One of my biggest struggles is with consistency.
I’m a strong starter. In learning something new, or starting a new regiment, there’s an exciting beginning phase. An adventure, really. There are novel things to discover, exciting milestones, and there’s a sense of accomplishment that goes along with it.
I remember learning to play guitar. When I first started, I must have played three or four hours every day. I remember learning the basic chord shapes, learning songs from internet tabs, playing with my friends. It was new, it was exciting.
But then I reached that middle stage, when it wasn’t so new, so exciting, so fresh. And I reached a point where I couldn’t measure my accomplishments in big chunks, but rather in smidges, in the faintest hint of improvement.
And then my interest started fading.
Large time gaps began between playing guitar. Days, sometimes weeks. Now, 14 years later, if I pull out the guitar every couple of months I feel like I’m doing well. There are still songs that I have on my “to learn” list that were on my list back in 2004 when I first started learning. Only now a lot of my skill has atrophied and getting back to that point is a big hill.
Now, I’m not saying that I need to go back and play guitar. Sometimes we move on from things. But I had goals, plans with the guitar. I had songs that I wanted to play, styles that I wanted to learn. But as things got more and more difficult, my consistency got less and less. And I moved on to the next thing. (In college, I think this might have been Guitar Hero and Rock Band, ha.)
If I look back there is a cemetery of forgotten hobbies and interests in my wake. It’s not that I think I need to stick with everything; it’s natural to move on from things. But I hardly ever come to a decision point about quitting hobbies. I rarely make a conscious decision when I move on to the next thing. There’s just a fizzle.
And I leave a lot of time, effort, and planning behind.
I think what I want is to become not only more consistent, but more intentional. I remember writing about this same idea over three years ago, and the problem is still the same.
I need to be aware of what I’m doing, and I need to act intentionally. If I’m going to drop a hobby, stop doing something, I want it to be an action, not inaction. It’s easier said than done. Consistency and intentionality are day to day, hour to hour, moment to moment things.
But right now, at this moment, I am choosing to pursue on a life of consistency and intentionality.
And at this moment.
And this one.