That one thing, my friends, is a little thing I like to call consistency. What I mean by the art of consistency is the ability to continuously execute until desirable results are achieved and beyond. Basically, it's about not stopping before you experience results or even right after the firstfruits of results are starting to appear. Consistency becomes real when we persist even after we've achieved what we desired.
I have struggled to remain consistent in many areas of my life. So many times I get excited about creating a new habit and work fervously to see results. Once the results are there, I get complacent and soon my progress begins to wain. A former co-worker was once telling me about his brother who suffered from several mental disorders. He went on to describe the struggles of his brother who dealt with the fear that his own family wanted to kill him. During this conversation, my co-worker said something that really impacted me. He mentioned that his brother would often stop taking his much needed medicine because he would start to feel normal. Because he was no longer experiencing the paranoid thoughts, he'd get complacent and would fail to take the medicine that gave him those results. Soon after he adjusted his dosage, regression came quickly and he was back to his unusual ways.
My response to my co-worker's comment was that we are all like his brother. We decide to join a gym or start and exercise program and work diligently until we see results. Once we're comfortable with were we are, we decide we no longer need to maintain the routine that got us there. Before we know it, the pounds begin to slowly creep back and we find ourselves right back to where we first began. Lately I've been very aware of my lack of consistency in several areas of my life. Too often I allow the madness of the day to pull me away from the routines that I say are so important to me. Then the results I try to avoid soon resurface and I'm back to working overtime trying to change things again.
I'm through with this never ending cycle. I've decided that consistently enjoying the results is much more important to me than the struggle to get there. I think I've had it backwards the whole time. Before it was all about beginning a challenge and planning out what it would take to get there. There was a certain excitement that came with trying to achieve a goal that really empowered me. After a few weeks or so of doing the same thing over again, the whole idea of maintaining my newfound commitment(s) became less sexy and soon I found myself backsliding.
I get it now! I've bought into the quote that says "certain things must be so other things can be." If I want perfectly clear skin, then there are certain things that I must do! If I want a toned, fit body, there are certain things I must do. If I want long, flowing, healthy hair, certain things must be! Today I give up my resistance to consistently doing what must be done in order to achieve the results I desire. Today I am present to the fact that results don't magically appear out of the sky. Results are what I experience because of what I do (or fail to do) on a consistent basis.
Ok. So now that I've made that clear, I've got to figure out how to make it real. I'll brainstorm some strategies in my next post. How many of you started a new habit and made it stick? I'd love to hear more about it. Leave a comment.