There are 4 stages to being consistent:
Possibility, Excitement, Commitment, Habitual
Possibility: You think about doing something new, you dream of what your life will look like when you're doing those things, you buy planners, and you make a plan and maybe a vision board.
Excitement: It's day 1! You're doing the thing! You're really doing it!
Commitment: It's boring but you're in. It's hard, but you're doing it. You don't want to, but you show up anyway. You're committed but not forcing yourself. This is consistency.
Habit: You've done it. It's just easy, automatic part of your day. That doesn't mean that you always want to, but you do the thing.
The shift from possibility to excitement (and doing the thing) can happen in seconds.
The shift from excitement to commitment usually needs to happen around day 4. If you don't settle into commitment and instead rely on willpower, you'll quit.
When you're stuck in possibility, it looks like:
- Deciding you'll start fresh tomorrow (or maybe next week ...)
- Feeling like you aren't really sure what to do. You want to take that step but you don't really know what step to take. That vision seems too far away so you do something like write a gratitude list.
When you're stuck in excitement (or typically, wondering where your excitement went), it looks like:
- Thinking it's too hard, you can't do it, and believing something has gone wrong
- Forcing yourself to take action anyway by using will power
If you don't know how to shift into commitment, this is where you'll quit.
It takes at least 45 days at a minimum and up to 254 days to shift into that commitment into a habit.
You cannot willpower yourself for 45 days, much less 254 days. You cannot willpower your way to a lasting and enjoyable habit.
You have to learn how to work with commitment to be consistent. And you have to learn how to work with commitment to get to the habitual phase.
This is what I help my clients do. If you'd like help with creating commitment so you can create consistency, schedule a consult here.