Tiny Habits

The Surprising Way Tiny Habits Can Transform Your Quiet Time

We all want to spend more time with Jesus. But sometimes starting a Quiet Time routine feels not just hard… it feels downright impossible.

Perhaps you have tried and failed, or started and fallen behind. THIS was the year that was going to be different… but it wasn’t. So we go back to our familiar mind-numbing activities to keep ourselves from thinking about it.

Our daily responsibilities and commitments often leave us feeling exhausted. And it’s easier to sleep in. It’s easier to steal into the pantry and stuff our face with Oreos. Easier to collapse on the couch and watch This Is Us.

But our souls are starving. 

If we’re honest, you and I both know that.

Listen, there’s no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus, because the Law of Spirit of Life has set us free from sin and death (see Romans 8). It’s for freedom we’ve been set free … not to wallow in self-pity or to scroll endlessly through our feed, but rather to discover joy in Jesus!

I’ve taught this principle in my signature workshop 4 KEYS to Consistent Quiet Time to women around the country and it’s been changing lives.

Seriously, this little tweak can change everything for you.

Are you ready?

Keep Your Quiet Time Tiny 

What???

Yes.

Truly.

When it comes to starting a new habit, less is more, and Quiet Time with Jesus is no different.

Now I don’t mean that we should aspire to spend as little time with Jesus as possible. ABSOLUTELY NOT! To the contrary, my hope is that you will look for ways to fit even more time with Jesus into the nooks and crannies of your life. But in order to do that, you need a few small, quick wins that will give you momentum and move your forward.

Why the “Old” Quiet Time Formula Is Broken

I believe the old way of doing daily devotions doesn’t work anymore.

We sabotage our devotional efforts when we cling to this ideal scenario where we spend an hour each morning with our Bible, journal, coffee, and a candle. After a calm time in private worship and praise, we see ourselves delving into an inductive Bible study and ending in intercessory prayer. We imagine we’ll have this euphoric mountain-top experience with God that leaves us glowing and makes other people ask what happened to us.

Can’t you just picture it?

But for most of us, that rarely happens, because it’s not realistic.

And truly, these stereotypes are often more harmful than helpful, because they reinforce a lie that there’s only one right way to connect with God, when in reality Scripture tells us God’s more creative than that and He welcomes us to connect with Him in lots of creative ways.

If you’re in a season of life where you can spend an hour or two alone with Jesus, then by all means go for it! Search for ways to incorporate as much Scripture study and prayer in your life as possible. Time spent in God’s presence finding joy in His Word is never wasted. Whether that’s 60 seconds or 60 minutes.

But if you’ve got babies keeping you up at night, toddlers climbing all over you, or teenagers who need chauffeured around town, forget about the hour-long Quiet Time formula. Forget about that One Year Bible reading plan. Forget big changes.

Start tiny.

The Joy of Small Beginnings

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

In 2011, a researcher at Stanford University discovered that if you want to change your life, you need to start with one tiny habit at a time.

The idea is that you create momentum to overcome resistance when you break down your desired habit into its smallest functional part, attach it to an established routine, and celebrate each small win. Tiny Habits

So, for example, if your goal is to floss your teeth, you would start tiny. Every night after you brush your teeth, floss one tooth. If you get to more, that’s great. If you only floss one tooth, that’s a win.

As you repeat this tiny habit day over day, the repetition will ingrain this new action into your routine, and before long you’ll be flossing ALL your teeth every night.

What does it look like to apply this human behavior research to our Quiet Time habits?

Here are some Quiet Time tiny habits you can try:

  • Instead of trying to read a chapter a day, aim to read one verse with your morning coffee.
  • Instead of promising to prayer journal every night, aim to write a one-sentence prayer in your journal when you put on your pjs.
  • Instead of committing to do an hour-long inductive Bible study each day, aim to observe one thing you learn about God in your daily text.

It’s a simple shift, really, but we’re more likely to gain spiritual momentum (and become more consistent) when we break down our desired Quiet Time goals into tiny spiritual habits and attach them to an already-established routine.

What Tiny Habits Look Like in Daily Life

In my own life, I started a new tiny spiritual habit that I affectionately call “Bible while Brushing.” It’s simple, really. Every morning while I brush my teeth, I read a Psalm. It’s amazing how consistent I’ve been with this practice for over a year, and I often find my mind wandering to those verses throughout my day.

Here are some other ways One Thing Alone women are transforming their Quiet Time with tiny habits:

 

You don’t have to be super-spiritual to transform your Quiet Time with Tiny Habits.

As Laura, Jaclyn, and Mechthild shared above, it just takes a little creativity and intentionality to turn your daily devotions into something you enjoy and look forward to each day.

Your Turn

Every woman can enjoy consistent Quiet Time. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Identify the spiritual habit you’d like to develop (like prayer, Bible study, worship, etc).
  2. Break it down into a tiny habit.
  3. Attach your tiny habit to a current routine you’re already doing every day.
  4. Celebrate your wins with friends! (Or tag me on Instagram @asheritah.)

So ask yourself: What’s one tiny habit you can add to your current routine? And start today. 

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Related posts:

The Ultimate Guide to Connect with God 

Praising God from A-Z (a Creative Worship Experience)

4 Keys to a Consistent Quiet Time

The One Mistake I Keep Making in My Daily Devotions