This word! I honestly believe this is the key to success in anything you choose to do… but I have a love~hate relationship with this word. How do you feel when you hear the word consistency? Does it have a Positive or negative connotation? Is it a motivator or does it imply failure?
I first encountered this word as a child. “You must practice your accordion 30 minutes every day.” (And yes, I played the accordion in grade school and let’s ramp it up… I played in a competitive accordion band. All this until I realized going into junior high school that the accordion was a truly uncool instrument to play and switched to the piano. 😂). However, with all my only child activities: ballet, cheerleading, accordion/ piano, kickball, etc.; I learned that to be good at whatever you were doing required consistent practice. To be honest, as a kid I just wanted to go outside and play after my homework was completed. I was frequently frustrated by the mandatory time required to improve my skills. When it came to ballet, I loved dance so much that I never resented the time I spent practicing the craft. But the rewards were minimal… it was more negative reinforcement than positive which was challenging. So being honest… the word took on a negative connotation during my formative years.
Then I encountered the word as a parent. I learned the most difficult part of parenting a child was consistency. Any knowledge or important lesson you needed to impart required consistency with the rules as well as the discipline. I was shocked to learn though that disciplining your child actually punished yourself as much if not more and consistently reinforcing your expectations of their behavior was a relentless battle. Children are more stubborn than adults. In a battle of wills it’s a crazy close race. They just wear you down and exhaust you and instinctively they just know when to go in for the kill. Now you have to choose: Do I do what I know I have to to reinforce the rules, that educate and instill the morals and values you want your children to exhibit throughout their lives?. Or do I let it go just this once… because I don’t want to be stuck in the house with a miserable kid and I want to go to the pool?. Or you took away the tv/ video game or phone and now they whine about how bored they are… Who gets punished in this scenario more, parent or child? Yet you know, if you let them get away with something once… it’s even more challenging to deal with them next time. They sense you have a weakness and they can get away with it if they just push you enough. The ongoing battle with them and yourself often leads to feeling like a failure when you don’t follow through because you learn that Successful parenting requires consistency.
Now I find that to be healthy in mind, body and spirit requires consistency as well. That out of 30 days you should really practice good healthy decisions most of those days. If you are like me… one day of eating what I want could destroy the previous 7 days of work. And my question is, is it unrealistic to expect yourself to be perfectly consistent?