Thoughts on the ONE thing needed to accomplish your goals.
I’m a feeler. A deep one. Advertisers love me. All they have to do is make me “feel” something and I’m screaming, “TAKE MY MONEY!”
Attorneys also love me. Every time I get jury duty, I end up on a jury. A few frilly questions and they are fully convinced that I am persuadable. And, I am. Like I said, make me feel something–outrage, compassion, anything, and you are likely to get a reaction out of me.
I’ve spent a lot of years making myself a hardened target to manipulators however. I can now fully and without guilt say no to any girl scout selling her delicious boxes of ass-enhancers.
But, because I’m a reactive feeler there’s one thing I’ve learned that can make that trait a massive detriment in my life. Too many times I wait until I “feel” like it to do things that I should be doing anyway.
Let me give you some examples. How many times in your life are you sitting around thinking, hmmm, I should go work out? Then, that is quickly followed by the thought, never mind, I don’t really FEEL like it.
I’ve spent years overcoming the “feeling” of working out. Somehow I figured out how to make workouts part of my daily life and habit. Now, if I could just cut out my cheese intake, we’d actually be getting somewhere.
Not long ago I read a Stephen King book that quickly became one of my all-time favorites. Comically enough, it wasn’t a fictional horror novel, it was a book about writing. He said something that stuck with me.
“Above all else, be consistent.” – Stephen King
Too many times I wait to blog, or write in my book (that I feel like I will never finish), until I have all the inspirational feels. Nothing gets accomplished if we are waiting around until we “feel” like it.
I began to realize, it doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish in life, consistency is ALWAYS THE KEY. Always! I know I act like I’m discovering fire here, or Whataburger, but there’s not one goal that can’t be accomplished through consistency.
And consistency requires a few things.
1. Discipline. I think that consistency and discipline are the same thing. It’s like Shaggy and Scooby-doo, you can’t have one without the other. It only requires that you show up no matter what. I keep finding the best way to make anything happen is to do it as soon as possible in your day. If you wait until you have time, you won’t. Time is an ornery bugger that seems to expand when you don’t want it to and then contract when you do. But if you plan accordingly and have the discipline to stick to your plan, you’ll create the time.
My boyfriend is a bad-ass. If I surveyed everyone who knew him and asked for one word describing him, and specifically said hyphenated words were accepted, they would all reply, “bad-ass”. As we speak, I’m waiting for him to return from a mountain bike race in Colorado before I fly off tomorrow to interview a governor. Unlike me, he does these incredible feats of human endurance and skill, and as me, he doesn’t qualify as particularly young. He wins most every thing he puts his mind to and people are amazed at how easy he makes it all look.
But I see it!! I see him every single day pushing his body to the limits. I also see him sulk on the days his heart rate is elevated and he has to lounge around. Those are the hard days for him!! He’s made his training such a consistent part of his life, that he just does it. No matter what! He broke a few ribs a month ago, and that would have stopped me cold in my tracks with, “Y’all!! I have the BEST EXCUSE EVER TO NOT WORKOUT!” It didn’t stop him. I’m not saying you have to be a crazy man to be a bad-ass and accomplish your goals, but in his case, it works.
2. Patience. Lord, help me, I lack the patience. I’ll start eating super healthy and cut out the cheese and then freak out the very next day when I step on the scale and I haven’t lost a smidgen. Things take time. This is why consistency is key. You can’t look for immediate results like you can with liposuction. You don’t concentrate on losing 20 pounds, you concentrate on losing one. And you consistently stick to your plan and another will follow. And another. And another. (Or so I’ve been told.) I love the old saying about how to eat an elephant. Not that I would actually ever eat one because they are the sweetest things on the planet, but if I had been on a diet for a very long time and there was no other food, I’m told you eat an elephant one bite at a time. It’s one step at a time. It’s one sentence at a time. It’s one run at a time. It’s one class at a time. It’s one peddle at a time. It’s one dollar at a time. It can be done with consistency.
3. The absence of overthinking. If I even start to contemplate over doing something, nine chances out of ten, it won’t get done. I hate using Nike slogans, but, Just Do It. Don’t think about it. Don’t weigh it all out. Literally don’t think about it at all, just take action. It doesn’t have to be big action, any action in the direction you want to go in will do. Just take it.
4. Grace. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up by allowing your inner critic to berate you at every turn. This goes back to patience, but be proud of the strides you make. The one thing I’ve realized when I actually accomplish a big goal that requires consistency, is that you won’t see any results for so long, and then all of a sudden the reaping of the benefits of your actions come gently flooding in. If you can hold on until this point, that’s when it becomes even easier since you are picking up momentum. I’ve been cycling, and trail running, and lifting weights forever! I can’t tell any change. But someone snapped a photo recently of me and I was taken aback when I saw how muscular my legs are compared to what they were. That motivates me even more.
I’m working to apply this lesson to writing my book and to losing a little weight. Especially since time is not a guarantee. These are two things I’d like to accomplish in this lifetime. And someday when it’s all over, hopefully my memorial won’t read, “Here lies Donlyn. She sure loved cheese.”