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  • Consistency

    Consistency can be elusive. 

    It requires consistent effort. We develop it when we overcome the human tendency to expend less effort. We actually secretly hope that our success didn’t come from hard work. 

    It’s not logical. We want things to be easy. 

    I see this often in hockey. A kid backchecks hard to catch a player with the puck. They catch them and then stop. A team works hard to tie a game and then relaxes. Boom. Then the other team makes a run or goes back up.

    Why? Maybe it’s a belief that the work is done. Exhaustion. Relief. Hope that the other team will give up. It could be all of those things. 

    Consistency is actually a simple concept. But don’t confuse simple with easy. Don’t confuse consistency with perfection, either.  

    We love it. Things are predictable. We get results. 

    It takes determination. We think it requires big Dial changes. That’s my attempt at a clean joke.

    We try to raise the bar and get pumped up. We take on too much and try to be consistent at everything. When we fail, we think we’re not consistent. But here’s the irony — consistently acting and talking that way holds us back. 

    Many of us are consistent, it just doesn’t occur to us because it doesn’t seem important.  Every one of us has the ability. 

    Here is what has worked for me:

    Track obstacles like your environment, thinking, commitment and fears. With each one, tease out another adjustment. Viewing that feedback as an excuse is another way of saying you can’t be consistent. Finding consistency is more than willpower.

    More than two years ago, I started meditating daily. I knew I needed better self-care. My plan was to look for areas in my life where I was consistent, and look for clues.

    I set aside time to do it. It started with just five minutes, and it worked. But then something would come up. I would miss that time, so I added streak charts and set reminders. Then, I started noticing positive changes in my daily life, and I seemed to struggle when I missed that time. I moved from “should” do it, to “want” to do it, to “need” to do it. 

    Some of the material I talked about today comes from a book called Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

    It’s both simple and complex — just like establishing Mental Fitness Fridays. 

    I love doing these and want some help. Please email me at [email protected] Tell me what you like, what you don’t, and what you want to know more about. I would love to answer and reach out.

    Let’s change the conversation. Talk and learn about mental fitness.