I don’t know what you were expecting but, this is another post about consistency. And yes, you need to read it because you’re obviously at a point where you’re trying to be more consistent. But I’m not just here to tell you about “how to be more consistent”. I want to go a little deeper and explore why you are feeling or desiring more consistency in your life.
Merriam-Webster defines consistency as “firmness of constitution or character“. When you think about this definition of consistency, you can see that it’s more than the work you do or don’t do. It looks at the very foundation and constitution of you as a person. So I guess, my first quest to you is “Who are you?”. Answering this question will take you one step closer to understanding why you are struggling with being consistent and how you can change that.
Many people go through life never fully understanding who they are and why they are on earth. They never develop passion for anything and their lives, however long, didn’t mean much to them. But you are not those people, you desire more. You are passionate about something and you want to achieve it. So the second question you need to answer is , how bad do you want it? How bad do you want to be consistent?
You see, just like you, many people struggle with consistency too. I like to think it’s because of how fast things change, how easily interest awakens or die, how emotions change and how people learn, grow and move on. We all struggle from time to time. Struggle is not unique to one person. But the difference between “successful” and “unsuccessful” people is the willingness of one group of people to push beyond the struggle and achieve their goals. However, this is the kind of consistency is not limited to one goal. This kind of consistency is tied to values and belief systems. Who we are and what we value is shaped by our beliefs, experiences and culture. This belief system is what helps us value things.
So the third question you need to answer as you look deeper is: What do you value? A healthy body? Your job? Your relationships? Winning? Your children? On your business? Making money? The more you value it, the harder you are willing to work towards getting it, and the more consistent you will be. Consistency is like a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it grows. It’s really that simple.
How to be more consistent?
I personally don’t think it’s possible to be happy and at your best every single day. This is not even the kind of consistency to strive for. Notwithstanding, consistency is still something you can strive for and maintain. Like I said from the beginning, consistency is more than the goals you set. It’s as deep as your core values and belief system and while these things have already been learned and formed, you can still change them with intention and effort.
So, using a staircase analogy, I’m gonna explain how you can be consistent in five steps:
- Focus on one stair, not the whole staircase – when you set a goal, no matter how big, always break it down the the smallest and most simplest size/task that can be worked on daily. This helps you focus, maintain realistic expectations, reduce fear and anxiety and prevents you from quitting at the very beginning. Just like you don’t spend time looking at the whole staircase thinking when you’ll reach the top but rather focus on the next stair before you, so too must you work toward your goal one task at a time.
- Climb one stair at a time – don’t try doubling or tripling the stairs. Taking on too many things at the same time is the number one reason why we fail or give up in the middle of our journey. Taking on too many things at the same time dissipates effort, reduce the impact and eventually overwhelms you.
- Take your time – patience is a virtue that is usually overlooked. Unless you’re in a stair climbing competition, why are you rushing? Rushing to reach the top may cause you to trip, fall and even roll backwards. It’s better to take your time and gradually progress then to rush and have your progress unravel.
- Rest when you need to but don’t quit until you’ve reached the top – when climbing you might feel tired. This is normal as the human body doesn’t have an unlimited supply of energy. However, resting doesn’t mean quitting. It just mean giving your body time to recover. Once your energy has been restored, you resume the climb. You need to understand that rest is just as important as work. These two balance each other out and helps you be at your best everyday.
- If you slip, pick yourself up and keep going – finally, as you climb you will kick a stair at some point, fall down and even roll backward. I’m here to tell you that this is ok. Falling is a part of life. What you do after the fall is more important than the fall itself. So when you fall, ask yourself “why did this happen”? Use the answers to make better choices on your climb to the top.
As you embark on this journey, remember that the drive to be more consistent is really tied to the value you place on the things you are trying to be more consistent with. This means that you need to assess your value and belief systems and make changes where necessary. This is almost like trying to build a new habit. It takes time, planning and effort to achieve. If you are not familiar with the process of building new habits, read my next article on “How to build healthy habits” here.