In the space between inconsistent and rigid, lies the sweet spot where we can develop a consistent practice of new habits that improve our well-being and outcomes in a way that is highly sustainable. Who hasn’t set New Year’s Resolutions and run to the gym with great vigor and intentions for the first three weeks of the year, only to get busy with life and work in the fourth week and lose momentum? Why does this happen? I think it’s a combination of the underuse and overuse of this all important sweet spot. Being truly consistent requires an overarching goal and plan that aligns with something deeply important to us- our own self-regard. And the will to achieve it must come from within, not from some external motivation that involves image, but with a commitment to our own well being on the inside. Yet, unfortunately, we often don’t make reasonable plans to exercise that internal driver into our daily routines in a way that is practical and sustainable. So last year, I decided to be consistent about the ONE most important thing I could do to make my life better by choosing what’s important to my inner sense of well being. Because I was burned out and losing stamina, I created a plan to attend Core Barre strength training classes at least 4 times a week. I started out with six and worked hard for three months. I figured it took years to get this way, so it would take many months to get back my strength. But I set a reasonable and attainable goal at 4x a week as a minimum bar that I knew would allow for life’s interruptions but would help me keep my commitment to myself. Now, a year later, the benefit is that I feel stronger on the inside because of the respect that I gain from keeping that one commitment over time. The bonuses are the physical and mental agility I gained too. But my core driver that kept me on track was self-respect. I wasn’t going to knowingly lose self-respect. That was too personal.
Tilt 365 Weekly Challenge: This week, I will keep my commitment to myself about the ONE most important thing I can do to earn my own respect.
Avoiding being Rigid (Overuse):
The single biggest reason we disappoint ourselves with our New Year’s Resolutions is because we set goals that don’t work with our normal lifestyles and therefore, end up not being consistent. Yes, I started out going to Core Barre six days a week at first in order to establish a new habitual action in my brain patterns, but in my mind I set a more reasonable goal that I carried along with me far beyond the first month. I have a busy life, travel for work, and sometimes have deadlines or meetings that could interfere with my workout schedule. So, I created a more reasonable MINIMUM standard of 4 times per week and would not break that goal for anyone or anything. I did have a family emergency for two weeks and got sick once, so I gave myself a break about those couple of weeks and only went once or twice. And if I traveled, I wore my iWatch and made sure I walked for at least an hour a day. But as soon as the interruption was over, I went back on a routine of four days so I wouldn’t lose my momentum. And more importantly my own self-respect. THAT was the commitment. I sustained my goals for an entire year this time because I had a commitment to myself to be consistent in the ONE most important thing all year. This year I plan to add a new one. The reward is a couple of notches up on my self-regard. Yes, the single most important judgment we make is the one we cast upon ourselves. And I just inched it up several notches this year.
Commendable Trait: Consistent
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