Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be consistent?
As I mentioned last week, I struggle with consistency from time to time. I find some things I can be very consistent about. My morning routine for example. Others, not so much. Since the pandemic started, I’ve been staying up later than normal. My sleep routine has been all over the place. I try to get up earlier so that I can get myself in bed earlier, but it just doesn’t happen consistently.
I will get myself in bed earlier once or twice a week, but it’s not enough to really make a difference.
Not being consistent impacts my overall sleep. I know that I’ll feel better if I just go to sleep a little earlier consistently every night. As a night owl, I resist it so much and suffer from being inconsistent.
10 minutes of daily exercise is better than 60 minutes once a week.
I’ve seen this struggle with being consistent show up in so other ways. One place that I see with a lot of my clients is with exercise. Often the intention is to do some sort of exercise daily or 4 or 5 times a week. However, what happens is frequently something different.
It goes something like this.
You intend to exercise daily, but life gets in the way & you don’t. Then you’re tempted to make up for this lack of exercise by doing extra on the weekend. This can mean virtually no exercise Monday – Friday & then several hours worth on the weekend. We often call these people weekend warriors.
While getting in a few hours of exercise on the weekend is still good for you and way better than nothing at all, having a shorter daily practice is even more valuable.
It’s the consistency that makes the biggest difference. Your body needs the consistency to make the changes that you seek. If you want more flexible hamstrings, then stretching the back of your legs by sitting in some sort of forward fold for a few minutes every day will loosen up your legs. If you stretch the back of your legs only once a week for 30 minutes, you’ll not only be sore but see less improvement..
Consistency helps you make changes in your life.
If one of those changes that you seek is to feel calmer throughout the day, then you might want to adopt a practice of meditation.
Consistency pays off here as well. A meditation practice of 2 minutes a day will show you results much faster than 60 minutes once a week.
Here, the consistency is in training your mind and body to react differently to the stimuli both inside and outside of yourself. By giving yourself that practice daily, you teach yourself to react differently and you’ll see the results much faster than if you only practice meditation once a week.
I could go on with examples, but I’m sure you get the point.
Being consistent for 10 minutes a day with a habit that you want to improve will always get you farther than doing something once a week for a lot longer.
Most of us have something in our lives that we would like to see changed.
But, change usually doesn’t happen over night. It takes doing something over and over again to achieve change. Whether you want looser hamstrings or calmer thoughts, you have to train your mind and body to change. You’ll get there much faster by doing less daily.
I know that is counter-intuitive for many people. However, I find it to be encouraging.
I often have a difficult time creating change in my life if it means adding in something that will take an hour or more to do. However, if I can make change by shifting just a few minutes of my day, then I’m much more likely to achieve that change.
Small shifts and consistency create great change.
Try it out. Let me know how consistency creates the changes that you want in your life.
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