Consistency

This one blog post a day thing is getting a bit tiring, but here I am again. Thanks to my blogger friend Sam, I’ve been learning and practicing how to just “show up.” Like, here I am now, showing up to wordpress.com to write a blog post, even though I don’t feel like doing it. The thought and strategy here is that simply showing up, presenting yourself, is the key to consistency. Take a full-time job, for example. Whether you like it or not, you gotta show up – doesn’t matter what mood you’re in. You have no choice, unless you want to lose your job and have trouble paying your bills. Your life is dependent on your showing up to work! The reason why we are able to earn money for our living is because we show up. Sure, maybe some work days are more productive than others, but nevertheless you still showed up, so at least something was accomplished that day.

What if we applied this same principle to everything else in life, or to do things we’ve been wanting to do for a while but never actually got around to doing? Or maybe the idea of some things sounds wonderful, like say, mastering a new language, but that just feels overwhelming and impossible, and you just don’t have the time (supposedly) to add another activity to your life. Sound familiar?

I am absolutely no success story.. haha. But my aspiration is to be one. Actually, I’ve made the decision to be a success story. Making the decision is a huge first step towards success. It’s kind of like how recognizing that you have a medical problem is the first step towards recovery.

What to write…. blah. I don’t know. But I’m here. I showed up. That’s the most important thing, I think, because the more we show up to whatever it is that we need to do, the more we will achieve in the long run. But man, I do NOT feel like writing right now….. lalalalalalalala.

I’ve probably been writing this post on and off today at work, maybe about a dozen times. But each of the dozen times, I managed to still “show up.” Have I made my point clear yet? Just show up!

So I guess I should try to practice what I preach, other than the fact that I’m practicing showing up just by writing this blog post… Okay, one thing I’ve been wanting to do consistently in order to reach a big long-term goal is to get into the habit of reading a bit of a Bible expository book series every day and finish the entire series before I turn 30. The reading is very dense so I’ve had a hard time getting through it, but from what I’ve read so far, I feel like I’ve really benefited from it. Maybe I’ve found some sections boring, or other sections too technical, but there have also been the occasional sections where I’m blown away by the reading. Anyway, regardless of how I feel, I really do aspire to complete the whole series, but there are a total of 1,984 chapters. Yikes. Well I’ve already finished 237 chapters, so only 1,747 chapters left. No big deal. Totally doable… You know, actually it IS doable. It’s all about the mindset (think positive, cheesy I know), and the approach (showing up over and over again until the work is done).

Maybe finishing before I turn 30 is too ambitious. Maybe not. But regardless, my approach will be – you guessed it – showing up. Maybe some days I’ll be sleepy and read really slowly, and maybe other days it will be a lot easier to focus. But I’m PRETTY sure that even during my not so efficient days, SOME progress will still be made!

I’m going to make this like a full-time job, in the sense that at a set regular time I am required to show up. Just as I show up to work at 8:30am every weekday morning, I will also set a time to show up to read. For now my approach will not be “a chapter a day,” but rather, hm.. 15 minutes a day. But I can’t just hope to find 15 minutes each day at any random time when it’s convenient; I have to SET a time – the time doesn’t have to be “8:37pm,” something super exact like that, but I think it is more than sufficient to set a time as an event relevant to other events. For example, “I will read for 15 minutes every day as soon as I return home.” That way, if you have last minute dinner plans or something happens that you weren’t expecting to happen, it doesn’t matter. Why? Because you’re still going to end up going home by the end of the day. Or, other possible times could be right after dinner, or right before your daily jog (btw if you are already disciplined enough to be jogging every day, you probably don’t need to read this).

So, now that I’ve announced my reading plan to the public, I guess I’ll have to stick to it. 15 minutes of reading each day AS SOON AS I get home. Okay well, I will still allow myself to use the restroom if I’m desperate, and put my purse down and maybe change out of my work clothes. I’m not saying that as soon as I walk through the front door I have to be reading immediately. No, that’s stupid and unrealistic. I’m allowed to walk to the second floor where my room is, put my things down, sit down at my desk, get comfortable, and then read. As long as reading is the first real productive activity that I do, that’s fine.

I will proceed to start this new not-yet-established habit tonight. Actually, I will put “15 min reading” into my “Productive” habit tracker app on my iPhone right now (I definitely recommend the app).

Glad I showed up today to write, even though I didn’t really want to. Now I have a whole new blog post, yay!

Author: Amy

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