Do It for a Day: How to Make or Break Any Habit in 30 Days

Do It for a Day: How to Make or Break Any Habit in 30 Days

by Mark Batterson
Do It for a Day: How to Make or Break Any Habit in 30 Days

Do It for a Day: How to Make or Break Any Habit in 30 Days

by Mark Batterson


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The New York Times bestselling author of Win the Day challenges you to adopt seven powerful habits for thirty days and start your journey toward reaching your God-sized dreams.

Destiny is not a mystery. Destiny is daily habits. Our lives are built on our patterns of behavior: both constructive and counterproductive habits. Whether we attain the things we desire—mental and physical health, financial freedom, fulfilling relationships—is determined by the things we do and the things we don’t. The good news? You’re one habit away from a totally different life!
You don’t have to tackle the next 30 years.
You just have to start with right now.
In Do It for a Day, you’ll begin by identifying a change that is “3M”: measurable, meaningful, and maintainable. Habit formation is both an art and a science, and it helps to close the gap between you and your goals. You can do anything for a day, and those daily habits have a domino effect over time. Mark Batterson will help you hack your habits. Leveraging habit-making and habit-breaking techniques like habit switching and habit stacking, Mark will coach you step by step for 30 days that will change your life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593192849
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/02/2021
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 503,598
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. He holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Play the Man, Chase the Lion, Whisper, Double Blessing, and, most recently, Win the Day. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.

Read an Excerpt

Day 1

Wade into the Water

The Sea saw him and fled.

 —Psalm 114:3


There is a legend in Judaism about a man named Nahshon. He gets only one begat in the Bible. Of course, that’s one more than you and me! Nahshon disappears almost as soon as he makes his genealogical debut, but the Talmud credits him with saving the nation of Israel by one act of courage.

When the Israelites were trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea, no one knew what to do. It seemed like a no-win situation. That’s when God issued a command: “Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” The problem with that was this­—the Red Sea was staring them in the face! None of the tribes wanted to go first, and who can blame them? It felt like a death wish. While the Israelites argued, the leader of the tribe of Judah stepped up and stepped into the Red Sea.

According to rabbinic tradition, Nahshon wades into the water like Aquaman. All right, I may be taking a little liberty by adding Aquaman to the equation, but that’s how I envision this epic moment. Nahshon wades into the Red Sea until he’s neck-deep, right up to his nostrils. That’s when and where and how the Red Sea split in half. It was God who made a sidewalk through the sea, but it was Nahshon who made the miracle possible. How? By wading into the water! In the words of the psalmist, “The Sea saw him and fled.”

There’s an old axiom: If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat. That is absolutely true, but here’s one more for good measure: if you want God to make a sidewalk through the sea, you’ve got to get your feet wet. Most of us spend the majority of our lives waiting for God to split the Red Sea. Maybe, just maybe, God is waiting for you to wade into the water. What I know for sure is this: if you want God to do the super, you’ve got to do the natural.

You have to make a defining decision. 

You have to take a calculated risk.

You have to make a selfless sacrifice.

You have to take a flying leap of faith.

That’s all it takes for God to make a sidewalk through the sea, but you’ve got to get your feet wet. And the first step is always the hardest step. Why? You have to overcome the law of inertia by exercising initiative. You have to overcome fear by exercising faith. If you aren’t ready to take that step of faith on day 1, keep reading. God will give you the wisdom, the courage, and the faith you need by day 30!

“There are decades where nothing happens,” Vladimir Lenin is purported to have said, “and there are weeks when decades happen.” Let me up the ante: there are days when decades happen! This is one of those days, if you want it to be. You are one habit away from a totally different life! The next thirty days can set the table for the next thirty years. This is the first day of the rest of your life. If you believe that, mark the moment by jotting down the date in the margin.

This book is your rite of passage to a new chapter, a new normal, a new you. But you have to wade into the water, right up to your nostrils. Faith is being sure of what you hope for­—a clearly defined goal. But faith is more than imagining unborn tomorrows. It’s taking initiative today. Faith is taking the first step before God reveals the second step.

What is your next step?

What are you waiting for? 

Let me eliminate a few excuses up front.

One, I’m not qualified.

Welcome to the club! God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called. God wants to use your strong hand. He’s the one who gave you those gifts! But God also wants to use your weak hand. Why? That’s where His power is made perfect.4 Your weakness is God’s opportunity to put His glory on display. How? By doing things you can’t take credit for.

Two, I’m not ready.

Guess what? You never will be. I wasn’t ready to get married. Lora and I weren’t ready to have kids. I wasn’t ready to start a church. We weren’t ready to open a coffeehouse on Capitol Hill or the DC Dream Center. And we weren’t ready to buy and build out a city block called the Capital Turnaround. If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting until the day you die! Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. If God gives you a green light, it’s not ready, set, go. Faith flips the script­—go, set, ready!

Three, I’m waiting for the right opportunity.

Aren’t we all? I know people who say they’ll give more if they make more, but I’m not buying what they’re selling. If you aren’t generous with a little, you won’t be generous with a lot. Generosity starts right here, right now! I know people who say they’ll serve more when they have more time. You don’t find time; you have to make time! I know people who say they’ll step up when the big opportunity presents itself. Not if you aren’t seizing the little opportunities that are all around you all the time! Quit trying to win the lottery, and start winning the day.

Forty years after wading into the waters of the Red Sea, the Israelites find themselves obstructed by a similar obstacle. It’s a divine déjà vu. All that separates them from the Promised Land is the Jordan River. It’s almost like God tips the cap to Nahshon by giving the priests who carry the ark of the covenant a curious command:

When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river.

This is where so many of us get stuck. We stand on the shoreline, waiting for God to part the water. Then we wonder why nothing is happening. All the while, God is waiting for us to wade into the water. There is a sacred sequence encoded in this ancient algorithm. If you want God to make a sidewalk through the sea, you’ve got to get your feet wet.

We all want a miracle. Of course, none of us wants to be in a situation that necessitates one. Guess what? You can’t have one without the other. What we perceive to be an impossibility presents a unique opportunity. That is when we exercise our faith. How? By taking the first step! 

How do I make it a habit?

Baby steps. 

Those are the words of Dr. Leo Marvin. Yes, he’s the fictional psychiatrist in a very funny film, What About Bob? That doesn’t make it any less true. Just a little more fun! When it comes to making and breaking habits, it helps to have a few laughs along the way. Why? Because you’ll take a few falls and experience a few fails. You have to laugh it off, get back up, and try again. Or in some instances, try different.

We often get stuck trying to figure out steps two, three, and four. Yes, failing to plan is planning to fail. But habit formation always begins with one small step. You can’t steal second base if you keep your foot on first.

I believe in setting God-sized goals­—go big or go home! But when it comes to forming habits, small wins is the name of the game. Trying to jump-start your goals by getting a jump on the day? Set a goal of seeing the sunrise seven days in a row. Want to write a book? Take a page out of Tim Ferriss’s book, and write “two crappy pages a day.”

What river are you trying to cross?

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