Consistency is Not THE Key

Consistency is not THE key.

It is A key.

Look at your key ring. Do you have a single key that provides you entry to every lock you could ever possibly need to gain access to? 

Chances are, probably not. 

You need a key to unlock your front door. A separate key to unlock each of your vehicles. Perhaps you need a key to open your mailbox or a key to enter a storage unit. I’ve seen key rings with a dozen (or more!) keys on them. 

I know this will be a super unpopular opinion, but I really think “consistency” is over-glorified. If being consistent is THE key, what is the key to being consistent? 

My belief is that there are a number of keys we need on our journey to achieve a desired outcome or goal and I will likely provide my thoughts on more of them at a later date. Today, however, I will focus on one of the keys that I feel is really overlooked and imperative to success in endeavors of achievement:

Resiliency.

In conversations with clients this past week around planning for Thanksgiving, I’ve listened to a number of people share concerns about how to navigate the holiday. They’ve expressed worry that their efforts or any progress they’ve achieved will be derailed. (Therefore, this post is relaying the message in the context of dietary protocols with specific body composition goals in mind but it can be applied to everything.)

First and foremost, I really believe that enjoying a holiday by spending time with loved ones and savoring a thoughtfully prepared meal and some seasonal treats is imperative to a balanced relationship with food and enjoyment of the holiday season in general.

But I know for some, a day off plan will be challenging. What I’ve proposed to those I’ve talked with that are feeling stress or fear around altering their course to accommodate holiday meals (because, hello! Inconsistency.) is to let go of the need to be consistent and focus rather on being resilient. 

Resilience is the ability to withstand challenges and the capacity to quickly recover from difficult situations. It implies a tough will of character and an aptitude for flexibility. 

We can’t control every single aspect of our lives. But we can control how we adapt to them and bounce back from them. We cannot be 100% consistent in everything we do 100% of the time. It’s just not possible. We can, however, enter into a state of resiliency by focusing on the things we are doing that are in support of or in favor of the desired outcome. 

My suggestion is that instead of fixating on the things that perhaps highlight inconsistencies, note all the ways in which you are flexing your resiliency. Write them down if you need to be reminded! Consistency, by the way, is simply conformity to an application or process. 

You are stronger and more resilient than any of the challenging circumstances you face.

Aligned Activation Defined

Here is a visual depiction of me trying to make some tangible sense of what’s floating around in my head. Nailed it! Super fancy too, right?

The Latin root of act means “to do, move.”

I was recently asked to explain what Aligned Activation is. As in, verbally offer an explanation during a face-to-face conversation. And I fumbled to find the right words to adequately provide the depths of what it is. Because honestly, although I coined the term more than a year ago, I’ve only really recently had the full concept of Aligned Activation land within my system and I’m still processing what it means and what it looks like. 

(True to form, there were a LOT of hand gestures during that conversation though!)

What I initially thought Aligned Activation to be was simply a set of actions that were in alignment with one’s goals. “A marriage of desire, mindset, and actionable strategies,” I wrote on my website. 

It is that. But it’s also bigger than that. 

And I’m still trying to find the words; a way to cohesively string together and conceptualize the deeper meaning of what it is, how it works, and how it can profoundly impact the people who choose to be in my field. 

The best I can offer right now is this: Aligned Activation is a three-part process that encompasses activation, action, and actualization. They are aligned (as in positioned) but nonlinear, however. Activation and actualization orbit around actions that are the nucleus of the entirety. Activation precedes both action and actualization. Actualization begins with activation but is intertwined throughout the other stages. 

It’s simple yet so complex. 

In a nutshell, actualization begins when you become activated by envisioning the fulfilled goal or desired outcome. It’s reverse engineering in a sense. When you become excited or energized about something that you aspire to obtain and set that vision into motion through action, it will be created. It will materialize. 

Got it? 

I know. It’s a lot to digest.

But I’m deeply honored to have been imparted with this wisdom I’ve been gifted with and intend to use it to help impact others who feel called to explore it deeper with me.

My monthly Aligned Activation workshops (including my December workshop which is FREE! You can join via the form below!) are intended to dive into topics and concepts that help create clarification around alignment.

I’m channeling how I might offer this in terms of 1:1 coaching so stay tuned if that is something you might be interested in.

Warm-Up

Failed attempt or a warm-up for the next?

I was having a conversation with a friend recently and within the context of sharing the core of what Aligned Activation is with her, I called myself a “goal pro.”

Taking pride in the things I’ve checked off my list of desired achievements is fuel when I find myself challenged when things don’t seem to go my way in working toward or reaching a goal. 

Because 9 times out of 10, my first attempt at a goal was not when I actually achieved it. 

(I may be a “pro” but I’m also a pro at trusting the divine timing of things and that means trusting there is a reason they don’t always go in my favor.)

When I think about current goals and things I’ve dreamt of doing for a long time – and how far off they feel or how little progress I feel I’ve made toward them – it can be discouraging. And, for transparency’s sake, I’m currently in that state with a few aspirations.

A couple of relevant examples would be how many attempts to quit drinking I made before it stuck. I honestly lost count. But in less than two months, I’ll be celebrating five years of sobriety.

Or, my dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. When I got bit by the bug to run Boston, I really only had the intention to run two marathons: the marathon that I would run to qualify for Boston and then the actual Boston marathon. 

Guess what? I didn’t qualify on my first attempt. Nor my second or third. If my memory serves me correctly, it was my fourth attempt, nine months after my first try.

I’ve been giving a lot of careful consideration to something that has, for about 19 years, albeit in a cyclical fashion, been a dream. I’ve started, and stopped, for various reasons a handful of times and have questioned whether or not it’s something I really want to pursue given that after an attempt, I tend to think that maybe it’s not in my highest excitement after all or that I’m not cut out for it.

Plus, I’ve looked at each attempt as a “fail” because I didn’t really get what I’d hoped out of the experience and then, out of fear of further failure, talked myself out of trying again. (Out of a little compassion and fairness to myself, there have been a couple of other factors beyond my control that also played a part in changing course the past few years. But for the most part, I take responsibility for the choices I’ve made.)

Being that I consider myself an alchemist when it comes to turning challenges into opportunities, I’ve applied that mindset reflecting back over past experiences and this is what I’ve discovered: those previous attempts… the times I stopped drinking for a couple of months… the marathons I ran that weren’t quite fast enough to earn a spot at Boston… the bodybuilding competition prep that ended with a canceled show or placing just one spot outside of the top five…

They weren’t failed attempts. They were just part of the warm-up.

Every effort was a preparatory opportunity to gain experience and extract lessons that then could be applied to the next try. Offering me insight to apply to the next attempt. 

It’s like playing a video game. Do you slay the dragon and save the princess on the first attempt? Not in my experience. Typically, I lose a few lives before I successfully complete a level, let alone an entire game. However, each time I pass through level 1, level 2, level 10… I remember where the obstacles are. I’m able to collect the coins and extra lives quicker. I recall the point at which the giant venomous ants come out of hiding and know how to access the secret spring that catapults my character over the river of molten lava that instantly ends the game if you fall in.

Every attempt is a warm-up for the next attempt… getting closer to the prize, rescuing the princess, checking another achievement off the list of goals. 

Whatever goals you have yet to reach, if you don’t nail it on this try or it takes a few attempts before you do nail it, look at each one as a warm-up. Extract whatever lessons you can. And most importantly, if you feel a burning desire within the core of your being that tells you to keep going, to keep working towards that goal, please KEEP GOING. Even if you warm-up a hundred times, keep going. The princess is counting on you.