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Episode 33: Viewpoints, Consistency, and Long-Haul Thinking

All right, y’all! Today we are gonna use the C-word, and by that I mean we are gonna talk about consistency. Now, if you’ve been around me for a while, you know that I prefer to focus on frequency instead of consistency, and there are a number of reasons for that. But this month, you’re the first to know as part of our Change Academy membership, our theme this month is how to reclaim consistency, which I think is going to be really fun.

And so, today, I really wanted to talk about consistency, what it means, and also how your viewpoint matters when it comes to consistency. And so, for that, I wanted to give you an example, as I do, from my life.

So, at the beginning of the year, I set this powerlifting goal, and I told myself, “Okay, I’m gonna workout three to five times a week.” That is my goal. I want to consistently workout around four times per week, on average. In January, that went really well. In February, that went really well. In March, that went really well. In April, that went… really well. And then in May, things started to take a nosedive a little bit. In May, we were in the process of buying our condo. It was extremely stressful. Then in June, we had just bought our condo. It was also extremely stressful. In July, we traveled quite a bit. And so, really, the period of May to August, in each of those months when I did my monthly review, I looked back, and there was not a single week where I hit that goal of four workouts per week.

So, pretty much every week from January to April I hit four times per week and then May through August I didn’t. One story that you could tell about that, that my brain could tell, is that I was super consistent and then I lost it. In a lot of cases, our default is to say, “This is my measure of consistency. My measure of consistency is four times per week, and I either am hitting that or I’m not hitting that.”

But an interesting factoid that I discovered today as I was doing a little digging for the purposes of this podcast is that if you actually look back, every single week of this entire year I have worked out at least once. Every single week of the entire year I have worked out at least once. That I would consider to be consistency. I would tell myself I would count that as, “Wow, this year I have been consistently working out.”

Really, the only difference between those two stories is the viewpoint. Am I looking at the year as a whole or am I looking at consistency week by week? You can do the same thing in comparison to week by week or day by day. So, I could say, “This week, I only cleaned the house or tidied before bedtime three times,” but I can say, “This month, every single week I tidied at least twice.”

And so, really, what I’m getting at here today is one way to reclaim consistency is to realize that consistency is a perception. It is always changing, and it is susceptible to our viewpoint. It is susceptible to our gaze. So, when we zoom really, really far in and we’re only looking at this week or we’re only looking at today, we might be able to tell ourselves the idea that we’re not being consistent. But when you zoom out,  you might be a lot more consistent than you ever imagined.

One other thing I want to mention here is that if you are the type of person who you’ve been working out, you workout for a while, and then all of a sudden life happens and something goes wrong, something goes away, you’re focused on other things, and then you’re like, “Okay, I’ve got to start working out again,” and you start working out again, and you’re good for three or four weeks, and then all of a sudden something happens and you get off the train, guess what? If you zoom out, you can ask yourself, “Of all the times I have quit working out, what has my reaction been after I quit?” Well, your reaction has always been that you started again. If you are a person who constantly falls off the wagon, you are also a person who constantly gets back on the wagon, who consistently gets back on the wagon. You cannot be one without the other. The way that you frame, the way that you look at, the gaze that you choose to use when you’re looking upon your behavior, when you’re trying to determine your own consistency, that is going to influence your perception.

So, I want to encourage you to zoom out, to take a peek at your own life and your own consistency, and I want you to pick an angle that you’ve never seen it from before, and I want you to look at it from that angle, and if you need help or if you’re ready to reclaim consistency, you’re ready to have a neutral relationship with that word, you’re ready to stop beating yourself up because you’re “not consistent,” I want you to join me for this month’s Change Academy Workshop because it is going to be, I think, one of my favorite ones that I’ve ever done. I think it’s so important. I think it’s so necessary. I do think that frequent behaviors do make a difference, and that is what creates change is behaviors stacked over and over and over again.

And so, I invite you, I implore you, to join me for this workshop and learn to reclaim the word consistency, reclaim the definition of consistency, so that it is something that is working for you, that is propelling you towards your goals, that is helping you become that 2.0 version of you that you’ve been dreaming of. I will see you in the next episode!

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Hi, I'm Karin

I’m a funfetti flavor super-fan, a loving dog mom, a PhD expert in mindset and behavior change… and I’m here to help make personal development and transformation a process that’s actually fun.

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