Consistency is a Tool for Happiness

I have a few items on my "to-do" list that have been there for a few years now. I'm sure most of us have a few good habits we wish to implement, those projects that have yet to be finished and we all want to eliminate anything that we feel holds us back. 

It's easy to look at an unfinished list and see the negative. The negativity of not accomplishing what you have set out to do can be a stressful and an unnecessary addition to your life. Who wants to create a list of life improvements, then see that a few of them remain unfulfilled and then feel bad? Not me! 

Over the years I have built what I call a "toolkit" when faced with challenges concerning my health. This toolkit is a bunch of action steps and it continues to bear fruit in my life. What ties any good habit, whether it's trying out a new hobby or needing to get back on track, is an action that has both extremely positive and possible negative impacts. 

That action is consistency. Since moving back to Washington, DC and coming upon my third year work anniversary, the word consistency has been on my mind. There are so many positive actions in my toolkit, but none of them work if I'm not being consistent, especially in three specific areas.

Consistency in effort. We have to approach anything we do; (work, relationships, hobbies) with an effort that respects and reflects the time and potential rewards. 

One item on my "to-do" list is to be able to do a strict pull-up. In order to accomplish this I better be consistent with the effort I'm bringing. I want to be a better fundraising consultant, so I better bring effort to reading more about industry trends and issues surrounding philanthropy. I will need to put in effort to improve my writing and coaching.  

Consistency in diligence. Once you commit effort, you can work on being diligent. Diligence helps focus that effort. I can be diligent in increasing my prayer life and my service to others. I need to be diligent when it comes to running and especially when paying down debt. 

Consistency in being deliberate. I have a tendency to try many things at once. I find that doesn't last long because I need to be deliberate in what I want to do. Getting a certification in my field is important to me. I need to be deliberate in researching all options, then prioritizing how that fits with other things on my list.

Effort, diligence and deliberateness all intertwine together when you are being consistent and that leads to positive additions. Of course consistency can also have a negative effect.  You can be consistent in putting no effort towards losing weight and therefore not be diligent in eating healthy or not  being deliberate in how you need to exercise.  Do you notice how you need to add the word not when discussing effort, diligence and deliberateness? That tells you how great these three words are! 

I look at my list of exciting, fun, and interesting things that I'd like to finish. I know being consistent will fulfill all that I want to accomplish. What will you be consistent on this year?