I hate to admit it, but I haven’t been consistent lately. I don’t know why, but lately I have been allowing stuff to slip. And like I wrote a while back, it is far easier to maintain something at 100% than 98%; once I allow myself an ‘indulgence’, it is that much easier to find a logical reason the next time. In the same way I must be consistent about my sobriety, I also need to be consistent about by daily routines.
Maybe it’s my disease, or one my ‘isms’ but once I cross the line of allowing a variation whether a diet, or exercise routine, or any other personal commitment to myself, it is too easy to ‘let it slip’ the next time. As a former sponsor used to say, as we go along, the path becomes narrower. I have to stay vigilant about myself. My circle of control only extends to the end of my reach, once I lose control in one area, it is far easier to lose it elsewhere. Slowly, or sometimes, in a cascade, all of the old habits fall back into place and it seems I’m back where I started.
In doing a bit of research into consistency in life, I have found several common threads. First, a daily commitment to how I want to live my life. In the same way that I learned how to live with sobriety one day at a time, I’m encouraged to do the same with a change in life habit. I commit today, regardless of how yesterday went and without worry about the future: just for today.
The second thread I read about over and over is the development of a meditation practice. I can’t bend into the lotus position but I can still develop my own manner. So much of the literature on being consistent talks about a quiet time, usually first thing in the morning where one can connect to self and then, to the rest of the world. It doesn’t really matter if you want to chant, listen to music, nature sounds, focus on breathing, or practice mindfulness. Starting off the day with a solitary practice that works for you will help to focus on where you want the rest of the day to go. If it means setting the alarm clock even five or ten minutes earlier, it will be time well spent.
Third, with the mind and spirit in focus, it is important to place the body in line. A short exercise routine will wake up the body. A walk around the block, stretches, yoga, Tai Chi, are a few of the options; what works for you is the most important. A solid, healthy breakfast everyday will ensure sufficient energy to meet whatever the day will hold. Your mother was right, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
In order for me to keep with it, I must begin each day ‘with it’. I guess that if I can begin the day well, then there is a much better chance at me being consistent for the rest of the day. I can’t expect to run a marathon without training, I can’t expect results without commitment and I can’t expect to have a consistent day if I don’t start it consistently. Yes it take dedication and it gets results.