One part of my ~blogging journey~ that I failed to mention in yesterday's post was the moment I started calling myself a "blogger." For me, it all changed in 2013 when I started having a post come out every day. I stopped being a "person with a blog" and started being a blogger. I decided that being something had to do with being it consistently.
Consistency is something that didn't click right away, but over the years I've figured out how to stay on track without too much extra work. Whether you're trying to be a better blogger, Instagrammer, runner, breakfast eater, or water drinker, these three tips can help you be more consistent.
1. Know what you need and obtain it. Whatever it is you're trying to accomplish, you probably need something in order to do it, and not having it is only going to hold you back. Don't let that be an excuse! This requires scheduling ahead of time. If I want to try to go to yoga, I can't use the excuse that I don't have yoga pants when I wake up the morning of the class. I need to get my butt to Old Navy the previous weekend and pick up a couple of pairs so I can be ready when it's class time. For blogging, this means making sure I have outfit photos scheduled with Chelsea ahead of time so I'm not scrambling at the last minute to put together blog posts.
2. Tell someone who will hold you accountable. Some people need an extra someone to know about their goals in order to hold them accountable. I think that rather than a character flaw, this is just a personality trait, and knowing what you can do to make things easier on yourself is always going to make you more successful! I put my goals on the blog because it helps me stay accountable. Find that one friend who you know will either 1. ask you about the thing you were supposed to do or 2. who you don't want to disappoint, so you'll do it whether or not they ask.
3. Spread it out using a schedule. Of all three tips, this is the one that made the most difference for me, personally. So often I see really enthusiastic people fail at their goals because they try to pack it all in at once: blog three days in a row and then not again for a month, go to the gym for a whole week and then don't return for six months, etc. I think we have a tendency to give up after one misstep, so, for instance, if I've been journaling every night before bed and I miss a night, I feel like I've failed at journaling and I'm too embarrassed or ashamed to start again.
Instead of making yourself do it all at once and, in my opinion, setting yourself up for failure, make a plan to spread it out. Write three blog posts, and then post every Wednesday for three weeks to keep your readers engaged and let them know when to expect you. Go to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday to give yourself some down days in between so you can really focus when you're there. This helps you know what to expect in advance, too, so you can be mentally prepared and have all your things -- outfit photos or work out clothes -- in order beforehand.
Having a handy notebook or planner is a helpful tool for knowing your schedule at a glance and not having to guess when you can squeeze in your goal. Having it written down can also help you stay accountable, because when someone wants to make brunch plans, you can check your calendar and see that, oh, actually you can't make it at that time because you have a hot yoga class, but would your friend like to join you? Accomplishing goals together is productive and fun!
Consistency is logically simple: you say you're going to do a thing on a regular basis and then you do it. What's difficult is life getting in the way! These three tips have helped me combat life's messes so I can stay on track without getting overwhelmed or giving up.
What are you trying to do more consistently? Do you have any other tips for being a more consistent person?