As I write this heading I take a moment to reflect upon how little consistency there is in my life at the moment. In all honesty its always these moments when things are completely opposite that we realise how beneficial they may be, well it is for me anyway.
Consistency, how powerful is it really???
Many of the high achievers of the world thrive on routine and consistent behaviour, take Steve Jobs for example…always wore the same clothes. Professional athletes have a set work-out routine day in day out.
The question posed here is, what about routine works? In diving deeper into this question there is a great level of top article, blogs and podcasts of which all share the same view…Consistency is Truly Powerful. Check out the links below for more inspiration on consistnency
We could talk about what all the others have to say, thought I’d share 4 examples in which I’ve noticed Consistency can Empower us…
1- Making your bed, this sounds so silly I know…when we make our bed each morning we have straight away achieved something. Yes something so small and simple yet when completed there is a sense of pleasure that we have done something already. Therefore reminding us that we are capable of achieving things and sets a positive tone for our day.
2 – Eating the same Breakfast or lunch each day. Understand this may sound boring and you may feel like you want the freedom of choice, yeah sure go for it. For me this has been a game changer, though something I didn’t realise until I didn’t have my lunch one day. To me not having lunch or breakfast planned and ready when I get up causes a good deal of mental turmoil. No lunch or breakfast means that I spend all morning thinking about what I may get to eat, where it may come from and what the hec do I actually want!! This also removes a decision I have to make within the day. Author, venture capitalist, investor and podcaster Tim Ferris once shared, “we only have a number of decisions in the day, when they are used up…thats it”. Since hearing that I’ve worked on limiting the number of simple decision each day, like lunch and breakfast.
3 – Daily movement, AKA Yoga :). Well actually I would say any kind of movement is great. My life has been full of activity, always playing sports, surfing, exercising and moving in some way each day. Whilst this has helped me keep fit and physically healthy its been the mental health that has benefited the most. As our lives get busier and we get caught up doing what we feel is urgent and important, we tend to put ourselves last way to often. We skip our walk, yoga or gym session and get on with other things. When we first started the studio life took a massive turn and all of a sudden there were other things to work on, I got so tied up doing everything for the studio and trying to keep my head above water that I skipped my own practice. My stress levels rose, felt a degree of worry and concern and at times just felt like hiding from the world. I kept making excuses for skipping practice, I only have 10mins, I need to be here and 30mins and there is no time, I’m tired of guiding myself and being my own motivation….the list goes on though I feel you get the picture. Feeling frustrated I decided to change, strange how there is always a level of pain before we decide to change. I committed to a basic personal practice everyday. I would do exactly the same practice and it would take 5-10mins, only changing how long I held each pose for. That was it 5-10mins of Yoga, I recently had a student ask me “how long do you practice for each day?” my response “10-15mins”. You see 10mins of practice a day, in anything, is better than 1hr a week. To me this was a massive shift. Yes at times this meant I was late to commitments, felt awkward about where I would practice or if anyone seen me (hows the ego there haha). That 5-10mins brought me so much more. It awoke my body each day and I was able to check in with how I was feeling physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
4 – Communication or regular check ins with friends and family. This is an interesting one for many of us, especially those of us that are introverted. More often then not when I’m run down and feeling snowed under I become a recluse, I hide in my own little bubble. When this happens loved ones seem to get frustrated with me and stress about whats going on. Come time to really share whats happening it all seems like such a surprise to others, or a big deal that needs to be sorted and at time a sense of disappointment that this wasn’t shared earlier. Understanding this better I’ve since made an effort to check in regularly. To call when I get five, to take time to talk about the day or week when near and present. A key is to also share concerns views, grievances and things that may be on my mind. To me this has brought a greater level of support and encouragement from my friends and family without the frustrations. At times these conversations have brought to light potential solutions to my issues or even just a different perspective that helps me appreciate things better. Over all its also brought our relationship much closer and of greater value.
Even though there are many ways we can look at consistency and how beneficial it may be, its good to check in with some of the basics. Often we complicate things to much when it can be as simple as making your bed each day, checking in with loved ones or a 10min movement routine. Try it, set a goal to move for 10mins every day or to call a friend a day and notice the positive effect it has on your life.