Consistency

Eight hundred dollars. Eight hundred dollars may or may not be a lot of money for you. It’s the number I am going to use here because this is my story. Eight hundred dollars was the amount I paid every month to pay off my house in eleven years. Then $800.00 was the amount I paid for the next five years to knock out my school loans. Next, $800.00 went into a retirement account. For the last five years, I’ve thrown $800.00 a month at a motor home loan. I think you get the idea. It took 25 years to own my home, my education, and my tiny house, and to prepare for retirement, but it would not have happened without consistency.

With my uncle in 2009, I pedaled my bike across lower Michigan for my first PALM. We rode 50 miles a day for seven days, which gave me the confidence to ride my bike across the country. The following summer, a group of 32 goal-oriented cyclists rode their bikes from San Francisco to Portsmouth. We averaged 80 miles a day for 47 days out of 52. The group rode in the heat, the cold, the wind, and the rain. We endured Interstate 80, washed out roads, hills, mountains, and flatlands. When our front wheels hit the Atlantic, my odometer read 3888 miles. Our consistency led us to the completion of our goal—a goal of mine since age ten.

Beginning January 1, 2020, I read my Bible 30 minutes a day. At the end of the year, I had read the entire Bible—a latent goal since my teens. Now I have repeated this goal each year, adding a scripture journal for more depth. In addition, this year I have read 1-3 Edgar A. Guest poems, read 30 minutes of a book, read 2-3 blogs, listened to 30 minutes of a book on audible, and listened to at least one podcast consistently six-seven days a week.

Last year, as a challenge with a family member, we each powered through one push-up each day the first week of January. The second week, we muscled out two push-ups a day. By the third week, we were habitually knocking out three push-ups a day. And so, the pattern of adding one push-up per week continued. We kept each other accountable and encouraged each other as the weeks turned into months. The last week of 2022, we completed 52 push-ups a day, which totaled 9653 push-ups for the year. Nearly 10,000 push-ups started with a goal and one push-up.

A friend asked me last month to join her in a “Proverbs Challenge.” Each day of the month, we read one chapter of Proverbs and texted each other one verse we especially liked. In 31 days, we read the book of Proverbs and highlighted 62 verses. On August 20, our discussion led to another challenge—a ten-day challenge to refrain from sugar and caffeine. As of this writing, I have survived 31 days without two of the most addictive substances known to man. Kudos to anyone who has quit smoking or drinking or gotten themselves off any other drug. It has been a challenging 31 days.

Why have I told you about these goals—most of which I have not told more than one or two people? I’m telling you to encourage you and to remind myself of all the arrows I have in my quiver to use as ammunition for my next challenge. Every accomplishment gives us confidence to achieve another. Write your own list of accomplishments and unfinished projects. For 50 years, I’ve had the goal of writing a book. Last year, I wrote a rough draft. This year, I edited the rough draft 20-30 hours a week. In June, when I got stuck, really stuck, I quit.

Have you quit a goal? Do you have a financial, physical, health, spiritual, task, or family-related goal? Let’s refocus together. Post in the comments or send me an email if you are up for a 28-day challenge. I’d love for you to share your goal, but sharing is not necessary. All I’m asking is for you to commit to yourself that you will do something every day for the next 28 days that will bring you closer to your goal. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you reach your goal (s). I want to support you as you are supporting me. All it takes is a little consistency.