Tell me if this struggle with consistency sounds familiar: First day, check. Second day, check. Third day, you just didn’t have time. Fourth day, you think you already screwed it up, so why bother even trying to be consistent from here on out?
Can you relate to this? You power through something for the first few days but then something gets in the way – a circumstance, exhaustion, or plain old excuses…and you’re back where you started.
If so, I’m right there with you. I’ve started so many things – 30 day push up challenges, a daily 200 word writing goal, a new wake-up time – and only made it a few days in before I feel like I failed.
So how do we change this story?
How can we be more consistent?
Work harder? Create an involved punishment for when we fail, something that will really motivate us to stay consistent? Not try in the first place?
I don’t think any of these things is the answer. After nearly a year of rebuilding my life, habits, routines, and goals, here’s a huge thing the roller coaster has taught me: consistency isn’t the same as perfection.
You can “break the streak” one day and still achieve overall consistency with this one ingredient.
You ready for it?
We have the grace to be consistent
God’s grace is His unmerited favor for us. I define grace with ourselves as identifying ourselves by our relationship to God rather than our achievements, without ignoring the call to faithfully work where God has called us.
Grace is the game changer – not because it magically creates consistency, but because it makes consistency possible in spite of misses and mistakes.
By grace, we can work hard without defining ourselves by our work. We can work alongside others without comparing ourselves to them.
If you want to be more consistent with anything in your life…start with grace.
But what does that actually look like in practice when creating goals and habits? Here are some guidelines:
- Set a reasonable goal
- Have a buddy to help you stay consistent
- Create a restart plan.
Let’s dive into each of these!
Set a reasonable goal
Make it achievable. You can’t climb the mountain if you’ve never even gone on a walk, so start with the baby steps. Consistency in small things is just as powerful as in big things.
Have a buddy to help you stay consistent
You do not have to do this alone! Having another voice cheering you on and reminding you to have grace with yourself is a huge blessing.
Create a restart plan
You will miss a day. Whether it’s circumstances or excuses, something will get in the way. Creating a restart plan allows you to recover from those without too much angst. Make a plan for when you need to brush yourself off and start again, because you will need it. And that’s okay.
It all comes down to grace – grace in planning, in coming alongside others, in getting back up again.
If you’ve struggled to stay consistent in the past, maybe it’s time to stop trying to tackle it alone! I’d love to invite you to my free Facebook group, the Courage Community, where we have monthly goal workshops and weekly trainings specifically designed to help you stay consistent and reach your goals! See you there