Do you binge watch and munch a box of brownies all evening because you missed your run for the day? Do you stop writing entirely because you didn't write your blog or morning pages for one week? If yes, you are not alone.
Consistency is hard for a human being but consistency also makes a human being feel better and do better. There are two interesting lens to look at consistency.
Consistency is contrary to nature. Our life is both chaotic and charismatic. It is not a linear line.
I soothe myself with brilliant quotes when I suck badly.
Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.
― Aldous Huxley, Do What You Will: Twelve Essays
Our human biology rejects pleasureless, painful and energy intensive pursuits. No wonder we suck at being consistent because consistency demands energy and there are no instant rewards for putting in the effort. The late gratification is hard for the biology to capitalize.
Consistency shapes human beings. Consistency brings order to our chaotic lives and streamlines our energy in a focused direction.
Consistency is what increases your capacity.
It's not about just doing it.
Its about how regular you do it.
Practise creates discipline
― Janna Cachola
I don't have to search for external proof. I am the proof. The only consistent thing about my adult life is inconsistency. I chased consistency all along and I know what it tastes like.
Things I practice consistently makes me better. I know it in my bones.
Here is a simple example
While both lens are valid for different contexts, I can vouch for the betterment aspect.
Here are my 5 tips to stay consistent with anything you pick based on my lessons learnt the hard way.
- Add a little flexibility to your consistency. Rigidity causes pain. I have a set of thumbrules which makes my consistency flexible. Few examples here:
Do not skip two days in a row.
Do it at minimum. If not 300 words atleast 50 words, If not 30 mins atleast 10 mins etc.
- Extremes are painful. All or nothing is sickness. Try and strike a balance when life happens and unexpected events derail your plans.
For example, I use to publish everyday at 9 am sharp. With Covid a lot of things went topsy-turvy and I relaxed my rule to write and publish within 24 hours.
If things are tight in the weekday, then I will work on it in the weekend.
If one week is crappy, I will compensate the next week.
Some form of balance to be planned as a contingency so that swinging in the extremes are avoided.
- Avoid consistency burnout. There cannot be 10 consistent things (when the habit is still forming) you want to do in a day. Keep it to one and allow the habit to form over a period of 100 days. Till then relax the must do rule for the other 9. Treat it as a brownie point when you get to do more.
- Make a schedule in your calendar. Add a ritual and a routine to it. Time blocking is the best way to get things done in a consistent manner.
- Take up challenges and have an accountability buddies. This helps you have some motivation to keep going. Maker's Guild has been a pillar of support in keeping up my consistency.
It is ok if things don't go as planned. Focus on showing up and doing as much as you can. Don't beat yourself up and abuse your body for missing a day or a week. In a grand 30000+ life days, a week is nothing. Keep going.
🥂 to consistency!