Consistency and Immersion

The balance between two ways to tackle a goal

Which is better? Brushing your teeth twice a day for 90 seconds each time? Or brushing your teeth every Monday morning for 21 minutes? Or brushing your teeth on the 1st of the month for 10 1/2 hours?

Of course, it's obvious that in the case of brushing your teeth, the consistency of spending a small amount of time more often makes the most sense. It's a Consistent Approach. However, not all pursuits warrant this type of schedule. In some cases, such as learning a foreign language, an Immersion Approach works better. If you were in a foreign country without an interpreter, you would be forced to have high focus and intense motivation for learning that language. When learning new things or pursuing new goals, along with setting a good goal to begin with, choosing how to approach and schedule your time around that pursuit can be just as critical. How do you know what the balance should be?

Most pursuits work best when you use a combination of these two approaches, in some sweet spot on the Continuum along that dichotomy. Learning new skills, gaining more knowledge, or achieving a specific goal is called a Pursuit. The exact days and time you plan to focus on your pursuit is called the Schedule. The type of schedule you choose for planning to focus on this pursuit is the Approach, likely a blend of both Consistent and Immersion ideas, and is a specific point along this Continuum. The overall plan, the Process, consists of these steps:

  • Defining the Pursuit
  • Characterizing the Pursuit
  • Finding the Sweet Spot on the Continuum
  • Constructing the Schedule
Defining the Pursuit

The first step, defining your Pursuit, is talked about everywhere. In fact, there is so much information on "Goal Setting" that you may have to set some goals on how to go about researching "setting goals." This is not something I will address in this article. However, keep in mind, to define your Pursuit, you should end up with one very specific sentence that captures the vision of what the final piece looks like.

Characterizing the Pursuit

Next, to identify where along that Continuum your Pursuit lies, you can use just few key characteristics of your Pursuit. Ask yourself these questions: 

By what date do I want to have accomplished this Pursuit? How much time am I needing to put in?
If your date is much further in the future, your sweet spot lies closer to a Consistent side of the Continuum. If you need to achieve this much more quickly, Immersion is more likely going to be successful. Having a "number" of hours or days you plan to put in can be helpful in the next step when explicitly build a schedule.

Is this Pursuit mostly doing or mostly thinking?
Muscle memory works best on the Consistent side, as we need constant repetition, in small doses, every single day to reinforce what we achieved, and build a little on top of that. However, with intellectual Pursuits, an intense focus, the Immersion, can help us make leaps and bounds, if not after an initial period of struggling at least.

What resources do I need? Which do I have and which do I need from others? How readily available are these resources? Can I utilize them at any time or do I have to work around other challenges?​
If you have all the resources you need and can use them at any time, you can choose to Consistently use them or Immerse yourself with them. You have a choice. However, if others control your resources, and say, those resources are only available once a week, then you have to plan around that. You must use a more Consistent approach. Or say, those resources are only available from now until next month, then you must use an Immersion approach. The key is, you have more of a choice if you control the resources; otherwise, your approach might be dictated by the ones who control the resources. 

Is this Pursuit an extension of skills I already have or is this all brand new to me?
If you are pursuing something that you already have quite a bit of experience in, your learning curve is probably getting more and more shallow. In order to jumpstart a spike in your progress, you might need Immersion, to really dig deep and gain some mastery. If, however, you are pursuing something brand new, the learning curve will be very steep, and you might choose more of a Consistent approach, so that you can allow new skills to "soak in" a little. 

Find the Sweet Spot on the Continuum

Now that you have characterized the Pursuit by answering some pragmatic questions, you can use a more precise scoring system or a general subjective system to choose where along the Continuum your pursuit might lie. 

Constructing the Schedule

All that is left to do now, is to take out your calendar, and write down specific dates and times that fit based on your total time. If you are choosing very to the Consistent side, make sure your dates are frequent in short bursts. For example: every day for 30 minutes for 8 months = 120 hours total. If you choose closer to the middle, but still on the Consistent side, your dates can be less often and duration in each time a little longer, which might make your accomplishment date further in the future. For example: once a week for 3 hours for 40 weeks = 120 hours. Slightly on the Immersion side starts moving the overall time frame as shorter and shorter again, and the frequency back to closer together, while the duration also increases. For example, twice a week for 4 hours each for 15 weeks = 120 hours. And still deeper into Immersion, you can spend less overall time but every waking moment. For example, all day, all in for 3 months = 120 hours. 

By using this Process to pragmatically plan out a fitting time Schedule for your Pursuit, you are more likely to stay motivated and focused, and ulitimately more likely to succeed!


  • 20 October 2018

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Another portmanteau from the dictionary of Jen, aka Jenictionary:



Meshing error with education to mean, learning from others’ mistakes rather than your own.

Nothing will happen without the belief that it will happen.

When I was younger, I said yes to everything. It was necessary to create opportunities from nothing. As I get older, I say no more often. I can now choose the opportunities I want to spend valuable time on, and this turns my productivity and impact on.


I just made up another word... Dictionary of Jen:



The condition of suffering from chronic or extreme confirmation bias. Afflicting otherwise healthy, smart, normal individuals, this malady usually flares up after controversial events, especially political in nature.
{See itoldyouso}

Authority without responsibility is dangerous. Responsibility without authority is ineffective. Without either, you just have a title.

The key to persistence and ultimately achievement is recognizing a lack of gain is not a loss. You can't lose what you don't yet have.

I say, Sweat the small stuff! How do I know this works? Mandelbrot Theory.

The best way to handle fear, especially illogical fear, is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I believe in Serendipity more than Luck.

I'm defined not by what has happened to me, but by what I've done despite it.

What is Education? They say you learn from your mistakes. But I say it's lazier to learn from others' mistakes.  #ShareYourKnowledge

Absence of fear is not a prerequisite for action.

If you're running from your past, likely you're going the opposite direction of your future.

The single most accurate predictor of success is Optimism.

Someone asked me, "Where do you get your energy?" I don't acquire energy... I just release it.

Everyday I ask myself, what would I do today if I had no clock, no phone, no obligations. And then I do THAT. At least for part of the day.

I see my life like Freefall. You cannot add any time to it, you just have to make it count.

Stolen from a friend: Don’t be the sage on the stage. Be the guide on the side.

Knowledge dissipates Fear.

My wishes get me nowhere. My dreams get me anywhere. My actions get me there.

I have a tendency to be accidentally controversial. It happens when I speak the truth.

Be A Part instead of Apart.

The more overtones you have, the more resonant you can be.

Overtones are akin to richness of experience, depth of understanding.
Resonance with others equates to empathy, cooperation.

Though I awake much earlier than most, I am not an early bird. I'm late compared to the birds. I am an early human.

A "collection" = having two or more of something. I have a collection of ideas, toilet paper rolls, experiences, plants, rocks, kids.

I think it's not the instance of injury or trauma that brings the most pain. It's the healing.

“Expect the Unexpected” is not something someone can decide to do, not something they can do consciously, at least for any sustained length of time. Otherwise you'd be expecting it.

The biggest cause of suffering in the world comes from misplaced anger.

Why do we assume "all natural" items are good for us? I mean, cobra venom. That's natural. So is lightning.

Sometimes we sacrifce the equality of rights by trying to contrive equality of outcomes.

Another word from the Dictionary of Jen:


[kəˈmēlyən teɡrədē]

Variable character of integrity that changes based on the level of integrity of surrounding people. For example, the behavior of being honest and fair if people around them are honest and fair, but lying if other people in the situation are lying. 

Rage is all the rage...
Why is being angry trendy? I've never found pessimism or apathy to be fashionable.

The true test of maturity is maintaining connection amidst disagreement.

 Another portmanteau from the Jenictionary:


[comp-uh-TEN-shuh n]

Competition for attention, usually in the form of being dramatic or loud, e.g. almost all two year olds. In severe, habitual cases, it can take the form of self absorbedness, insatiable pursuit of accolades and achievement for the sake of approval from others.
{See lookatme}

THOUGHTS. The only thing a person has control over is inside their own head. I have control over that tape recorder that plays and my goals and images of what I want to happen. So, the tape recorder comes from my past. It covers my past and is my story. The goals and images of what I want to happen cover my future. So... I only have control over my past and future. Oh wait so, the only thing I have control over is everything.

"Do your Best" rather than "Be the Best"

Anyone who claims to be elightened, yet uses that same claim to infer superiority over those "unenlightened" ... not there yet. Try again.

A small hinge opens a big door.

Momentum is useless without the right trajectory.


My daughter and the swingset

I was a single mom with my own programming company working from home for all the years while my kids grew up. And when my kids were young, I vowed I would try to say "yes" to them. It was hard juggling being at home working and when to walk away from work which was endless. One day, my daughter, in the middle of a sunny day, asked me to play with her on our new-to-us swingset, and teach her how to swing on that dual bucket-type swing. I struggled but relented and said YES. Seriously, bad timing.

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