This article is for the people who want to follow through on things but somehow always seem to stumble and fall.

Commitment and consistency are difficult for a lot of people. If you look back you will see that at some point in your life, you made some promises (to yourself) that you didn’t keep. Let’s say that you’ve decided to stick to a new diet, but after a week, you went off the rails.

This is normal. You’re not some special snowflake. This happens to a ton of people. Someone I know has been trying to stop smoking for more than thirty years. Still hasn’t done it.

As someone who (on certain things) struggles with being consistent, one of the things that has greatly helped me is the realization that I am not always the same person. Let me explain:

When you promise to yourself that you will do X, Y or Z, you are often in a specific state, a strong version of yourself if you will. But you are not always in this optimal state. Your mood, hormones and energy levels vary greatly throughout the day, and different parts of you take over at different times.

This is why it can be so difficult to, for example, maintain healthy eating habits. The conscious you understands the importance of eating healthy, and, when it is the part of you that is controlling you at that moment, you follow its advice.

But in real life, something will eventually happen. You’ll have a shitty day or you’ll sleep only four hours and another part of you takes over—let’s call it the fatigued you. The fatigued you does not agree with conscious you’s decisions. It sees a big, fat chocolate cake and eats it so it can feel better.

When you make a decision to do something that must be done for weeks, you are asking all parts of yourself to follow. If they do not all unanimously agree with your decision, then when the time comes when that part of you takes over, it will sabotage your efforts because it doesn’t want what the other parts of you want.

5 Tips to Stay Consistent and Committed

  1. Negotiate with all parties to form a government – Talk to each facet of your personality and explain your decision. It’s important to be somewhat specific here—vague instructions like “be healthy” won’t have much power. Once you’ve decided on something specific, several parts of you will disagree with you while others will agree. Negotiate with the parts of you that disagree with your decision and try to arrive at a compromise. This is what governments do.
  2. Believe in yourself – If you have a part of you that does not believe that it can realistically do something, it will try to sabotage everyone else to make sure that the status quo is maintained. It’s important that you talk to this part of yourself and convince it of the possibility that this goal might be achievable. You can do this by showing it data that proves that what you’re trying to do is achievable, or you can remind it of all the times you did achieve something, etc. Don’t let a lack of faith in yourself drag you down.
  3. Discipline is still important – You will, at times, have to invoke the police force of your mind to make sure that your internal government is running smoothly. Sometimes lazy you really just wants to do nothing for an unacceptable stretch of time. This is where you must apply force and use self-discipline to remind lazy you that the laws are there for a reason and that they must be followed for the good of the whole.
  4. Don’t focus on the negatives – A pragmatic part of you will look at all the reasons why something is not achievable. Shift its focus towards the positives to maintain your momentum.
  5. Start small – It can be hard to convince the various government members to undertake a large project, but it is much easier to convince them if you start with a smaller project or undertaking.

You may simply need to reevaluate what all parts of you really want and make sure that you find a way to get them to agree on something. If you can do that, then you’ll be able to make progress on your goals and finally stop yourself from sabotaging your own progress.



Can’t solve that pesky problem? Need some inspiration for your next art project? Or maybe you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and don’t know what to do next with your life. Here are some unique ways to brainstorm some good ideas.


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why-1352167_1280I’ll have the freedom to work whenever I want. I can be with my daughter and give her the quality time that she needs. I can fire clients and I can hire out all those tasks that I really don’t want to do. I can do what I love, and get up every morning motivated and looking forward to the day to come!

Well… Yeah. No.

Right now, I’m having equal moments of frustration and joy in deciding whether to start a business. I am having doubts and feeling confident, often at the exact same time, even. Right now, I am in the trenches, and I don’t know if it will be worth it in the end. 

But this is my experience so far. It might help you decide, too.
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I’d gotten it into my head that waking up at 5:00 AM was a good idea. I set my alarm, settled into bed, and thought about all I would accomplish the next morning. Sure enough, I got a lot done! I tidied the house, started the slow cooker, relaxed with my morning coffee, and caught up on the news. Waking up at 5:00AM was amazing.

At least, that’s what the personal development gurus told me.

I lasted about two weeks. I began collapsing into bed no later than 8:30PM. Sleep felt like nothing more than closing my eyes and immediately opening them to the sound of my alarm. Where I’d spent the first few mornings on productive activities, I was now spending most of my time surfing the internet. Getting up at 5:00 AM was terrible.

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Election season is fun, isn’t it?

I spend a lot of time (maybe too much) perusing social media. In my defense I am a writer, so keeping up with not only what is going on in the world, but also what people are saying about it, is important to me. Even if it is within the microcosm that is the social media world.

Even as a Canadian the discourse has obviously been inundated with US election information, commentary and rhetoric. Somehow this election seems to be more raucous and contentious than most. Which started me wondering why that is.

It would be easy to look to the rise of Trump as the impetus behind it. But given the infighting in even the Democratic race, I think it is more than that. I actually noticed the same trend last year, during the most recent Canadian election season.

I don’t delude myself into believing I am getting the whole picture.  My contacts on social media consist of predominantly privileged, educated liberals.  So as Amy so eloquently explained last week, that liberal, progressive viewpoint is what is presented to me day after day.

One might think that the liberal perspective would come through as a willingness to be open to opposing viewpoints. We expect that liberals would seek to understand people’s differences, not reject them. But what I am actually experiencing appears to be a closing off, digging in, and shutting down.

It appears that liberal political discourse has been stripped of every last vestige of empathy for dissenting opinions. More and more I am seeing contrary political viewpoints being discounted as ignorance or stupidity, and demonized as moral failings. [click to continue…]