Do you remember learning the classic laws of thermodynamics, perhaps in seventh grade science class? The basic idea of the second law goes something like this: any system will seek equilibrium where the least amount of energy is expended.

Now I’m sure any of you physicist types will find glaring holes in my paraphrase of such foundational principles: my apologies to such greats as Newton and Kelvin. But the point applies to ALL systems. Left to itself everything becomes more disordered. Without putting energy from the outside into a system it is doomed to collapse.

YOU are that outside energy. Doing something on purpose makes the difference.

I don’t want my personal “system” to collapse! And I know it takes doing things on purpose to keep that from happening. So, for myself, here are some things I must do intentionally every day:

  1. Care for my physical body. You know the old standbys of good nutrition, physical exercise, adequate rest, attending to warning signs if they happen. This is something I can easily let slip when things get busy.
  2. Manage my finances. It’s easy to spend money almost without realizing it. Telling your money what to do takes being intentional about it. So does planning wisely (not out of fear) for the future.
  3. Connect with my husband. Marriages are under assault. A strong happy marriage takes conscious and constant care to stay connected and prevent anything from driving you apart. (See my post on Steps to a Happy Marriage.)
  4. Connect with other people. I’m an introvert by nature. So it takes “working at it” to develop and maintain relationships with extended family, friends, even business associates.
  5. Continue learning. This one is relatively easy for me because I love to read, study, and learn. But it still takes thought to make sure I’m learning and growing in the areas I most need and want to.
  6. Maintain a happy heart. Sometimes that means “stop and smell the roses.” Sometimes that means letting go of what I cannot change, especially other people. Sometimes that means choosing to feel bad for a short time, and then look on the positive side again.
  7. Connect with God. Like any other relationship, this one doesn’t just “happen.” I have to daily choose to listen for His voice, talk with Him, follow His direction, read His word.

Dreaming big things helps me realize how important the daily habits are. Henry Hartman reportedly said, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.” Without taking care of business daily, intentionally, I know I’ll be disappointed.

Your turn: What do you do daily, on purpose? How has that helped you be successful? Leave a comment below. 

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