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Consistency

A thought occurred to me as I was doing my daily ‘zombie’ routine early this morning. It takes me a while to fully wake up and be able to function beyond the set routine of a given morning, but today, it triggered a thought as my brain slowly moved into actual wakefulness.

It had to do with routines. And how hard it can be to get into them, and yet so easy to get out of them. Especially if said routine requires effort. Most the routines that we engage in are done for benefit. You brush your teeth so they stay healthy, you clean your house so that is a pleasant and safe environment in which to live, the usual, day-to-day sort of things.

It is often with other routines that we seem to encounter trouble. Diets, exercise, New Year Resolutions of any flavor. So, I was puzzling over this and realized, it really, REALLY is about consistency. Once you get past the initial hurdle of starting something, the key part is whether or not you stick to it.

They say it takes two weeks to create a habit, and about 2-3 days to break it. And it is not surprising. It is so easy to fall into the art of procrastination and from there, lose the drive that got you started all together.

When you are in the habit of doing something, it is built into your routine, your schedule, and your time in general. You account for that, and do it, because it is an established pattern. When you allow that pattern to break and degrade, is when you see so many people break those routines that they had previously seemed so committed to. (Back to diets, exercise, and New Year Resolutions.) Because once you establish a pattern of doing something else (or nothing at all) instead, and that takes less effort, it is hard to re-establish the pattern that takes more effort. Most creatures are inclined to take the path of least resistance and humans are no different.

So, this means consistency really is key. The better you stick to the routine that allows you to exercise (or train), stick to your diet, or follow your resolution, the better chance it has of succeeding. Things like ‘breaks’ from these are very hard to come back from. It is not impossible, but it is difficult.

My task today is to find the habits I need to be more consistent about in order to achieve my goals and ambitions. What habits do you have a hard time staying consistent about?