This post is by Tami Rodriguez.
I finished the whole Bible in a year in 2021! I can’t believe I did it!! I’ve started a million times before but I always dropped off somewhere mid Old Testament and never picked it back up. I wasn’t really determined to make last year different, sad as that is to say. But when I got to the end of the year and could show my family what I did, I was SO excited and also reflective. What made this year different? Why did it not feel so hard this time? And what next??
The biggest difference for me in 2021 was habit stacking. If you don’t know what habit stacking is, a quick Google search will have you reading for days. The easiest and quickest explanation is putting a new habit WITH an old one.
I have found this to be helpful in so many areas of my life. For example, not only did I “read” my Bible everyday this year, I also wiped down my bathrooms everyday this year (give or take a few here and there). I know!! Who am I?? This happened because my habit is to brush my teeth right away when I wake up. Since I never skip brushing my teeth I started putting on my headphones and listening to my daily Bible reading as I did. It’s so ingrained now it feels weird if it’s silent when I brush my teeth. Because the reading wasn’t done when I finished brushing, I would go ahead and wipe down my bathroom real quick…and because it usually still wasn’t done (reading would be maybe 10-15 minutes give or take) I would quickly run downstairs and wipe my other bathroom down too!
I didn’t habit stack intentionally. It was only after I read about habit stacking that I realized why this was working so well. I obviously brush my teeth even on vacation or the weekends so it was easy to stay consistent.
The other thing that really helped was the program I chose. In 2021 I decided to do The Bible Recap on the Youversion app. Not only can you choose any translation to read/listen to, this particular plan has The Bible Project videos introducing each new book of the Bible as you begin it and giving you some explanation. On top of that there is a corresponding podcast everyday. Yup. Everyday. It gives some background, cultural context and sometimes just some interesting thoughts. It also encourages you to contemplate what you read and pick a “God Shot”, something that really spoke to you or got you thinking. This combo was amazing for me!!
This year I decided to choose a different plan, one that will walk me through the Old and New Testament at the same time. I also decided I want to go deeper so I will be taking my God Time to study the New Testament passage. I will listen first but then actually sit down and read it and take that time to study and think it through. I’m really looking forward to lingering longer this year and seeing what God has in store for our time together.
As we start off this new year, what habits can you stack? What goals have you struggled with that you could couple with an everyday task? Give it a try. Like me, you may really surprise yourself with how easily it can be.
Tami Rodriguez has been married to her high school sweetheart for 28 years and has 5 children plus a lovely daughter in law! She has homeschooled for 17 years and still has 6 more to go...send coffee! Tami is a lifelong learner who loves to study God’s Word and to teach on it whenever given the opportunity. You will find her living a simple life as “just a mom who likes to write” and sometimes over on instagram @rodfamily007.
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