I pride myself on consistency, but I’m not always super consistent. When I’m on, I’m consistent. When I’m not, less so.
I used to think that consistency was about developing a streak and holding onto it for as long as possible. That path can be treacherous because as soon as consistency is lost, I feel deflated.
I’ve found instead that it’s the ability to pick ourselves back up and turn it around that’s most important.
Consistency on what? You get to choose. Consistency on whatever you feel matters. Maybe it’s exercise, maybe it’s consistently being kind, or consistently doing whatever it is that you said you would.
For me it’s about consistency in practices that allow me to cultivate my best energy: sleep, meditation, exercise, and eating well. As I mentioned above, sometimes I’m on fire and doing each of these things well every day. But sometimes my consistency with one or more of these practices fall off. That leads to a downward spiral of energy and reduced optimism.
In the past when I had an off-day my high standard of how I wanted to do each of these things in a day would prevent me from doing any of them. Some days it felt like doing all of these things was impossible, so I didn’t do any of them. That orientation was unhelpful and could cause one missed day to lead to three.
But what if I could make it easy to win? When I’m having an off day and am not ready for an intense workout, what if I just...go for a walk? If I just go for a walk, I’ll have won. If I just meditate for one minute, that’s a win.
On my best days my workouts are more intense and my meditations longer, but showing up, even for a minute, means I did what I said was important. And typically showing up, even in the smallest way, and even if I don’t feel like it that day, allows me to crush it the next day.
What do you care to be consistent about? How can you make it easy to maintain that consistency? Let’s remember that perfect is the enemy of good.
When challenges arise, don’t skip on what you said is important. Do what it takes to build the momentum to get yourself back on track. A small win in one day can lead to big wins the next.
If I just...