No need to be extraordinary
Hey there !
Tiffany here today and I’ve got a little story for ya.
As you may remember from a few weeks ago, since ending the craziness of the school year, I’ve been digging into my gym routine.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, my current assignment is to do a mixture of rowing and running for 40 min and then an ab circuit situation. I really like rowing. I really don’t like running. Who likes running? I guess those people do indeed exist, and if you’re one of those “I love running!” people, I salute you.
A couple of weeks ago, I got on the rower to do my 20 min, pushed off, and was like “Dear God! This is so resistant!” It was on max resistance… but you know what I did? Told myself it would be ridiculous to change it and “give up”, “You can do hard things, Tiffany!”, so I kept the resistance at 10.
Every pull felt like more of a struggle. Instead of focusing on the movement, I was fighting a lot of negative self talk like, “Why can’t you do this?”, “Why is this so hard?”, “Why are you struggling?”
What’s worse is that I went about 300 less meters than my best even though I worked about 5X as hard.
Come last week, I got on the rower and adopted a different mindset. I put the resistance back to 5 and focused on consistency of speed and movement. I didn’t try to motivate myself to do something extraordinary. (That’s really hard sometimes, isn’t it?)
Andddd I rowed 200 meters past my personal best.
This was yet another reminder that consistency wins. Every. Freaking. Time.
It’s the same reason I am able to even stay super consistent with my routine right now - I’m not focused on if I feel motivated to go. I’m focused on consistency. Show up. Get on the rower. That’s your job.
It’s the same thing for practice.
When you can’t rely on motivation, you have to rely on consistency. But as we’ve talked about so much, motivation RARELY COMES FIRST!!!! Consistency will bring back your motivation. When you look at the calendar and realize you’ve done the difficult practice exercise you hate for 3 weeks in a row, I guarantee it will be motivating to you. And if you see progress? Well, that’s the ultimate motivator.
I am still shocked at how guilty we can feel when we don’t feel motivated. Thoughts like “What’s wrong with me if I don’t want to practice?” can be invasive and honestly, disheartening. My students talk about this guilt often, and I’ve experienced it, too. But how much sense does it make to not feel motivated and then beat yourself up for not feeling motivated? That’s a viscous cycle that ain’t helping any of us!
So what if you simply turned to consistency?
When you observe that you aren’t motivated to practice, let it be. We are humans. We feel differently every day. That’s normal. And nothing is wrong with you if you don’t feel a 10/10 level of excitement to practice every day.
Do the action. Stick to the plan, not your mood.
(Of course, be aware of when you actually need rest or may need to put practice on the backburner for your mental or physical health!)
Before we sign off, here are a couple of questions for you:
- What mindset do you adopt when you don't feel motivated?
- How would you like to alter that, if at all?
- What consistent action would you like to implement this week?
- What stands in your way?
And here are a couple of tips for staying consistent:
- Be reasonable. Focus on an action that isn’t extraordinary but that is actually sustainable. If that means 10 min of practice, that’s it. If it’s recording 1X per week, great. You’ve gotta find the sweet spot for what you can sustain.
- Don’t be in an all-or-nothing mindset - if the plan isn’t working, alter the plan to a level that you think will work. Don’t throw it all away. Adjust and keep adjusting until you can be consistent.
- Know that being consistent is a skill, and you have to grow it like any other skill. Don’t waste time wondering why it’s hard. Instead, figure out ways to get better at it.
Consistency seems boring - until you realize it can be your superpower. Because consistent action leads to consistent results. No need to be extraordinary. Isn’t that a relief?
To a beautiful - and consistent - week!