You’re inconsistent. It might be in your professional life, your personal life, your lifestyle, or all of the above.
…and it’s starting to take its toll.
But what does being consistent in life actually mean?
How can being consistent have a positive impact on your life?
And how can you train yourself to be more consistent?
Let’s take a deep dive into the world of consistency, to give you a chance to reflect on whether you need to work on yours.
What does being consistent mean?
To be consistent means to carry on in the same way, standing firm, repeating the same actions and behaving in the same way for an extended period of time.
It means that when you decide to do something or commit to something, you stick to it.
You set a course and you do not deviate from it, no matter what distractions come your way.
Sounds simple, right? It is, but things that are simple are not always easy.
How can being consistent have a positive impact on your life?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Good things take time. There are all kinds of clichés out there that express the same thing…
…if you want to achieve anything positive or meaningful in life, you can’t expect it to happen overnight.
You have to work at it and commit to it for an extended period of time.
If you want to build your own Rome, whether that’s in the shape of a happy home or a rewarding career, or just a fulfilling life in general, you’ll need to be consistent in order to do so.
A good example of this is if you’ve decided you want to find love. You need to be consistently open to the possibility of meeting someone.
And when you do meet them, you need to be clear about your intentions, and stick to your word, showing them how much they mean to you, rather than blowing hot and cold.
If you’re starting an exciting new business venture, a massive part of making it a success is setting achievable goals and putting the work in, day after day, to meet them.
You need to show up for your customers regularly, always communicating the same brand values and message.
Being clear about what you want and consistent in the way you go about it means that people know exactly what to expect from you, and can rely on you.
In both your personal and professional life, being consistent can lead to huge growth, and mean you finally achieve your dreams.
How can you be more consistent?
Here are 10 tips to help you be more consistent in your approach to life.
1. Write down your goals.
The best tools you have at your disposal when it comes to setting goals are your mind and a trusty old pen and paper.
Take some time out, have a think about what your goals are in life, and write them down.
Think about goals that give you a sense of purpose and drive.
When you think about what it would be like to achieve them, they should make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
That’s what will give you the motivation to put the hard work in to make them a reality.
2. Focus on what’s really important.
You’ve probably written down quite a few different goals. It’s now time to narrow them down.
It’s good to have lots of big aspirations, but if you feel you’re inconsistent and want to work on that, it’s a good idea to pick one big goal that’s really important to you and pour all your energy into it.
3. Be realistic about what you can achieve.
If you struggle to stick to the things you say you’re going to do or the goals you set yourself, then one of your main problems might be that you’re expecting too much of yourself.
In order to achieve your goals repeatedly, they need to be realistic ones that you will actually be able to accomplish.
Otherwise, your lack of consistency might simply be down to having aimed too high.
And if you aim too high, you’ll probably slip back into your old flaky habits as soon as things become too difficult.
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4. Plan carefully.
If you’re not naturally consistent in life, then the key to becoming more so can lie in making plans and sticking to them.
Divide your goals up into bite-size chunks and make plans that will allow you to complete them.
For example, if you want to be more consistent with exercising and keeping fit, you could aim to be able to run 5km within a month, and plan your runs accordingly.
If you want to regularly try out new, healthy recipes, simply set aside one night a week to do so, and make it non-negotiable.
Set yourself small, short-term goals and lock things into your diary.
Make sure you allocate reasonable time periods for everything you want to get done. If in doubt, overestimate how much time it will take you by at least 25%.
5. Remind yourself.
When life gets busy, your goals can go straight to the back of your mind.
If you tend to lose sight of your end goal during the day, try putting post-it notes around the house or office to remind yourself.
If you’ve decided you want to do a certain thing every day, a reminder on your phone can be a great way of making sure you actually do it.
6. Do things you enjoy.
You shouldn’t be consistently doing things that make you miserable.
You only have one life to live and it goes by quickly, so the things you’re doing with your time should be things that are really worthwhile, and fill you with joy.
It’s far easier to stick to doing something on a regular basis if you’re excited about it.
7. Say no when you need to.
Inconsistency can sometimes become a problem if you’re one of those people who always says yes to everything.
There are only 24 hours in a day, and if you say yes to everything, something will have to give.
You need to be realistic about what you can fit in, and only say yes to things if you know you can dedicate yourself to them fully, and do them well.
Don’t spread yourself too thin, and only make promises if you can actually keep them.
This also applies to making promises to yourself. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to achieve things if you haven’t got the time or mental capacity to make it happen.
8. Find an accountability partner.
It can be hard to change your ways all on your own. If you’re left to your own devices, it can be tricky to find the motivation to keep going, and easy to justify flaking out or not sticking to your plans.
If you really want to become more consistent in life, find someone you trust who’ll be willing to hold you to account.
Explain to them what your goals are, and ask them to check in with you regularly to make sure you’re working toward them.
Make sure you tell them that they’re allowed to give you some tough love if they’re not seeing consistency from you.
Sometimes a kick up the backside from someone we care about is just what we need.
9. Celebrate your successes.
If you don’t celebrate the progress you make with your consistency, you’ll quickly lose the willpower to work on it.
If you manage to hit a daily goal every day for a week, do something to celebrate at the weekend.
If you’ve managed to build your business’ social media following by posting quality content on a regular basis, reward yourself.
The more you celebrate the little things, the more motivated you’ll feel to push for those big goals you’re dreaming of.
10. Don’t expect perfection.
The fastest way to get in the way of your own progress is to beat yourself up if you have a bad week, or miss a goal you set yourself.
One broken promise, or saying yes to one thing you really don’t have the time for, isn’t the end of the world, and doesn’t mean you should give up, or that you’ve failed.
You should anticipate setbacks and failures, and view them as part of an exciting journey, and an opportunity to keep learning.
Ask yourself: what got in the way of your plans and goals, and how can you avoid it in future?
If you’ve skipped a day at the gym or haven’t written your daily page of the book you’re working on, make sure you get back to it the next day, so that it doesn’t become a pattern.
Push yourself, but be kind to yourself, and recognize the incredible progress you’re making, and before you know it, consistency could be your middle name.