Sunday, April 24, 2011

So one of my dichotomies that I've been exploring in 2011 is intensity vs consistency.  (For more about my dichotomies, see my previous post.)

I have a tendency to not be very consistent - I have so many different things that I like to do and want to do, and I can't seem to manage to do them all every day!  Often it works better for my personality to lump activities together, rather than do a little bit each day or every week - having a set daily or weekly routine makes me feel stiffled usually.  For example, I've found over the last few months that I enjoy blues dancing a lot more when I wait until I'm feeling the need to go blues dancing, rather than going on a more consistent basis.  And similarly with writing or being social or something that requires me to be in a certain mindset, I get more done and enjoy it more if I group my activities together and really get into that particular mood.  Having to be switching mindframes doesn't usually work well for productivity (although I can do it and do sometimes enjoy it - it's kinda fun to teach three or four different types of classes at my store on Saturdays now, but switching from teacher mode to business owner mode kinda throws my brain for a loop).

While intensity does work well for me, there are certain things that work a little better when you're more consistent about them.  Such as eating!  (Which is actually something that I have a hard time being consistent about!)  So I'm doing some consistency experiments...  I was playing around earlier this year with 30 day experiments (aka a month), where I would set a goal of doing something every day for a month.  I usually fell off the bandwagon after about 5 days, even when they were things that I enjoyed doing.  A month doesn't work for me...  When I'm teaching fitness classes, I often tell my students to do as many reps as they think they can, and then do 2 more.  So my new consistency experiment is to practice daily habits for 5+2 days in a row - which conveniently is a week!  :-)

The current experiment is to have 5 things that I'm going to do every day for a week.  At the end of the week, I choose another 5 things for the next week - it might be 5 new things, some of the same things, or even the exact same 5 things.  They might be things that I'm already doing on a fairly consistent basis, but that I want to see how it fits in with my life to be very consistent about them.  They might be new things that I want to try out, or new ways of being that I want to play around with.  I want to have at least one thing each week that seems like it will be a challenge or a stretch to do every day (a challenge for me anyway!)  And of course, I'm going to try to have them come from different realms (physical, mental, emotional, etc) - unless I choose to experiment with a week of being very in one realm, which could be an interesting experiment.  My guess is that some of these things will become habits enough that I continue to do them every day (or almost every day) without them being part of the consistency list - and other things I will realize that they work better doing them on an intense basis, rather than a consistent basis.

So my 5 consistency experiments for this week are...
1) Read for an hour.  I was playing around with this a bit this past week (I posted my book of the night on Facebook two nights), and it was nice to be learning & reading.  So let's try every day!
2) Move & stretch in the morning & at night.  Sun salutations or dancing or whatever, but at least one song before leaving the house in the morning and before going to bed at night.
3) Watch a motivational/affirmational YouTube video.  Whether or not affirmations 'work', they help to get my mind in a good, happy, & productive place.  And I like being happy & productive!
4) Take Omega-3's and Vitamin D.  I'm sometimes good about taking them, but I'd like to be more consistent.
5) Do one thing to work on a new business.  I have several additional business ideas that I'm playing around with, but haven't really been taking action on yet.  I was thinking about having my experiment be to work an hour a day on a new business, but I know that this week will be long at my store because two of my employees are taking some time off.  So I think do one thing every day is still a stretch, but an attainable stretch, and also focuses on actionable steps, not just brainstorming & planning.

Ok, time to stop writing & start doing!  Move & watch & vitamins, and then down to San Diego for Easter!

What daily habits will you try out this week?

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