Consistency – Why is it so Damn Hard?

It makes me crazy to see all the “new year, new me” hype in the media and on social posts. It’s a scam, and people buy into it like moths to a flame. Dry January, fad diets, gym memberships, quitting smoking, saving money, blah blah blah. You name it–and there’s always a quick-fix solution ready to take your credit card for that monthly subscription.

It shouldn’t take some BS resolution and a new year to be healthy, reduce stress, or launch that awesome new business idea you’ve been noodling on for months. Truly, it’s the reason I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Guess what? It’s hard in March, July, and October too! I don’t need the media to motivate me to work out and eat right (or wrong).  Making good choices and keeping them is a balance, an integration, imperfect, and a life choice that is ongoing and fluid.

Why do we do this to ourselves every year? What makes us blow up the holidays with all kinds of bad decisions thinking we’re going to completely turn our lives around in January? We go all in on unrealistic promises, goals, and resolutions at the top of the year just to watch ourselves implode by week three and then roll right into “F***-it February.”

And I just love the ironic excuses–

“My goal to lose 50 pounds in 3 months was unrealistic. So now I’m going to cut out all carbs during the week and only drink on the weekends.”

“I want to lose weight and get healthy, so I signed up for mega bootcamp even though I haven’t worked out in 10 years. I threw my back out and haven’t been able to work out.  I think I’ll try goat yoga. My therapist said it was great.”

“Oh yeah, I made resolutions for this year, but I’ve made so many, I honestly forgot what they were all together. Guess I should go look at what I wrote down again.”

I see these same unintended failures in business all the time too. Real estate professionals on the first week of January with perfect new lifestyle photos and a fresh business plan promising they will do lead-generating activities for three hours every morning right after they’ve woken up at 5:00 a.m., worked out, did their journal entry, and drank their kale protein shake. Then come summer, they’ve blown their marketing budget, are on the verge of burnout, and their business plan has red wine stains on it from working all those late nights.

What I’ve learned in my 20+ years in this business is that good habits that generate success are about consistency, fundamental basics, and failing fast. We are perfectly flawed humans and should accept that we will screw up…a lot. It is how we bounce back and choose not to throw in the towel–this is what creates long-lasting habits and confidence in our ability to achieve goals and fulfill aspirations. Understanding that your resolutions are a work in progress means that you get to enjoy the successes and small victories as you achieve them all throughout the year. It also means that a bad day, week, or month is not detrimental and does not totally ruin your journey to success.

Then why is it so damn hard to stay on track? Because you waited for the new year to make a resolution. To change a habit means that you also must find the right moment to make the change. Once you find that moment, practice being consistent, create simple changes to the factors surrounding the habit, and pay attention to your experiences in those changes throughout the year. Even if you don’t achieve your goal, you’ll still be closer to it than you were on the first day of January.

Success begins with a new day, not a new year.

Kelea Youngblood
ABoR Chief Marketing Officer