Habits: Consistency Beats Intensity

I helped move a friend out of his office. It took two adults to move one of the shelves. It was one of those old school, heavy wood behemoths. Nobody was in better shape before or after moving it over. It was intense, but it was only a moment.

A few years ago I learned about “chaining” things you want to do to things you have to do. I started a morning workout regimen around feeding my cats. They needed to eat (and one of them started howling the minute I turned on the coffee maker, so ignoring him wasn’t an option). I needed to workout. I also needed to put it early enough in my day so nothing else could bump it from my calendar. So, I started taking their food into the basement and immediately working up a good sweat after. The habit is still with me years later.

When it comes to habits driving results, consistency beats intensity. One-offs or extreme events can feel satisfying. We might finally conquer our inbox or lift a giant hunk of metal (or office furniture) above our heads. But, these don’t really trigger change outside of the moment.

Consistent, steady, ocean-wave beating a rocky shore into sand reps are the path to change over time.

Grand gestures are fine. But showing up and putting the work in every day? That’s what we’re after.

Whatever habit you want to hone, focus on consistency and not intensity. The rest will take care of itself.

h/t James Clear’s conversation with Brene Brown, which is FULL of this sort of stuff.

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