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?