We’ve all heard them before:
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”
― Anthony Robbins
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”
― Jim Rohn
“An intelligent consistency is the foundation of genius.”
― Chris Matakas, My Mastery: Learning to Live through Jiu Jitsu
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, consistency is: 1) always acting or behaving in the same way 2)of the same quality; especially : good each time 3)continuing to happen or develop in the same way .However, the reality is that consistency encompasses many challenges:
Some of these challenges include:
1) The performance of an action
Consistency challenges us to constantly perform a certain action. Examples of this is the fact that in order to attract new customers, we must consistently be prospecting and networking. However, other external factors can impact this. A business owner may begin prospecting customers, but initially receive little to no response. The same business owner may be networking, but may not be making the type of contacts that he or she wants to make. A barrier to consistency can be failure or lack of motivation. Initially, a person can be motivated to attempt to consistently perform these actions in an effort to reach their goal. However, barriers to success such as lack of customer response and weak networking contacts may lead that business owner to abandon consistent action due to lack of results.
2) Performance of that action at the same level/ quality every time
Sometimes be consistent can become mundane. I compare it to working out at the gym. If you consistently perform the necessary actions and eat the recommended things, it is a natural truth that you will reap the desired results. However, what about when you get burnt out and tired of your workouts? What about when you get tired of eating your healthy meals. This will again result in lack of motivation which affects consistency which affects your results.
3) The Inconsistent Nature of Everyday Life
The final challenge presented with consistency is quite simply the inconsistent nature of life. As a business owner, you may say that every Monday you will make sales calls for 4 hours that day. However, on Monday your car won’t start, and you end up spending 8 hours at the mechanic shop.
So how do we fight past these challenges to become more consistent?
1) Be Intentional
Your desired to be consistent has to override all the barriers that present themselves. You have to want to be consistent more than you are bothered by the barriers to consistency. It is an action that must be performed regardless of your personal feelings. It is an action that has to be performed like clockwork. Only then will you achieve consistency.
2) Set Realistic Goals
Be realistic. If you are a night owl who stays up 3am and wakes up at 12pm, don’t make a drastic change to your schedule by trying to challenge yourself to wake up at 5am and go to bed at 7pm. Start by consistently going to bed 2 hours earlier than usual, and gradually work yourself up to your ideal sleep pattern overtime.
Everybody needs some type of incentive. Reward yourself! There is nothing wrong with doing so? If you sign on that new client, take that vacation. If you successfully complete that project, take a spa day. Incentives cause motivation and can aid in helping you to achieve consistency.
The trouble with consistency is that we often don’t have a handle on the variables that cause us to be inconsistent. Conquer the barriers to consistency and you will achieve it!