Discipline Made Simple: The Habit of Consistency 433

The habit of consistency, discipline

Discipline is nothing more but the habit of consistency – finding the motivation to do something again and again, until you do it on autopilot and start seeing results.

And as everything else, it’s simple.

Why do we still fail then?

Let’s say you want to become a writer.
And, of course, you know you need to write. A lot. Every day.
But that’s a big change compared to your current daily routine, as it means developing a new habit and being consistent in it.

You decide to start writing for an hour each day.

You do it once, and find it harder than you expected. The next few days aren’t easier, too. Not to mention that the quality of your writing isn’t satisfying.

That’s because you make a few big mistakes:

unrealistic expectations – you expect yourself to write a lot every day, to create great content and to do it without any hesitation;
you start big – but a habit is developed by taking small steps;
you focus on the result – in the beginning the most important thing is to form the habit itself, and then work on improving the final result.

And here are a few simple ways to become consistent without so much effort and disappointment:

5 Steps to Building The Habit of Consistency

1. Start.

Concentrate on just starting each day. Nothing else matters. That’s the only way to move forward. It’s not always easy, but it’s also not that hard, as you need to do just one simple thing each day.

2. Do a little.

Write for 10 minutes each day, or have another milestone – a page, few paragraphs, 300 words, etc. Easy as a piece of cake.

Soon you’ll have the habit of writing every day. From then on, you can make that time longer, and the number of words bigger.

3. Enjoy.

It’s the beautiful process of working on your goals and passion, creating, improving yourself, starting a habit and fighting your demons. Try to experience it and make it fun (by writing about something you enjoy, for example).

4. Believe.

Be sure you’ll succeed, have faith in your abilities and in what you do. You don’t need anyone else to support you or to even know that. Your dream will come true once you acquire the art of being consistent.

5. Make it goal number one.  

Start the day with a positive attitude and know that it takes you a step closer to mastering the skill you want to be good at.

The real benefits of consistency can be felt over an extended period of practice. So you’ll need to be patient.

But as long as you’re enjoying the process, keeping it simple and doing something small each day, nothing can stop you.

What’s your experience with consistency? Do you still fail to build new habits? Why do you think that happens?

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9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic] 3

9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic]

When a big change happens in your life, it doesn’t have to be a negative change to have a huge impact on you.

Change causes uncertainty and our brains and bodies react to uncertainty by trying to protect us with the release of fight or flight chemicals and hormones.

The downside to this is that living with these for an extended time results in elevated heart rate and affects your digestion, immune systems and blood flow.

But there are ways you can regain control over your life even in the midst of big changes.

The first is to take a step back and reflect on what’s actually happening and what your involvement is, which will help you to understand and find perspective on the situation. Hopefully, this will enable you to find the opportunities that every change in your life brings, rather than obsessing over any short-term negative impacts.

It may also help you to allow yourself a transition period where you adjust to the changes. But with a firm deadline by which you expect to have moved on and settled into the new routine. Even if it doesn’t quite work out that way, it will still push you towards visualizing the end of the uncertainty, which will prepare you to make it happen sooner rather than later.

On a more basic level, you need to remember to look after yourself during this time of change and the related stresses.

It can be too easy to fall into bad habits like neglecting your own simple needs, like a good night’s sleep and staying active and eating right when you are going through something like this. Having a day in your pajamas eating ice cream out of the tub is fine. But your body needs sleep, exercise and nutrition to keep you healthy.

Routine can be a comfort when it feels like everything in your life is changing.

So try and stick to some simple ones like walking your dog every morning or going to a regular gym class to give your life some stability and consistency.

You also need the help and support of those around you. And having a strong support network is crucial when it comes to coping with big changes in your life. This means family and friends, but you could also seek out people going through similar experiences by looking online. There may well be communities who you can talk to and get helpful tips from.

Most importantly of all, you need to be aware of when you need more than just the love and support of other people to help you cope with stress and uncertainty. If you start to feel like your mental health is really suffering, or you have been feeling the symptoms of stress for more than a couple of months, you need to go and talk to a health professional to get the help you need to bounce back.

You can read more practical tips about dealing with change and the symptoms it causes in this infographic from Pounds to Pocket.