A friend of mine asked me today, “Are you writing somewhere? ‘Cuz I’d like to read what you write.” “Uhh no.” “WRITE”, she said.
I’ve been thinking a lot about consistency these days. It’s something that eludes me, scares me, but the thought of it excites me, too. This “WRITE” offers a new opportunity to build consistency.
What have I been consistent with? I struggle to read a few pages of a book every day, to listen to a podcast every day, to read up all the newsletters I have subscribed to every day, to watch something meaningful on YouTube every day, to make notes on the new things I learn every day. All of these held promises of consistency when they first came to me. Much like this “WRITE”.
Looking back, I think I have remained consistent with actively seeking content that makes me pause and think every day, that teaches me something new every day, that equips me with some amusing trivia or fancy vocabulary every day. Turns out, if I don’t get bogged down by HOW I’m getting it done, I AM getting it done. I am exposing myself to new ideas every single day. I have unknowingly stumbled upon this magical island of consistency in a desert of whatever life is outside of it.
I think I will use this new opportunity of building consistency to document and reflect on the new things I learn every day. A good example of what James Clear calls ‘habit stacking’, no? This is something new I recently learnt, which is helping me build a new habit by pairing it with an existing one. As simple as ensuring I read a newsletter while drinking my morning coffee.
Oh, I’ve also been consistent with Wordle — this delightful and elegant word game. You will find the word of the day tucked away somewhere in the post of the day, a little Easter egg of sorts. Creating another habit stack for myself.
Up until recently, the very thought of chasing consistency scared me from starting something new. What if I’m not able to keep it going? Will that be yet another loose end? Will it end up breaking a 4-day streak that has more potential to be consistent? What is even the point here?
Another interesting piece of trivia I recently learnt is this term called ‘Zugzwang’ in chess. Essentially, it represents a situation where it’s your turn to move and any move you make would make your position worse. So you’d be better off not moving. That is what starting something new felt like. Still does, to be honest. But there is no skip in chess…or life?
I’m starting to think of this as a good coming-together of smaller different habits to build a larger consistent pattern of learning new things every day. It’s not about the parts, but the sum of parts. I can live with that.
Some of the parts -
Habit stacking — https://youtu.be/PZ7lDrwYdZc