I’ve blogged before about the importance of being consistent and the start of the new year has really reinforced this for me.
About six months ago I was invited by my friend to go along to a talk given by a self-styled life coach. This kind of thing is not normally my bag. In fact, I usually avoid those sort of talks like the plague. At one work related event I went to earlier this year, the speaker made us get up and flap our arms about so we could ‘feel joy’ or some such nonsense – I don’t mind if other people enjoy it, but generally speaking that kind of self help stuff just isn’t for me. However, I went along because my friend had seen this guy speak before and promised he’d be a bit different but didn’t want to go on her own.
I’m not going to recount the whole session here, but suffice to say he was different. He was very straight talking, none of this namby pamby stuff for him. He talked about various points that hit home for me but my key takeaway was this: whatever you’re trying to achieve in life – whether it’s professional success, some kind of sporting achievement, quitting smoking or losing weight, whatever – you need to be persistently consistent in your approach. You have to endeavour with whatever it is you’re trying to do and consciously keep doing more of the right things that will help you reach your goal.
As I say, this sort of stuff isn’t usually up my street, but that was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me and I keep coming back to those two words. And at the start of this new year, I’d had a bit of a break from running and exercise, eaten far too much, drunk far too many cocktails and even had a little break from work over the Christmas period. But I’ve got a list of work to do that’s as long as my arm, and I have another half marathon coming up. So on January 2nd 2013 (not quite the first day of the year but still) I got up, went for a run then sat down at my desk and worked all day. I felt tired – SO HUNGRY – and generally quite grumpy even by the time lunchtime arrived. But I had cleared the cupboards of junk food and went back to my usual routine for lunch and continued on with my day. I didn’t want to but I persisted.
And this has been my pattern for the first 13 days of 2013. I haven’t wanted to exercise, I have been hungry and have *really* wanted a glass of wine at times. But by persisting and returning to a routine that I know works for me, I now feel as though I enjoyed the Christmas festivities without the after effects stretching into the new year and holding me back. And the same goes for work too. Being your own boss means you have manage yourself, and again, consistency is the key,
This time of year is a challenge in lots of ways. It’s cold (don’t even get me started on snow, I’m a bit of a Grinch when it comes to snow!), the mornings are still dark, the days are still short, and lots of people struggle to get back into the swing of things after the Christmas and new year break. So maybe, if you’re one of those people, those two little words might help you persevere. They came from a source I was initially sceptical of but are certainly of great use to me now. And if you are feeling sluggish, I can recommend getting out for a walk (or run) in the cold to blow the cobwebs away, getting started on the ‘to do’ list one thing at a time…and start planning your summer holidays as a reward!