They say consistency is key. But between busy schedules and the perpetual tiredness that seems to accompany adulthood, it can be hard to always work out, always show up or always be your best self. That’s why consistency is more like an artform: You must always practice, and it may never be quite perfected.

Find your “why”

Finding a purpose behind your routine and reminding yourself of the benefits that come with it will keep you motivated and focused on even the toughest days. If you’re working to consistently show up early at work, find your “why.” Maybe it’s a promotion or raise or ensuring you don’t have to skip lunch come noon. Then think of the benefits of that “why.” A promotion means more opportunities, a raise means more cash in the bank and a lunch break gives you a chance to breathe and establish a better work-life balance.


Be aware of “why nots”

Equally important as your “why,” it’s helpful to know your “why nots.” These are excuses you can use to get out of the routine or task you’re working toward. If you’re trying to establish a consistent workout regimen, you may think you’re too tired or too busy to follow through. Being aware of these possible “why nots” can help you overcome them when they pop up. Plan an easy workout routine to help ease worries about tiredness. Create a quicker workout that can be done from anywhere when you feel like you’re too busy. Having solutions to common concerns will help you stay consistent and keep pushing through.


Plan, plan, plan

Planning really is the key to consistency. For the aspiring early birds, plan your bedtime routine so you get plenty of rest and wake up on time. For the health nuts-in-training, plan out your meals and schedule your day to accommodate gym time. If you’re trying to read more, work it into your lunch break or readjust your evening TV routine. Whatever goal you’re working toward, a plan can make your goal more attainable.


Reward successes

When you do attain your goal or meet milestones along the way, it’s important to reward your success. Maybe it’s a stop at Starbucks or a trip to Target. However you celebrate your big and little wins, it’s important to recognize your progress and remind yourself of your “why.”


Forgive failures

“It may never be quite perfected.” If consistency truly is an artform, then you’ll occasionally need White Out or a new canvas. Most days you’ll work out, show up or put on a great performance. Other days, you’ll grab a sugary snack, find a cozy nap spot and just rest. That’s okay! Give yourself the grace to fail some days. What’s truly important is that you get back up tomorrow and give it another go.

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