Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds


Or is it?

When I started looking at quotes for today’s Wednesday Word, consistent, that particular quote popped into my mind. I’ll bet I’m not the only blogger who thought of it.

But where did the quote come from? Obviously I am not well read enough, because, as it turns out, it’s actually a misquote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. The actual quote is:

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now don’t take this the wrong way, but Emerson’s quote is exactly why I rarely join in run streaks or challenges consisting of one exercise every day. I think variety is, indeed, the spice of life, and I think anything taken to extremes isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Only you can define what is taking something to extreme for you, and what will motivate you. And don’t forget that at times I’ve been known to overexercise with the best of them.

Then I ran across this interesting article that explores consistency a bit further.

It’s what we do everyday that counts

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.
–Tony Robbins

Getting back to consistent, though, I truly believe that being consistent is very important for runners.

One definition of consistent is “continuing to develop or happen in the same way”.

It really seems like I’m at odds here — I won’t runstreak, or do planks or lunges or squats every day, but I want things to be consistent. My definition of consistent is simple: to just keep showing up and doing the work.

That I can do. That I have done for the seven years I’ve been running. That I’ve been doing for the last eight years since I went back to Weight Watchers at my highest weight ever.

Quite simply, being consistent is the secret to my success.

Just what is a hobgoblin, anyway?

Oh God, I so need one, because according to Wikipedia, hobgoblins:

. . . are often found within human dwellings, doing odd jobs around the house while the family is lost in sleep. Such chores are typically small deeds, like dusting and ironing. Often, the only compensation necessary in return for these is food

I would love to have little guys come in while I sleep and dust and iron and maybe clean the bathroom, too. It would free me up to bake more, which is totally a win-win situation.

Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

How are you consistent?

What’s your definition of consistent?

Don’t you want a hobgoblin now?

19 thoughts on “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds

  1. Sometimes it seems like my husband thinks we have hobglobblins to do all those chores! I do agree with that Tony Robbins quote. It’s our habits that shape our lives more than anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am seriously in the habit of planking every day (and putting it up on Twitter), but run streaks never went well for me. I always ended up getting hurt. And yet, I’d jump on every next one that came down the pike. What was I thinking?


  3. Hobglobblins to do the cooking would be nice. As far as cleaning, my hubby thinks we have them but it’s really me who clears the counters & tables & dressers EVERYDAY!

    To me consistent is get out to run several times a week, every week no what how I feel and what the weather is like. Unless I am injured I don’t I have missed more than 2 days in a row.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always take a whole week off after a half, even if I have another one coming up soon.

      I’ve actually begun to wonder if I might benefit from taking a couple of weeks off at the tart of the year . . .


  4. Enjoyed the quote you shared. I think being consistent by following a training plan is good enough. I am not however, consistent with all the other stuff. As far as a Hobgoblin, yes please!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would LOVE to have a hobgoblin! I spent a good 30-45 minutes ironing last night (total time waster). And, my bathrooms would really benefit from some regular maintenance (instead of the once in awhile power-clean-marathon). I love your sense of humor 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your definition of consistency is so perfect; and I suspect it applies to most of us runners. We just keep showing up and doing the work, and that contributes to our success and longevity as runners.

    As always, thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

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