite enforced like it is now… or maybe I just didn’t wear it as I should have!
I knew I needed to get Invisalign to fix the problem, but I kept putting it off and kept putting it off. Looking back, the most difficult part was just starting. At the time of my writing this, I am on week number 11 out of only 16 weeks. I can honestly say, the most difficult part was just starting. At the initial appointment, my doctor advised me to change my trays out at night before bed because they say the most movement and shifting takes place within the first 6-8 hours. Let me say that again. The most movement and shifting take place within the first 6-8 hours. There is so much power in just starting something and enduring the beginning process of it. Soon, you will be on the other side of the hardest and most trialing part!
We all have habits whether we realize it or not. We all have something, maybe a routine, a hobby, a set ‘something’ within our daily lives that exists because we started, or you could say, we did it once and it just stuck.
I want to encourage you to evaluate your habits. Is the thing that has become a habit in your life moving you toward the direction you want to go? I have learned over the years that many times change happens gradually. Sometimes it’s sudden, like VERY sudden, and then oftentimes it is so gradual you don’t always see it at the moment. I could go without wearing my Invisalign for one or two hours throughout the day, and it wouldn’t make a difference. I could go without wearing it for 6-8+ hours, and it would be a shift that I would notice. Or take working out for example. You can talk about needing to get in shape or what you're going to do to get in shape for months. Years even. But nothing is going to change until you start. Even after starting, you won’t see the results instantly; over time, you will see a noticeable difference.
Whether it’s coming to church 6-8 times more consistently, listening to worship music, or reading the Word of God 6-8 hours more in a week, I can promise you that you’ll see a shift happening in your life. What once seemed so big, that trial or that circumstance you’re faced with, won’t even come in comparison to how big our God is and what He can do in your life.
I encourage you to start with something that is doable to build on. For example, I love to run, but if I haven’t been running consistently, I can’t go out and run 13 miles. I can start with about 3 or 4 and build up to 13. If you have a goal to read more leadership books, don’t set a goal for the year of 30 books when you only read 2 the year before. Maybe start with a goal of reading one a month. Then, when you notice the habit start forming, and you begin to pick up some momentum, try increasing it to 2 a month and keep building. Buildings are built with one piece of wood, one level, and one brick at a time.
Start something today that’ll move you in the direction you want to go, and you’ll be amazed at what you are capable of and the fruit you’ll see years down the road because of what you started today!