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Updated: Jan 15

I chose a word for the year: consistency. It’s not something I usually do, but if 2023 taught me anything, it’s the importance of having focus. No quality time with Madi, my business, or anyone else, for that matter, happens when there are 100 things to do and no set time to get them done. So, I've decided to focus on being consistent.

I have never been one for routine. My mum is very similar, and in general, bouncing from one thing to the next is our style. "I’m flexible," I tell people. The problem with that is when you are too prone to "bouncing," it’s quite easy to get sidetracked. You just sort of bounce from one thing to the next, people-pleasing and fitting things in that you actually shouldn’t be prioritising.

This candid approach to life can make one feel like they are in control. No one is telling me what to do, so I can write my own list and tick it off in any order that I like, at any pace I choose.

Add to this wild, non-routine existence, A BABY! At first, it felt great that Madi was so adaptable. Every day of mine has always been different, and she sort of went with the flow. Of course, she got tired and needed her naps, but if we were in the car, she would nap there, and we would make things work.

It made being in the hospital slightly easier as Madi had been used to us mixing things up. Adapting to different environments and coping well with change is something she had been exposed to her whole little life. While this is a positive, the problem is that the non-routine lifestyle has been impacting me and her far more than I ever could have realised.

Since birth, Madi has woken up every 2 hours, and I have breastfed her to go back to sleep. It’s been exhausting. While I thought it was Madison that was addicted to these boobies, I have come to realise that it was, in fact, me who has been using breastfeeding as a coping mechanism.

The impossible has been achieved just by focusing on keeping things consistent.

Meet O’Hara, gentle sleep trainer extraordinaire! With the hopes of weaning “my little milk drinker” and getting a desperately needed full night's sleep, we spent the first week of January working with O’Hara to get Madison to sleep and stop with the milk all night.

It’s been slow and difficult for all of us. In an effort to not further traumatise our baby, who has been through so much already, it has been a very slow process of tiny adjustments to develop a strict routine!

As I sit here, still in the thick of our new adjustments, I can’t help but reflect on how much better we are, in fact, coping with boundaries and timelines.

With a bit of consistency, small changes every day, and a new strict schedule, Madi has started sleeping in her cot through the night WITHOUT ANY MILK!The impossible has been achieved just by focusing on keeping things consistent.

It probably sounds obvious to some, but this has been a HUGE wake-up call for old “Flexi Fiona” over here.

Not only does routine matter to Madi, but it’s something I didn’t know that I was craving in my own life.

I have come to find, in one short week, that consistency breeds success.

Nothing has to be done perfectly (and of course, we will fall off the wagon), but at the end of the day, the result is far closer to what we want things to look like moving forward.

When we want change in our life, we tend to feel like we have to do it all at once or take on a mountain of change at one time for our life to look different. It’s why people make New Year's resolutions or embark on weight-loss programmes.

Big change = big results, right?

One hundred percent, big change = big results, but the major contributing factor towards achieving those results, and maintaining them in the long term, is consistency.

By initiating small changes and daily habits that make the smallest difference every single day, you will, before you know it, look back and realise how far you have moved in the direction of your dreams.

The metaphor of Madi’s sleeping and weaning seems minor compared to many of the things we as adults aim to achieve, but I can tell you that the impossibility of achieving this with Madi felt just as big!

We would not have been successful by stopping everything all at once. Making one huge adjustment to the way Madi gets through the night would have caused trauma for all of us, and the sustainability of the approach would have gone out the window as fast as it came in.

Instead, we have made the smallest little chewable changes every single day, which has transitioned into her having a good night's sleep and no longer requiring the comfort of breastfeeding!

In fact, we probably reached this result faster by making small changes than we would have had we just done the all-or-nothing approach.

This year, I plan to take on this exciting realisation as I approach my own goals for my life. It’s in taking small bites every single day, developing a routine, and putting boundaries in place that I know I can stick to, that will make achieving what I want to achieve doable.

By initiating small changes and daily habits that make the smallest difference every single day you will, before you know it, look back and realise how far you have moved in the direction of your dreams.

As humans, we often tell ourselves things like, “I’ll do ‘this’ when….” When, in fact, we can actually start doing what we need to do right now and achieve our goals faster simply by taking on the smallest little changes one at a time.

We don’t have to forgo all sugar today to lose weight. By giving up the sugar in our daily coffee, we are taking one small, impactful step in the right direction.

Here's to a slower, more intentional, consistent year ahead. May yours be one filled with happiness and success.

All my love,

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