Consistency is key to success.
Jack Hughes, age 15.
That’s what my son told me on the way home from run training on Thursday. He’d been discussing it with his running mates, and they agreed that when they were consistent they improved more. They could feel the difference in their performance. He told me it wasn’t about being quick or slow, or even completing the session that was set. It was about doing something every day.
He’s noticed that consistency in his school work helps too. He’s learnt that to do some French word revision every day helps him retain and grow in understanding the language.
Isn’t it fascinating that we can learn lessons from all parts of life and apply them to others?
What does your week look like when you’re consistent? What does it feel like?
And what does it look and feel like when you’re inconsistent?
Quite different I imagine! It is in my life!
Some people talk about “being in the flow” and feeling that nothing can go wrong when they’re in this state. I find that this state comes when I’m focused and am being consistent in my approach and work over the past few days.
5 tips for being consistent
That’s the big question isn’t it? HOW to do it. You know that it reaps results, but how do you get there?
Know the result you’re aiming for.
For my son, he’s got a goal of being in his county team for national cross country championships, and doing well (he hasn’t defined that any further, but he will closer to the event). And he’s working towards some grade goals for his GCSEs next summer which he’s set himself. He’s clear what his goals are.
Every time he does a piece of work, some revision tests or reading, or goes for a run or does his pilates session, he knows why he’s doing it. Some days he doesn’t feel like doing it, so may not work at 100% effort. But that’s OK. Each step is a step however big or small it is, and he can see that each step is worth it towards his goals.
KNOW YOUR WHY
Do you know why you’re working towards something?
I often have clients say, “I have to create content on social media”. “Why?” Is my response. What purpose does sharing a post on social media have for you? How is it helping towards your long term goal?
If you’re clear about why you’re doing something, it makes it much easier to take small steps and do little things which help you achieve your goal. For example, if you’re trying to grow your online presence to share your expertise with a wider audience, then sharing social media posts consistently helps you be visible to your potential audience. If your audience doesn’t use social media channels, then it’s probably not the best thing you can do with your time to be continually posting online.
Know what time you’ve got available to work towards your goal.
Life is busy, and we all have many responsibilities and interests which take our time. There may be fixed things you have to do, (sleep is one of them!) that you have to do every day. You may have some weekly activities you’re involved with. Put these in your diary or schedule first.
Once you’ve got your regular activities and commitments in your schedule you can see more easily what time you’ve got available for your work towards your goals. It may be that this month you’ve only got an hour a week. That’s fine. Use the time effectively and you’ll still be making progress. Remember, consistency is key.
Work out what’s the most important next step
There’s lots of different ways to get to the top of the mountain. Once you know what you’re wanting to achieve, and you’ve identified the time you’ve got to work towards it, you need to know what your next step is.
There may be some things which have to happen first. For example, if you’re making a cake, you need to buy ingredients before you can weigh them out. You have to do some things in a certain order.
So what’s the most important thing for you right now?
- Make connections?
- Set up a structure or system?
- Create some product?
- Make some more space in your week to work on your ideas?
Whatever it is, think about the order you need to do things in.
- Do you need to create a piece of art before you go to the gallery to ask for exhibition space?
- Do you need to know how much your item will cost to produce before you set your pricing structure?
- Do you need to have some product to sell before you meet an interested group of customers?
- Do you need more training to grow in confidence about your service?
- Write your tasks in your schedule
My son has a revision timetable. He has scheduled time in his week to revise, and he’s set himself small tasks to do in those available times.
If you’ve got a list of things you want to do, and time available to do them, sometimes it’s matching the time to the task. Some tasks take longer than others, so you need to assign that time accordingly. Other tasks you may be able to fit in to smaller slots of time. Checking emails for example can be done in smaller chunks of time than creating a piece of artwork!
In our house we have a rule, “if it’s not in the diary it’s not happening”. In theory whatever goes in the diary first is what we commit to. The boys know that if they put things in the diary we’ll help them to do it, and they take this into their weekly planning now too.
- Take action
It’s all well and good having all these great plans, but if you don’t do anything nothing will happen. So follow your schedule, do the tasks and keep being consistent. If it’s one hour a week, or five hours a day, you’re making progress towards your goal.
Some days will be harder than others to do everything you’ve scheduled. Life happens. Phone calls interrupt you. New opportunities you didn’t expect show up. But what you’ll find is that if you stick as closely as you can to your scheduled tasks is that by being consistent you’ll see growth.
Growth could be personal growth. Learning how to do things better. Understanding what’s best for you and trying out new ways of doing things.
Business growth can also be seen well through being consistent. A client told me that when she posted daily on one of her social media accounts when she physically met people they’d talk to her about her posts. They weren’t necessarily turning into sales each day she posted, but by opening up the conversation just by being consistent in one area of her marketing it allowed her potential customers to know what she did and how she could help them. It made her more accessible to those people who were happy to talk about her posts, which led on to talking about her services.
Being consistent is about working towards your long term goals. Each step or task helps you move a little bit closer. Even if you find you need a slightly different path, you wouldn’t have discovered that without being consistent in your approach.
How will you find out how being consistent can help you?
You are most likely part way there, and feel like you’re falling off the wagon when your schedule gets disrupted. At least you’re on the wagon most of the time! It can feel frustrating when you have good weeks and bad weeks, high days and low days.
I’ve often found it helps if I have someone I’m accountable to apart from myself and my diary. When I work with my coaches I always set tasks and then write them in my diary. I check back in with them to update them on my progress. It helps to keep me focused.
The Action Learning Sets (or mastermind groups if you prefer that name) I’ve created also help you stay focused, and support you each step of the way. I currently have some spaces in the Lancashire meet up, 2nd Tuesday every month and the online group, 3rd Wednesday every month. If you’d like to learn more, book an explore call.
Do you have any tips for being consistent in your life? Please leave a comment below.