Consistency is Key – How To Achieve Your Goals and Stick To Them
November 6, 2018
With a new season, month, or week often comes new goals and aspirations for which we are longing. Whatever new habit you are trying to implement, whether it be waking up earlier, including more vegetables in your diet, journaling, or meditating a few minutes each day. History has proved the same fundamental truth: Consistency is key.
In this context, consistency is our ability to apply a certain behavior over time until it becomes a part of our habits or routine. How can you achieve consistency in your routines? Below are a few tips that will help you be more consistent as you venture on your next journey towards your goals:
Gratitude to yourself
This may sound silly at first, but actually take the time to intentionally thank yourself, whether you say it out loud, write it in a journal, or give yourself a literal pat on the back, just make it external (these acts of appreciation towards oneself can still be done externally and privately).
Since most of us are extrinsically motivated to some degree, the effects of you doing this is the same as someone else showing appreciation for you, making the likelihood of you repeating your new behavior/habit more likely. The point is to acknowledge little success as often as possible.
Keep a visual of accountability
This could be a sticker chart, a journal, an interactive smart phone app, etc. The key is that your chosen method of accountability is 1) VISUAL 2) interactive. The act of you marking a chart, recording a note, or documenting in a journal DAILY allows you to see your progress (and celebrate it, as referred to in the previous tip).
The interactive/engagement piece (rather than something be automatically recorded for you), enables you to be more aware of your journey and empowers you to own your success.
One thing to be mindful of is striking the balance of guilt-free accountability. For some, it is easy to fall into a guilt trap at the first moment your plan doesn’t go the way you intend. Rather than give up or beat yourself up, look at it as an opportunity to try again next time and that anything you’ve learned or taught yourself had to have mistakes in order for you to learn. Just like with our yoga, consistency is a PRACTICE; no need to hold yourself to the standard of perfection .
A great example of how to put consistency into practice is the Unroll 30 challenge that just occurred at the Uptown Yoga Studios. During this challenge, students were called to practice 30 times within the month of September to help deepen their practice (a measurable time frame with a reasonable goal).
Students wrote their names on posters located at each studio and marked a sticker next to their names every time they rolled out their mat that month (an example of a visual and interactive accountability chart). Upon completion of the challenge students reflected on how their practice had changed over the course of the month.
Many have stated they practice more frequently as it has now become a part of their routine. Others had stated that they were grateful for the challenge to prove to themselves they can do whatever they set their mind to.
In reflection, practicing consistency is a process, one that takes patience, but with perseverance, can change your life. Ralph Walso Emerson said, “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” These words ring true in all aspects of our yoga practice, on and off of our mats, as we live our best lives each and every day.
Lisa Reynolds is a 500hr-RYT and Master Trainer for Barre Above. She has a passion for training yoga teachers and other fitness educators to spread the love of movement. Her mission is to help everyone find freedom through movement by getting out of their heads and into their hearts.