This morning, I took a long walk and recorded a voice memo of my progress achieved in 2016. Prior to making the recording, I usually listen to a previous memo from an earlier month. Since this is the final month of the year, I took some additional time to reflect on the common themes of the year.
I realized this morning is that my biggest struggle of the year is staying consistent.
What's missing is the consistency that creates sustainable results.
//After a bit of reflection, I identified the root cause of all of my woes. I'm inconsistent because I'm only in it for the outcome. //
Once I have that outcome, I totally neglect the actions that got me there. Those daily actions are no longer important because I have what I wanted. I don't value the daily routines that produce my end goal. I'm willing to do them daily, but only for a temporary basis then I quickly toss them to the side when I feel they are no longer needed. They are a means to an end and nothing more.
This thought process is intensely flawed on so many levels.
First off, this way of thinking is extremely wasteful. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent in a gym sweating and pushing my body to its limits. None of that matters if I don't currently get to enjoy the body I desire because I decided to stop working out months ago once I saw ab muscles forming. All of that effort is meaningless because I have nothing to show for it. But, if I were to remain consistent, it would be a completely different story.
Secondly, it takes way more effort to start something than to maintain it. Every time I give up a habit and suffer the consequences, I have to start the entire process again from scratch. I have to overcome resistance and deal with that internal struggle all over again. It's exhausting.
Third, the results I experience are shallow. If we stop taking action once we start seeing results, we're robbing ourselves of potential that will never be actualized. We're only scratching the surface of what we're capable of experiencing. But if we keep going, who knows that types of results we can achieve.
Here's what I'll do. First I'll identify the processes directly related to the outcomes that I want to experience. Then I have to shift my thinking regarding each of these activities. For example, I usually set a goal to achieve a certain body weight. That's when I kick up my level of exercise to reach that number. We all know what happens after I get to that weight.....
This time, I'm doing things differently. Instead of trying to get to a certain weight, my goal will be to go to the gym or incorporate some type of activity a certain number of times a week. If I maintain that consistency, I'll automatically reach my desired weight as a by-product. The true goal is to work out consistently. My goal weight can not exist without it. That goes for every other intention I have. For every goal, there is a supporting habit that allows it to manifest. Supporting habits are the key. If I view them as an optional activity, I will continue to lose.
For anyone who struggles to maintain consistency in your daily habits, one way to change the situation is to alter how you view it. Learn to love the process and the daily actions that make that outcome a reality. If you don't love the process, dig deep to understand why, and focus on all the good things you'll get to experience because of your consistency. I love a clean, organized house, but I don't like to spend much time decluttering. But knowing that by organizing on a daily basis, I will live in an ideal environment is motivation enough to fuel consistent action.
Daily action isn't an obstacle on the path to your goal, it is the way.
That's the mindset I'm taking in 2017 and I'm pretty excited about it. It's time to do things differently. And if this works out, I'm positive that my 2017 results will exceed expectations.
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