Today's post is about the proverbial starts and stops in our lives. You know what I mean...it's the "I'm going to start doing XYZ", only to stop in 3 days, but get inspired to pick it up 4 days later lol. I think the reasons that we struggle with being consistent because our approach is off. I had a teacher back in elementary school that asked me "how do you eat an elephant?". I thought it was a crazy question because there is NO WAY to eat an elephant I thought. The answer is "one bite at a time!" The phrase has always stuck with me and it lends itself to my own phrase of similar intent. That is, you can't drink from a dam (waterfall or fire hydrant) through a straw without getting wet. Both phrases imply that big situations should be tackled in small pieces. So with that said, let's begin with today's thought.
3 changes that could help you become more consistent. Here we go:
Establish a routine - One of the key factors affecting our ability to be consistent in our approach. We don't have a process for completing tasks or activities. To remedy this, try creating a routine around the tasks you aim to become consistent in. For example, you want to consistently exercise and focus on a fitness routine. You're motivated some times, other times you can't get to it, or you run out of time and put it off until later. However, if you write on your calendar and plan to work out every day at 8 AM, you can focus your morning activities around that 8 AM workout. Now that you have a plan, you can begin working towards the newly established routine. Your morning routine begins at 7:30, wake up, get dressed, workout. At first, you might not be able to do this every day, maybe it's every other day. But eventually, this becomes part of your morning activity. Consistency by definition is doing something over and over again. Routines help us create consistency by defining times, dates, and processes to perform an activity.
Small manageable pieces - I'm huge on women's empowerment and believing we can have it all. But I think that phrase is misleading. We definitely CAN have it all. Just not all at once. Another reason we struggle with consistency is because of time management. Because we don't always plan for what we need (or want to do), don't establish a routine, and we easily run out of time. The things that we need to accomplish, or want to accomplish, easily slip our minds and are forgotten until the last minute, when we have become pressed for time. Once we establish a routine and write something down on our schedules, it's easier to make provision for it. We know what we have to do and we know how much time we have to do it. Let's consider the 8 AM workout routine scenario. What does it consist of? Is it a 30min cardio, 15min weights, and 15mins cool-down? Or is it an hour jog in the neighborhood? What is next on your schedule? 9:30 AM Zoom call? Awesome. You should probably rethink that hour jog, you might be a bit late to your Zoom call. What if you decided that your
schedule is blocked every morning, at 8 AM for an hour for exercise. Mondays, you do 45 minutes because of your schedule, and you want to make sure you have time to transition your day (shower, get dressed, grab a coffee, and jump on a Zoom). Tuesdays allow you to do more with the time allotted. Adjust your workout as needed based on how much time is left in your hour. The point is, you don't HAVE to do a full hour every day. Consistency isn't about doing EVERYTHING every day. Instead, consistency is about doing something, often.
3. Don't Stress Out - Did you hear me? I said DON'T STRESS OUT!! You are building a routine to become consistent. If you have never done this before, you are probably going to stumble a few times. That's okay. consistency is not about perfection. It's about repeating, learning, and getting better as you go. The last reason I think we aren't as consistent as we would like to be is that we get so frustrated at not being perfect. Our lives are full of so many things. This year didn't make things any easier. I feel like I say this a lot lately, but be gentle with yourself. So much of your existence has probably changed over the last several months, this is why small manageable adjustments is an easier transition. There is no need to stress out when you miss an opportunity, forget your morning schedule, or even decided to sleep in. As you become more familiar with your new routine, it will be easier to honor it.
If creating routines is something that is new for you, don't stress it. Ease into it. Consistency is about getting better over time by learning and doing. Write down what you want to do, plan for it by putting it on your schedule, and do it as often as you need to. Don't try to over do it. Only tackle what you made time for. More importantly, I'll say it again...don't stress. Don't beat yourself up because you missed a day, didn't get something done, or forgot something. I'll say this one more time...consistency is about the routine. About getting better, about learning and making progress.
We're all getting better together. Girl, you got this!!
These are absolutely my thoughts...