"Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.”
- Aldous Huxley
I know what you could be thinking; you see someone running on a beautiful day outside. It's not too hot and not too cold. You may think 'I understand why they chose today to run; the weather is perfect for it!' And then you think you ought to start running...some day.
A few months pass and the weather gets colder. The leaves are starting to change, and you are bundled up in your fall coat. Then, you recognize someone. It is the same runner you saw on that perfect summer day. You wonder to yourself 'Have they really been running consistently over the past few months? How do they do that?'
The truth is, no matter how much you love to run, it won't always be easy to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement. The same is true for just about everything in life.
Passion and the desire to improve are not enough to keep up consistent practice. You must be disciplined.
You may love the idea of doing something everyday. It's what the pros do, it's what every successful person does. So why then is it so difficult to stay consistent?
As Aldous Huxley mentioned, it is very hard for humans to stay consistent about anything. Although this helps us evolve into better versions of ourselves, it could also make us adopt lazier habits.
A good example of this is relationships. In the beginning, everyone goes through the so-called "honeymoon phase" when both people are entirely infatuated with one another. They become inseparable and nothing can get in the way of their love.
And just like that, it fades. Life gets in the way. You start disagreeing on certain things. You start bickering over their little quirks that you used to find cute, but now annoy you. This could ultimately cause relationships to fail.
However, like anything in life, you need to evaluate whether or not this is something you want to keep investing your time in.
In this sense, a long-lasting relationship is a good example of consistently showing up for your partner, being supportive and loving, and making a conscious effort to keep the spark alive.
Although you are ultimately the one who decides what is worthwhile.
So maybe it is comforting to know that your direction in life is in your hands. You choose what to be consistent about, and maybe that is what is holding you back.
Think about the reason why you are doing something; is it for your own benefit or is it because you feel it is something you SHOULD be doing? If the answer is the latter, ask yourself why you feel you should be doing this, even if you don't want to.
Chances are we are going to be more consistent if we like doing something. At the same time, we must understand WHY we are doing it.
If you exercise, you may be doing it for your own health and to be there for your family and kids. You may find it more tempting to sit on the couch and eat chips and candy (and that is okay once in a while), but you must keep in mind why you want to stay healthy.
If you want to be consistent about anything, start with defining your WHY.
The motivation behind doing something often drives us forward and allows us to accomplish that and more. When I complete a small workout of 10 minutes, I often feel motivated to do more. The best way to really stay consistent is to sometimes tune out that voice in your head that says 'You should watch Netflix tonight...and for the rest of the week' and instead focus on how your habits today could benefit your future self.
So what is holding you back from being consistent? Often times, it is ourselves.
In the end, we are often holding ourselves back from practicing anything consistently. Whether it is exercising, journaling, or just taking time for yourself, you need to make time for it. Most of all, in order to stick with it, you need to understand why you wanted to practice this in the first place.
So enjoy that slice of cake, watch some Netflix and sleep in! You are allowed to indulge and be kind to yourself. However, if you want to stay consistent about your goals, you sometimes just need to get moving and know that what you are doing is best for you.