Something that I have been struggling with for a long time is consistency. I can never seem to find the right way to work on it. Even worse, my habit to self-criticize has rendered the task more challenging. Self-criticism has always been a faithful friend of mine, and there are times we engage in unhealthy conversations in my mind that draw me down rather than inspire me. But that’s not the entire problem. The problem is my attitude and misconception about what consistency involves. I have learned and am learning more and more about consistency. It is something that I continuously work on every day, and I take joy to share with you the beautiful lessons that I have come to understand along the way
Struggles and misconception.
Being a Christian, I consider myself to have, at the very least, a good standard of values. I make bettering myself an objective to pursue in order to imitate and reflect Jesus. However, several times I forget and ignore the complementary task of living it rather than just aspiring to it. This purposeful life I choose goes beyond wishing, nudging, and desiring. It extents to the concrete; the adoption of persistent attitudes created by consistency.
Without consistency, we fall in the same cycles, which I have done a billion times. Often, I find myself frustrated and wondering why this would happen when I have good intentions. Consistency requires a repeated effort. “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently,” Dixit Tony Robbins. As much as I can wish it, the achievement of a good routine cannot happen due to the mere fact that it was said and done once or a few times. It is something that continues even after the excitement and motivation have vanished.
Every day with a struggle of its own: unending work
I have to admit that it sounds a little depressing. Just imagining a steady conformity to something sounds tiring and boring. Also, thinking about the amount of effort we have to put into something in order to achieve it can be intimidating and discouraging.
But God always comes to the rescue with the perfect word. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:33). Just like a mason should not worry about the accumulated amount of work and time to build a mansion, neither should we worry about the whole struggle and effort of building our character and living with purpose. Why bear the weight of accomplishing the work of a season in a day? How about breaking down a task, taking on one goal at a time?
“365 days, 365 new beginnings,” they say. Let us wake up every morning and only worry about what must be done then. It makes the day lighter and brings to focus a few things at a time. Additionally, time makes a consistent attitude or action look easier, as it is incorporated in a routine. This unending work creates rhythm. That is when we start to enjoy life more and more, as we observe the little success.
Good and bad distraction?
I have tried my best to stay away from bad distractions. Chitchatting unnecessarily, spending less time on social media (Hmmm, still a struggle. lol), or binge-watching movies (Seriously, can anyone one really resist?). But even after staying away from them, I somehow find myself in an inconsistent rhythm, and fall back to frustration and negative self-criticism.
This life is so full of entertainment and things you can do. For someone with my personality, exploring life is an ultimate goal. I always express my desire to experience every good thing in life and I believe that I was made for a life of abundance.
Here is the thing, many things are to be experienced, but not all experiences are to be lived by me. They are all good, yet, not essentially a necessity. That led me to conclude that there are indeed “bad” and “good” distractions. But even good distractions can lead us away from our goals. Working on recognizing the things that are good, yet unnecessary, should be observed and controlled in order to stay on track with our objectives.
The decisive moment.
The critical moments in the process have not been all the times I’ve decided to do better, just like I am tempted to do every December 31st. Unfortunately, they all end up being pep talks that vanish the moment I have to move into the concretization. The most important moment in consistency is the moment we must decide to concretize the plan: the moment we have to decide either staying in bed 15 min more after the alarm or waking up, either scrolling for 5 more minutes through social media or working on more important things, you name it! That moment right there is the crucial moment when have to decide either to look up to the objective and stay consistent, or to give in and restart the cycle.
Because it is easier said than done, we do not have a better option than relying on God’s strength. Philippians 3:12 says “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
God is on our side.
The work has begun, stay hopeful.
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6
There is no need for us to be miserable and lose motivation when we don’t acquire good habits as fast as we wish. The truth is the work has already begun. The struggle that we experience in a transformation is simply the proof that it is working. Change is coming, and the bad is being overpowered. It might be easier to change overnight, but it is more wonderful to live the renewal after the endurance.
We’ve got this!