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Consistent #WOTY2024

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Survive, Simplify, Balance, Nurture - These were the words I chose from 2018 to 2021. The past two years, I did not choose any word. It was not only due to my scanty writing, but I did not feel the need to do so. This year, I want too. Because it is the need of the hour.

I'm an organized and planned person. You see all those best selling planners? Well, they are made for people like me. I like to plan each day to the T and I try to ensure that I get all the tasks on the list completed. My work meetings are pretty ad-hoc now, so a lot of things on my list are left undone. They mostly are personal, self-care stuff. While I'm able to do them for a day or two, it falls off the list pretty often. This year, it is imperative that I stay consistent with the things that I want to do. Easier said than done, I know, but I've found putting things in writing to be helpful.

I'm a creature of habit and a sucker for routine, so my regular life is pretty mundane and monotonous, and trust me I love it! Most people find monotony boring, but I find a sense of comfort and certainty in it. I'm someone who likes being in control of things pertaining to me and I would want it to go a certain way. Like most of us, I plan yearly/monthly goals. I'm someone who likes to take things from start to finish at one go, but I find myself being unable to do it of late. I'm struggling with consistency and I'm not ashamed to accept it. I work on my personal goals for a few days and if I'm unable to get it done for a day or two, the whole plan goes downhill. I restart it, it goes well for a few days, and then again back to square one.

While I'm not afraid to begin again and again, I need to get into a rhythm and define what consistency means to me. This is what I'm going to try.

~ Setting clear goals. Earlier, I used to plan five to six activities at a stretch. This time I'm just focusing on one at a time.

~ Starting small. Consistency is about doing something regularly at the right pace. It need not be everyday, that would feel like a compulsion. I intend to plan this to include alternate days, weekly or bi-weekly activities.

~ Be realistic. I know that change doesn't happen in a day. Based on my plan of consistency, I need to be realistic about the results too.

~ Use the 'If.... Then' approach. I read about this recently and I think this would be a great way to build some good habits and stay consistent. For example:

    If it is 3PM and I have no work calls, then I'll do an hour of yoga.

    If I'm tempted to take a nap, then I'll read/write instead. 

~ Don't set rigid timelines. Consistency > Perfection. A 30 minute walk is still better than a no walk for an hour. I'm going to focus on the activity, not the timing.

~ Learn to love the activity in hand. It goes without saying that nothing feels like a chore once you start loving it. 

~ Multitasking is a myth. I'm not falling for that again and looking at myself as inadequate for not being able to do it all. Instead I'm going to focus on serial tasking. For example:

After lunch, I'm going to take a brisk walk for 15 minutes.

        After my morning chores, I'm going to take a break and read for 15 minutes.

~ Repetition is key. I need to try my best to do the activities day after day to build a regular habit. It will take time for it to come naturally, I'm going to make my way through it.

~ Revisit my goals. Every fortnight I'm going to look back at my goals and see how far I've come. If there is room for improvement, I'll go forward for it.

~ Not get complacent. I've had this habit of doing something regularly for a few days and then going off it completely. It takes a lot of willpower and effort for me to get back to it. While I intend to include cheat days once in a while, it is going to be a structured break and not something I'd extend day after day. 

~ Delegate. If something else comes in the way of the planned activity, I'll delegate it. Household chores can be picked by my partner while I go ahead with building the habit in hand.

~ Motivate and celebrate. While most of us might find it silly and irrelevant enough, I think self-motivation is key to get anything done. I've been my own cheer leader for decades now and I need to motivate myself more now, for the sake of my physical and mental health. Next, I need to celebrate even the smaller milestone. Not by giving in, but with small rewards. It is important, else everything would feel like a chore or worse, a punishment.

These are the steps I intend to follow to get consistent in my day to day life. A few months down the line I'll take a look at the progress and provide an update.

Meanwhile, if you have any tips to help me get consistent in my life, please let me know in the comments. Thank you!


  1. I love routine too. It is comforting to know what the day is going to bring and to be prepared for it. Your rules sound like essential life lessons. Like you, I struggle with consistency specially when it comes to exercise and self-care. I use a calendar to physically place a tick mark each day/week that I do stick to my routine. That visual reminder helps. For the same reason I like googlefit that shows me my daily walk stats.
    Hope to see more of your writing this year Soumya. Sending love and best wishes for 2024.

    1. I hope we get to be a lot more consistent this year. Thank you and best wishes to you too!

  2. Loved your list especially "don't set rigid timelines" and celebrating small wins is so important.

    1. Thank you, Suzy. I wanted to have realistic expectations here.

  3. You are right, Soumya, our words align so well. I like how you have broken down the word of the year to guide you forward. Reviewing regularly and celebrating small wins would definitely help with the motivation to keep going. My pitfall is at reviewing on a regular basis.
    All the best with achieving your goals and dreams, Soumya!


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