Consistency is key. I started this blog on Friday. That was four days ago. And I’m already losing steam. I’m already second guessing my talent, uselfulness and how successful this could be (read: how UNSUCCESSFUL I’m afraid it will be). I’m already letting negativity and laziness leak in.

One of the things on my list is to accept strengths and weaknesses and to start learning to maximize them. And one of my biggest weaknesses is also in some ways a strength (like they so often are if we stop to think about it). And here it is:

I have huge enthusiasm for “the new” (idea, project, relationship) and trouble sticking it out once there is effort involved.

Woo boy. I could get this printed on a goddamn tee shirt. How many times have I jumped in with two feet, just dripping with anticipation and excitement for the new ____________. Just fill in the blank, because it almost doesn’t matter what it is.

With some self-reflection, I realize I’ve always been like this. Even as a kid, even in grade school, I would take up hobbies or beg for toys with rapt promises to my parents that I would love it, that I would do all the work, go to all the sessions, and that I never needed anything before as much as I needed ___________. And then, once I had started attending or once I received the thing that was the answer… turned out not so much.

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Now, there are positives to this that I can identify right out the gate, believe it or not. I personally like enthusiasm. I know it’s not considered cool to show it, but I’ve always been a cheerleader type. I sort of wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to those things, and I’ve been teased about it in the past. But it’s sort of the way I’m wired, and we’ll spend another day looking at all the times life’s too short to give a shit about that kind of thing.

Its also positive to want to try new things, to be a seeker, to be open to new experiences and to want to be a broad individual. “Jack of all trades and master of none” has a point, but remember how elite it also was to be considered a Renaissance man (or woman) who could be well-versed in a variety of areas.

So what is the major takeaway here, what is the adjustment that project MK will make possible on this one? Well, it’s the lesson of consistency. It’s a lesson I can’t believe I’m only learning in my late 30s but here we are. Because it’s more important than the lesson of “do the work” in the abstract, it’s the lesson of “practice every day” and you will improve. The long con, the marathon. I missed this lesson somewhere along the way.

Consistency is a theme that can apply to every situation, really, and can improve almost any relationship. To consistently show up for someone, to do what you say you’re gonna do, to have your actions match your words. Consistency in daily habits that keep your life running smoothly, like making your bed and eating your meals and brushing and flossing.

Creating consistency also gives you the opportunity to build a history of showing up for yourself. I don’t know about you all, but I have a long history of having good intentions (or sometimes not even such good intentions) and falling down on the job. I let myself down when I procrastinate something I need to do, or I make work more stressful than it needs to be because I’m lazy and push off doing a task until the last minute. It’s self-love to have a routine that you stick to, because the inner child has the structure she craves, and it means that there’s a grown up in charge instead of a toddler who just wants to watch TV and eat candy.

I’m actively working on this one and it’s much harder than I thought. I’m definitely wired to avoid things, to procrastinate and I am amazing at cutting myself tons of slack. But I finally realize that the person I’m cheating most with that behavior isn’t anyone else; it’s only me.