PartnershipMarch 25, 2022
Thinker MomentsMay 4, 2022
Defined as doing something or acting in the same way over time, has to be one of the hardest and most essential traits of any successful person. Our brains love regularity and predictability; however, our brains also love novelty and ease. Consistency is often dependent on our own ability to manage our brains and overcome our desire to follow the path of ease and novelty.
We all know this to be true, that small consistent acts, over time are what will differentiate us from a crowd but implementing this can be tricky to master. Here are 4 reasons you (like me) might struggle to keep consistent – and how I overcome them:
You set too many goals
I love to set goals. The more the merrier. When I have multiple goals, my brain then has the option to flit between them, picking the one that seems the most fun/exciting and rewarding one to focus on.
The solution: Set only one goal
When I set one goal, my focus narrows and I have clarity on what action I should be taking. Is scrolling Instagram in line with my goal? No, then I change the action and pick something that is consistent with where I want to go.
You are surrounded by obstacles
We can often find ourselves with analysis paralysis. All we can see are the obstacles to why we can’t achieve something. When I feel like this, my default setting is procrastination. Avoid the task at all costs.
The solution: Turn obstacles into strategies
Write down every obstacle to your dream and then incorporate it into your strategy. For example, if you find you don’t have time to focus on Sales because you are working on Customer Service then create an action item to hire a Customer Services Consultant to assist you.
You rely on self-control
Self-control has been shown to be a resource that runs out. We now know that each of us only has a certain capacity for healthy decision making within a day and that this will run out as each day goes by.
The solution: Create habits that are automated
Identify what you want to be consistent about and find a way to create sustainable habits for this. My favourite way to do this is habit-stacking, find something that is already a habit and tag your new habit onto it. Structure your life in a way that makes the new habit seamless. If you want to become more flexible, maybe you touch your toes for 30seconds after cleaning your teeth. Cleaning your teeth is already a habit so this allows you to easily trigger the new habit.
You do what you feel like
Feelings are often misleading, particularly when it comes to choosing to be consistent. Our brains love to find things that are fun and feel like candy floss and unicorns. Consistency requires us to do what we need to do, even if we don’t feel like it.
The solution: Schedule your days & then just do it
There are the facts and then there is the drama that our brains attach to the facts. Taking 15minutes to plan and schedule my activities for the next day is something that I do daily. When the next day comes and I look at my schedule, at least 50% of the time my brain tells me to throw out the schedule and take a holiday. Learning to observe ourselves and then do what we have planned anyway has been the number one thing that has helped me improve my consistency.
So, remember that regardless of your circumstances, genetics, or luck – consistency wins above all else.