Consistency and Inconsistency
by Harry Petsanis and Donna McCance
Consistency means you are being consistent, which is doing something in the same way over time. Words associated with consistency include unchanging, unwavering, constant, dependable, predictable, steady, and stable.
Inconsistency means you are not consistent, which is not staying the same throughout time. Words associated with inconsistency include unpredictable, erratic, irregular, fluctuating, changeable, and unstable.
We often equate the word consistency with the word success, believing that when we do the same things over and over again, we will achieve all that we desire. The misconception is in the definition and perception of consistency.
We also associate consistency with positive behavior and inconsistency with negative behavior or non behavior. This is the misconception of the understanding of consistency that misleads people.
People who are successful wake up every day and repeat positive behaviors and repeat positive choices. The people who are not successful are just as consistent as the people who are successful. The only difference is they wake up every day and repeat negative behaviors and negative choices.
If someone works out two days a week and they miss five days, they will say that they’re inconsistent with their workouts, when in reality, they’re not inconsistent. They’re consistently working out two days and missing five. People's patterns are very easy to predict once you know them. Where they fail is not with their consistency, it's with the choices they make.
Being consistent with positive and negative behaviors ultimately leads to behavior patterns. Behavior patterns are formed by chains of behavior developed through acting in a recurrent way in given situations. A pattern is a series or sequence that repeats.
A habit is simply a choice. If you choose to do something long enough over a period of time, it becomes a habit. If someone jogs every day over a period of time, it is considered to be a positive habit. If someone eats ice cream every day over a period of time, it’s perceived as a negative habit.
There are beneficial and detrimental habits that can be consistent and inconsistent. For example, you may have a habit of consistently cleaning your room. That’s a beneficial habit of being neat, clean, and orderly. Or, you may have a habit of inconsistently cleaning your room, which is detrimental because it’s unclean, disorganized, and you have difficulty finding things. Whether or not they’re beneficial or detrimental, they are habits which occur consistently over time.
Most people have bad habits more than good ones. Habits are consistent and predictable. People may have positive behaviors, but they don’t succeed because they don’t repeat them often enough for them to become habits. The behavior doesn’t become a habit, the inconsistency does. They’re consistent with their inconsistency.
If you want to continue to make poor choices on every decision and action that you take or don’t take, that results in a consistent unhealthy mindset. Making some positive choices, but more negative choices on a daily basis results in a spinning your wheels mindset.
If you want to have a healthy mindset, you need to make positive choices and those positive choices have to occur in every decision and action that you take or don’t take, consistently. That results in a consistent, healthy mindset.
A great way to make a first step toward developing positive habits and eliminating negative ones is to document your behaviors in a journal.
Start first with identifying your goals. For example, your goal may be to focus on your physical fitness and eating habits.
The next step is to write lists of things that are holding you back from achieving your goals. For example, create a list of reasons why you haven’t been exercising. Create a list of all the foods you eat that are sabotaging a healthy diet and the reasons why you choose those foods.
Self-assessment. The first two steps lead to self-knowledge, giving you awareness as to your behaviors. The next step is to assess this knowledge so you can create steps toward self-improvement. Identify what you need to change.
Goals and plans. The final step is to develop your goals, create a plan, and stick to it! This will help you to take accountability, without excuses. Do your research. There are many great websites on physical fitness, diet, and mental health that you can visit to get ideas to develop your plans for self-improvement and incorporate your new behaviors.
Mindset Reality Checks: Read our blogs on this website to help you learn to transform your life through developing a healthy mindset. Continue to journal as a way to document your needs for improvement, progress, and plans.
About the Authors
Harry Petsanis is a philosopher of human nature, mindset specialist, and lifelong fitness and wellness advisor. He is a writer and author, with three published books: “The Truth is A Lie,” “The Logical Path To Life,” and "Knowing Me from A to Z, A Child's Mindset," which he co-authored with Donna McCance, M.Ed.. Harry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He has an intense passion for psychology and the human condition.
Donna McCance, M.Ed. is a business administrator, writer, author, licensed teacher and principal/vice principal with over 20 years experience teaching in elementary education and educational leadership. She has a Masters in Education, Masters in Human Services Management, Bachelors in Business Administration and Associates in Business Administration.
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The Truth is A Lie" and "The Logical Path To Life"
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"Knowing Me From A to Z, A Child's Mindset"