Making lifestyle change takes a lot of effort. And it can get discouraging at times. Setbacks are common. Your original motivation becomes cloudy. Is all that effort really worth it?

But when you start to notice benefits in other areas, it may be easier to find the motivation to stick with the change you know is important. Sometimes those secondary benefits become even more motivating than the initial reasons you made the change.

Here are a few ripples that are easy to understand:

  • Janice lost 25 pounds this past year through eating healthier, and now feels so much more energy to be the mother she wants to be. And her children are happier as she is more engaged with more of the things they need.
  • Daniel quit smoking just days ago, but he’s already noticed he’s more confident in asking the girl he wants out on a date. He’s much less worried about how she will respond now that he doesn’t have the smell of tobacco on his clothes or breath. And he’s got a little extra money to spend as well!
  • Sandy decided she had been spending far too much energy trying to get her extended family to stop fighting and get along. Since she quit trying to fix things she’s been sleeping better, and her headaches have disappeared.
  • Trina had been nagging her husband to pray with her and go to church, but he always found some excuse. She changed her strategy and now never asks him to do so, but prays for him herself. He seems happier in general. And the intimacy in the bedroom is better as well.
  • John came to understand he had been using food and sex to cover some deep insecurities he inherited from his father. He got some help, and did some hard work in putting those issues in the past. He now finds himself angry less often, and his wife seems much more willing to be around him.

Yes, the Ripple Effect works in the negative direction as well. An addiction will take your money, your health, and your spiritual life. Hold a grudge, and your immune system or your sleep may suffer. Allow yourself to become overweight, and your self-image, your energy level, and perhaps even your marriage may be negatively affected.

Once you find your Big Enough Reason to make a positive change, don’t stop there. Notice all the benefits in other life areas. Enjoy them. Treasure them. Those secondary benefits may be the very thing that helps you get through the tougher times ahead.

Your turn: What change have you made – positive or negative? Were there any secondary effects of making that change? I’d love to hear from you in the comment below.

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