Consistency is the ability to apply discipline to behaviors that can drive you to achieve desired goals. To do this, you have to perform certain actions, check your progress, adjust them to work toward your goals, and repeat. Although this seems like a pretty simple concept, many people struggle with it.
Consistency is a Flywheel
What you do consistently, shapes your life. Successful people understand the power of consistency—they define their goals as early as possible and steadily work towards them, developing good habits that help improve results. When you develop routines and build momentum, habits become almost second nature. Most often, success does not depend on great talent but on dedicated effort over a long period of time. You can be victorious if you make responsible decisions and execute them steadily. The Japanese concept of Kaizen, or continuous improvement, is very applicable to our personal lives and building consistency.
On Being Inconsistent
The concept of consistency is quite simple—steadfast adherence to achieving your goals. However, you may struggle with its practice. Goals are easy to set. We all set goals of one sort or another, but many of us don’t end up following through on them. Setting goals doesn’t guarantee success; it just makes you feel good. Only consistent behavior and great habits can help you succeed.
We can feel discouraged when our actions don't show any immediate results. But don't let that get you down. A huge part of success is just putting in the time, day after day, and realizing that you can't live only for the short-term. Consistency is about making incremental progress over an extended period. There are no overnight successes; nor are there any quick fixes.
Getting distracted is another contributor to inconsistency. There are so many distractions in our daily lives, particularly now in our connected world. How many times have you tried to sit down and focus on one thing for a period of time without being interrupted by texts, notifications, and more? Our days have become a series of interruptions and constantly trying to overcome those and bring back focus. Being consistent requires vigilant and focused continuation of action.
Repeated actions without any thought is also an issue. However, consistency is the repetition of actions, with the intent of learning, growing, and adapting yourself. Be deliberate in everything you do. Know what you want to achieve or where you want to be, and be very deliberate or purposeful about the actions you take to get you there.
If you aren't focused, committed, or disciplined enough, you may never reap the long-term results.
Overcoming Inconsistent Behavior
Consistency is the vigilant and focused repetition of action, and is the key to achieving your goals. The following are some ways to counter inconsistency:
1. Define your goals and the purposes behind them.
2. Identify the actions you need to take to achieve these goals.
3. Dedicate a particular time for your actions and focus only on them. Actually schedule the time on your calendar and cancel or postpone other things. This method of time-blocking is a great productivity tool in general, by the way.
4. Tell someone about your goal, your actions, and your progress. Sharing your goals increases accountability and commitment.
5. Avoid doing anything that drains your enthusiasm and energy. Honestly, what's the point then?
6. Eliminate all obstacles that prevent you from being consistent.
7. If your environment is not helping you, find ways to make it work. This can include adjusting your workstation, keeping your desk organized, putting on headphones to keep people from interrupting, keeping water handy at your desk, putting up motivational posters, etc.
8. Maintain the momentum by doing at least something daily, even if it's the bare minimum.
9. Manage your attention along with your time.
10. Motivate yourself with a meaningful reward for being consistent and achieving milestones along the way.
Consistency is maintaining habits aimed towards your goal even during difficult circumstances. Committing yourself to it will lead you to extraordinary success.
Do you struggle with consistency? How do you overcome distractions and stick to making progress towards your goals? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.