I was talking with someone the other day about our relationship with words and he swore up and down that he was not a consistent person. I asked him, do you know why you’re not consistent? He replied that it was because he could never get anything done. That may be part of the reason, but it is not the crux of the reason. His relationship with the word ‘consistent’ is negative. If you have something that you’re trying to do and you defeat yourself before you even try, it is because you have a negative relationship with a word.
By reinforcing negative associations of a word, you are telling your brain you cannot do something. In order to change your association, you need to go beyond telling yourself “I know I can be consistent”, or “someday I could be consistent”. I gave the person I was speaking to a seven-day challenge. You can participate too! The seven-day challenge is to be consistent for seven days. Make a decision and be consistent about it for seven days. Find ways you can get help or find accountability buddies to help you through your consistency challenge. Once you’ve completed seven days, add seven more, and then add seven more. Imagine if you go from a seven-day challenge and end up being consistent for 700 days.
I always thought I couldn’t be a runner. I thought I had to be a marathon runner like those who are really into running. It turns out even running two kilometres is really good for your health. I started to run. Even though I did not run the whole path, in fact in some parts I was just panting, I did it. I changed my relationship with the idea of me being a runner just by being consistent and patient.
What do you want to be consistent about? Is there a word, is there a concept? Is there a thing you want to do that you always said you couldn’t? Whatever that thing is, I want you for the next seven days to do it. And then I want you to see if you can do it for another seven days, and another and another until you end up doing it for 700. If you ever want to have a conversation about how to go about doing this challenge or if you think you need help, feel free to reach out!