We often hear that we should be more present, disciplined, organized, structured, patient and so on… But rarely are we told to be more consistent.
The Oxford dictionaries defines consistent to be “acting or done in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate”.
Fair or accurate focuses on how others view you. This helps others in deciding to trust you. The answer to my question though, lies more in viewing yourself and how you can make progress.
“Over time” reveals the power of consistency. Acting or doing something in the same way, on a regular basis, is the boring part of being more consistent. The result of it, is more significant results. Much in the same way that a house is built from the ground up, one brick at a time.
There are many examples of this. Weight loss. Doubling your sales. Turning around a bad situation. Building a business or organization. Getting over the hurt of a broken relationship. Finding a new job. On & on……Doing the work consistently day after day, is key to making progress in your life over the long term. None of these things just happen.
When doing something once, you might succeed or fail. If you don’t do it again, you will never know if you are good at it. First time, success could simply be luck. But doing something consistently, will also reveal to you, things that you could change in order to do better. As you become better at something, you begin to pick up speed moving faster towards your goal.
If you don’t do something consistently, you will never recognize where you are weakest or where adjustments need to be made to get better. This feedback loop also doesn’t happen in an instant. This takes time too.
Doing things that you need to get done consistently makes them become easier & automatic. Leaving your mental capacity more rested to tackle harder projects during your day. As consistency becomes automatic, is is never directly seen. Nor is it glamorous.
Consistency is a part of discipline. Where discipline often reminds us of denial or abstinence, consistency demonstrates discipline when committing to do something on a regular basis. Especially when it is desparately needed to reach a goal.
This is where most of us fail. We easily pick a goal, as if it was a wish for Alladin’s lamp to quickly grant. We may put in the work for a day or two and then let it go for a few days before doing it for one more. And then slowly the work that we need to do consistently gets lost. Never to be found.
Why be consistent? Remember this question the next time you want to get something very important done.