Last year around this time, I decided I needed to make a better commitment to reading the Bible every day. I would read through a plan in the Bible app, but would often take 14 days (or more!) to get through a 7-day plan because I wasn’t consistent. Short plans weren’t enough to build a habit, so I wanted to go bigger. How about the Bible in a year? Well, that’s pretty big. Maybe slightly smaller, just the Old Testament.
The Bible app has a plan by The Bible Project called Old Testament in a Year and I asked my husband if he would be willing to join me – with the app plans, you can track along together and see if the other person has done their reading, plus each day there’s a spot to add comments and thoughts about what you read. He agreed and we started reading. I also added a daily reminder to my to-do list because I’m a list person.
The Bible Project created videos about each book of the Bible and they became a highlight for me – they explain the context of each book, their layouts and what to watch for while you are reading. My husband and I tracked together for a year, sharing our thoughts on different passages and I didn’t miss a day because I wanted to stay on track with him. Now, we are a week into the New Testament in a Year and daily Bible reading has become a habit.
I’ve also subscribed to a workout program and have a group I track along with, sometimes on a specific program and sometimes different ones. But when we’re tracking together on the same program, I’m much less likely to skip a day and make excuses. We follow each other on Apple Watch workouts and have a Facebook group that we post in daily when we’ve done a workout, or even when we’re taking a day off. We cheer each other on and remind each other how far we’ve come.
What is it about accountability that makes us push past the excuses? I’m not going to upset or lose my husband or friends if I miss a day, it’s not fear or embarrassment driving me. I think just knowing “we’re in this together” and that they’re going to make it happen makes me want to do it too. Because it’s something I want to do, but when it’s just me, it’s so much easier to talk myself out of it.
The Bible is full of verses about this:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
So what habit or goal do you want to work toward? Can you find someone to track along with you? Maybe it’s just someone checking in with you, but even better if they’re chasing their own goals too. The internet is full of groups for every kind of goal. Accountability has made a huge difference for me, maybe it will for you too.
Crystal is LIFE 100.3’s Promotions Manager & head of the Fun & Games Department.