I am sure at some point you would have heard someone saying consistency is key. But it always low key annoyed me because if there is one thing in life I could never achieve was consistency. I suffered from this sickness of being a perfectionist. But what I did not see was how my life was passing by right in front of me and I was too stuck in my old ways. Consistency and “perfectionism” do not work together. However, now I can say consistency is perfect. What does this mean you ask? Well, in simple words, drinking 1 litre of water everyday is better than drinking 2 litres for 2 days per week, then falling off the wagon.
I struggled with consistency my whole life also because of my undiagnosed ADHD. But also, getting a diagnosis did not miraculously come with a prescription of consistency. I had to rewire and hack my brain and now, finally I can say I am getting more consistent; in so many aspects of life.
The most perplexing aspect of ADHD is the inconsistency in motivation and performance. It appears that a child or adult with the disorder who can demonstrate strong motivation and focus for some tasks should be able to do so for the majority of other tasks that they consider important. It appears to be a simple case of a lack of “willpower.” Why can’t you do it for that and that, which are even more important, if you can do it for this? ADHD, on the other hand, is not a matter of willpower. It’s a problem with the chemistry of the brain’s dynamics.
As a writer and certified day dreamer, my only job is to make observations and of course write about them. Hence why I also believe that neurotypicals too can suffer from this. The dire need to find motivation in order to take action. So I welcome you, my reader, neurotypical or neurodivergent like me to use these tips that worked for me. But if they do not work for you, I truly hope you do not give up on yourself and find what works for you!
Is Motivation Really Necessary?
Do you have a lack of motivation today and want to watch YouTube or scroll through your Facebook newsfeed? Are you bored and have nothing to do?
Does this ring a bell?
That’s a feeling we’ve all had. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Even successful people struggle with the same lack of motivation as the rest of us.
But. Despite their boredom, they find a way to show up. They are focused and dependable. It’s only temporary if watching motivational videos boosts your energy. or, in the best-case scenario, it could last hours, days, or even weeks?! Please let me know if a few months of motivational speaking fueled your energy! What makes us consistent are the habits we practise on a regular basis to strengthen the muscle of the desired skill.
A habit is made up of three elements, according to habit science: a cue, a routine, and a reward. A visual trigger, a time of day, a sequence of thoughts, or an emotional state can all serve as cues to help you form a habit. The reward is the sensation you get after completing the routine, which could be a favourite meal, a kind word, a physical sensation, or feeling proud of what you’ve accomplished.
You must first set a goal before you can begin to form that habit. But how do you do it?
Rethink Your Goals
The issue is that we are so focused on goals and outcomes that we overlook the importance of putting systems and processes in place to achieve those outcomes. Instead of focusing on goals, concentrate on systems! Set a timeline that is limited in scope to re-define your goal.
For example, I used to have this goal where I wanted to have “glass” skin. I know, conventional. But, as aware as I am, I am unaware too; about many other things. Growing up, I had very smooth skin. But with years of dealing with stress and complex PTSD from the environments I was in, it eventually took a toll on my skin. I used to get “compliments” on how my skin looked and now I can tell when someone is judging my scar and acne filled skin.
So this translated into me being obsessed with my skin. My then goal was to use as many products as possible to remove the scars. I wanted my skin to go back to what it was. But I could never do my skincare routine twice a day because I just could not be consistent.
This is where I get my version of a happy ending story. One day, I just looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself, am I any lesser if these scars do not go away? And the answer was so clear. So I adjusted my goals.
My goal now is only to take care of my skin health. I do my skincare twice a day, maybe about 5 times a week. How did this change happen? I took away the pressure and I stopped looking at other people’s skin as “motivation” or “goals to have”. I just kept assuring myself it was okay to have scars and that it would fade away. Not to show off, but I even use face masks now. Like who am I? 😂
But the most important part of my journey to restoring my skin health was being real with what my higher self wanted as opposed to the egotistical version of me. Once that cleared up for me, the rest was a matter of baby steps.
Focus on just ONE thing
For the first week, all I did was wash my face. I did not use face cream until I felt like I wanted to. My skin felt tight so that felt right to add on to my routine. Then the 2nd week I started using another product and I tied this habit to sleeping. I repeated this until it registered in my mind that, right before I sleep, I need to do this.
It has been one month and I have passed the stage of no longer waiting for motivation to do my skincare. It is automatic now. In the long run, starting small pays off handsomely. Let’s say you want to make it a habit to read every day. Begin with ten minutes per day!
While 10 minutes may seem insignificant at first, keep doing it until it becomes second nature, at which point you can progress to the next level and gradually increase 10 minutes until you feel more confident.
Maintaining greater consistency can help you become more motivated and confident in what you’re doing, but it can be difficult to continue developing your behaviour in terms of time and using your brain to process that much information. So you start with the simplest level you can handle and stick with it for a few days until you’ve gotten used to it.
Make the habit Satisfying
The 4th law of human behaviour, according to James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, is “to make it satisfying.” This rule is significant because it increases the likelihood of a behaviour being repeated.
The fact that the immediate result is likely unmeasurable and unenjoyable is what makes a habit unsatisfying. The end result, on the other hand, is pleasing. If you think about it, you’ll see that it makes sense. Good habits are probably unappealing now, but if you stick to them, you’ll be someone else in the future.
Bad habits, on the other hand, will provide you with a lot of pleasure in the short term but will almost certainly ruin your life in the long run. Motivation isn’t required at the end of the day. With a small start, you only need to form a habit with a redefined goal focused on just ONE thing. That habit should be planned ahead of time and cannot be disrupted. You must also keep your phone away from your face while doing this deep work.
Also, remember to reward yourself and make your habit enjoyable. Also, keep in mind! You must forgive yourself if you miss one day of continuity, but you must never miss two! However if you do, forgive yourself and start again. You have an infinite number to reset your life. You got this!