One word, that is strongly shaping my life…
I have a good work ethic and I am productive when I want to be or when it is necessary to be. But I do have this innate ability to be… well, simply put… lazy. Anybody with me? The problem with laziness is that the more you divulge in it, the harder it is to set yourself free from it. So steering clear of it, is my best bet. Discipline does not come easily to me. I didn’t think I was necessarily missing out on anything, in regards to discipline, until I started observing my husband’s natural discipline. (I call it natural, he may refute that). I remember in the early days of our marriage, I was actually jealous of how easily he could wake up in the morning. Or how consistent he was with reading his bible study each day before the kids awoke. Whether he was focusing on a specific workout or reading a book, this guy made it all seem like a cake.
Earlier this month, I found myself juggling a lot of different balls that I had decided to tackle. I started a new workout routine, I decided that I was going to start getting up before the kids were up to do said workout, I am eating differently, I started selling items on eBay, oh yeah, and I started THIS BLOG! This is all new change in relation to just me… as an individual, that ultimately will affect the already awesome tasks of taking care of my children, my household and my husband.
Through the years, I have tried, sometimes succeeding and many times failing, at attempting to be more disciplined. Whether it was in my diet, the frequencies of my workouts, or daily routines, my typical pattern was a super strong start and a super sad, or lack thereof, finish. Which is interesting because we can all be fairly successful at things that we are passionate about and committed too, correct? So if something like my body image is so important to me, why is working out so hard?
My perspective has finally started to change. As I acknowledged these great goals I had set out for myself, the question remained, how is this going to be different? How am I going to break the old mold? The word that kept coming to mind was to focus on staying consistent.
By maintaining consistency, I will ultimately create a discipline which will move towards changing my lifestyle for the greater good. If I focus on the essence of staying consistent, it keeps my goals in perspective and in the moment vs. jumping ahead and getting overwhelmed by the fact that there is so much to do or so much progress to be made. I find, that the more consistent I am, the easier it is to balance it all. My productivity has gone through the roof. I’m not looking for an opportunity to be lazy, because I genuinely want to keep moving. It puts a level of confidence in my spirit because I am not sacrificing my values. And believe it or not, staying consistent actually gives me more room to be flexible when life ebbs and flows.
It is important to be clear and purposeful about consistency, otherwise we risk being in danger of getting overwhelmed and getting bored. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are trying to maintain a new level that you have yet accomplished. If tackled in the wrong manner, you can get burnt out and exhausted. You may feel like you don’t ever get a break… you can’t slow down… you have to stay moving forward, on top of things, and not let a ball drop from the many you are juggling. That will only lead to stress and is counter-productive to accomplishing your goal. Furthermore, if you are doing the same thing, every time, whether it’s day to day or week to week, that can get stale. Keep your motive in place, and your passion in your pocket so you don’t lose that spark. Switch things up if you need to. If your running 5 miles 4x a week, and your getting bored, hit the gym and take a class. Or find a workout routine at home. Do whatever you need in order to mix things up as long as the goal is still the target.
Read on about the 5 ways I am choosing to stay consistent in my life:
5 ways to stay consistent and meet your goals:
1. Know your motive: Recently in church, our pastor started a new series by asking the question of “what’s your motive behind why you do the things you do”? This is a smart question to get us thinking about what we truly value. If the answer is not in line with your goal and what you value, then it is clear there is room to make changes. If you don’t have the right motive, you won’t be successful at accomplishing your goal.
2. Know your boundaries: It is important that when you are trying to be consistent with these goals that you value so much, you don’t let other influences creep in and become too much of a distraction. All that means is, if you need your Sunday evening to grocery shop and plan for the week ahead, refrain from making plans. Keep boundaries around that time being important to your success. That does not mean you can’t ever go out on a Sunday night! When you are being consistent, you have room to be flexible. If an event comes up that conflicts with the time you value, evaluate first – before committing – and reschedule where you can accommodate those tasks so that you don’t have to sacrifice what’s important.
3. Create a Plan with an objective: Write your goals down individually and your plan on how you visualize getting there. Get organized and then get to work! No more talking about it, thinking about, or not thinking about it. Get excited by writing it out. Being able to visualize gives you a boost, that even if you can’t see it right now… you see the path of how to get there. Set little goals for yourself along the way if you need for some extra motivation.
4. Stay a step ahead: It’s hard to be successful when you feel like your flying by the seat of your pants! Take 10-20 minutes to sit down and look at the week ahead. What are you trying to accomplish? The night before, take 5 minutes to review what is coming the next day so you are focused on what you plan to achieve. If there is prep work, tackle it – there is nothing like being prepared. On top of being ready to go, you will feel like a million bucks just for taking care of it.
5. Set yourself up for success: We all need things in order to help push us through the process. What drives you to be successful? Maybe it’s getting to bed by 10pm, or having the gym bag already packed and ready to go. Put action items in place to help give you that extra push. Do you need a checklist or a calendar? A friend to help support you and keep you accountable? What about a cash system for your finances to help keep you on budget and save for that special trip?
We all have desires. Creating a goal is the beginning of turning a desire into something tangible. Staying consistent with that goal is the beginning of a future discipline.
What about you? Do you have a goal that needs tackling? What are you motivated to change?