Consistency or being Consistent is not a talent to fantasize about neither comes to people naturally. So what is it and where do you stand? Consistency is a habit developed with time. Anyone can develop it and master it. There are no minimum requirements to be qualified. Does it make you hopeful? Well, you should be because it is true. If you think you are inconsistent then the good news is you can develop your habit of being consistent.
You might question yourself,
WHY CONSISTENCY IS IMPORTANT?
The 21st century has been different than in other centuries. Before people used to have collective goals and aim with the much larger cause but today we are racing against each other. Everyone has their own dream, goals, and priorities. Everyone is racing at the fastest pace possible to get it. 21st century has also romanticized the word success that has now become the core value of human existence. Everywhere you hear about success more than happiness, society, or nationalism. Everyone wants to be successful, don’t you? Guess what? Each book is written on success, open it, one common word you will find again and again is Consistency. Each person who has achieved success will tell you repeatedly that being consistent is the key to success. Now more than ever, consistency has become a necessity if you want to become successful at anything. Why?
Today you are not competing among society or country but each individual is competing against each other, imagine the number of competition. Not only that but also the distraction has grown too. You are surrounded by instant gratification platforms like social media and video games that affect your resilience to be consistent. Checking feed constantly, getting dopamine effect with likes and comments, video games, and watching YouTube videos are hugely affecting your ability to be consistent. Does not that sound crazy? It does right, still, the truth is, if you want to be successful in the long run, you have to be consistent. Being consistent is not only important for the financial, educational, or career goals but equally to overall life needs. For a flourishing relationship as a son, partner, or a friend, to be healthy or live a fulfilled life, consistency plays a vital role.
Now you know the importance of being consistent and want to walk that path then the question becomes:
HOW TO BE CONSISTENT?
Being consistent is not easy. It is not something that can be achieved in one day or a week or month. Sometimes even years are not enough. It is a habit developed over time. So, if you want to be consistent then you should build habits that will help you to be consistent and improve your consistency over time.
What Habits Helps To Be Consistent?
Scientific research has shown, “Our actions are driven by our emotions.” Whatever you do has some positive or negative emotion to it. Being consistent is not easy by its nature, and our brain translates hard = negative. Hence negative emotion-related with the action of consistency lead to inconsistency. Therefore, you must divert your negative emotion to the positive. You can do that by giving positive meaning to your goals. Doing some activities that excite you before engaging in your daily goal. Also, you can set up a reward for yourself after the completion of your daily goal. These are some helpful hacks that will lead you to be consistent naturally than forcefully in the long run.
Trick Your Brain with Small Chunks that is Doable.
Always dissect the goal or activities in small chunks for a long period than high chunks within a short period. But wait, What about all the people saying think big, do big, take massive action? Well, that is also true yet the context is when? You are struggling to be consistent, you go outrageous with massive goals and targets then what happens is for some days you might feel great but after a few days your energy drops, you get tired. Not every day is the same that increases the probability of you quitting in the middle. On the other hand, what happens if you made it small chunks that are doable, as it is doable you will do it, it is easy for you and that is the trick. As you do it, your brain feels good about you hitting your target, it gets dopamine but the same small action is taken every day until the finish line brings the massive rewards. Well said by Simon Sinek, “it is not about the intensity but the consistency over time.”
Always Remind Yourself Small Difference Matters.
A drop of water is nothing. However, the collection of drops of water forms the river and the ocean. That is the reason, you should keep in mind, even if while doing it, you felt like it was not worthwhile or challenging still it matters. All the great leaders who change the world did not change it at once. The small steps were taken over a long period of time change the course of the country and the world. See the examples in history from Martin Luther King to Mahatma Gandhi. Not only historic heroes but the people who mastered their skills have also always credited that their skills are the result of consistent practice.
Never Forget The End Goal.
Being consistent is always not about every day but about not giving up till the end. Always remember your end goal. If your end goal is to read 48 hrs in a week then even if you miss one day, you can add, subtract, and manage on other days. So, if you miss one day that is not the end, you have time to recover. Even if your goal might not be accomplished within the given time frame but you showing up and taking steps has made you more consistent on the way & that is the long-run game.
I cannot emphasize enough how important this word is when it comes to repeating to yourself. Yes, there are times when you need to be harsh on yourself, there are things where you should hold yourself accountable. Yet, the undeniable thing is you are human, full of errors. You are human with the brain that focuses on how to survive, not how to thrive. So, for sure you will miss out a day, or make a mistake, or feel lazy. If all the time you hold yourself accountable and punish yourself then that will affect more your mental health in the long run. That is why you have to say it is okay! It’s okay to miss a day out, it is okay to be lazy sometimes it is okay to feel shit. It is completely okay. The important thing is to get back on the track another day. Think about this, in a month if you miss the gym for a week and showed up for 3 weeks, still you are building a habit of being healthy.
While researching, I found great content on ted talk by Dan Gilbert who is a psychologist at Harvard. I have tried to summarize it but if you want to check out his full talk I am linking it below.
“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished. We humans always underestimate the change that might take place in a decade. With the EASE OF REMEMBERING VERSUS THE DIFFICULTY OF IMAGINING, most of us can remember who we were 10 years ago, but we find it hard to imagine who we are going to be, and then we mistakenly think that because it is hard to imagine, it’s not likely to happen. The bottom line is, time is a powerful force, it transforms our preferences, it reshapes our value it alters our personality. We seem to appreciate this fact but only in retrospect. Only when we look backward do we realize how much change happens in a decade. The person you are right now is as transients, as fleeting and as temporary as all the people you’ve ever been.”
What does this have to do with consistency? Well underestimating the change lead us not to believe in what we can be in a decade? We might think nothing. But if we are not to underestimate the change and put the effort in consistence then the change is bigger than our expectation.
Books that will guide and help you on the journey of being consistent:
Books are great resources for us to change our behavior and implement habits. They are full of information and great analysis that helps you on the journey. So, here are some great books that will inspire you to be consistent.
BE KIND, BE YOU. YOU ARE AWESOME!