I’m often asked if I have any tips or tricks for staying consistent on the road to acquiring skill. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I’ve wanted to write a long intellectual post on the topic, but the truth is I can’t — write a long post that is. Staying consistent is incredibly simple. We don’t need to complicate the matter. We all have days when we don’t want to practice — this feeling isn’t unique to anyone.
A large part of the problem is unrealistic expectation. We are organic animate beings. We aren’t computers. Emotions and external factors get in the way and we can’t always follow a routine. It is true that we can develop discipline. I don’t miss a day of intense study, but I haven’t always been this way. Discipline takes time to develop, It won’t happen over night and you won’t be a disciplined monk next month.
When you’re starting out you may not be able to study for one hour a day consistently. Not because you physically can’t, but because you lack discipline. There’s nothing wrong with this, every journey has a first step.
My advice is simple:
- Do something
- Do a little
What matters is knowing more or being better today than you were yesterday. Next time you feel the urge to skip a day of practice, remember, you can do a little and it won’t be cheating. Practicing consistently isn’t difficult. What’s difficult is practicing something every day that you don’t really want to, and in that case you probably shouldn’t be practicing.