Consistency – the secret to any great success.
Whether you’re trying to:
Improve your mobility
Become an elite athlete
You’ll need consistency to reach those goals.
You won’t lose weight by eating one salad or going to the gym a couple of times.
You won’t improve your mobility by stretching once.
You won’t become an elite athlete by making a 3-pointer every now and then.
You can only achieve those things by consistently executing and taking action on the process.
Odds are you know exactly what you need to do, but the biggest problem I find most people have when they’re trying to improve something in their lives is that they don’t take much action.
The second biggest problem is not taking consistent action over a long enough period of time.
Now, consistency isn’t exactly the sexiest of topics but – when coupled with time – it will give you the greatest results of your life.
Sticking with the program and doing it consistently – not just on days you’re motivated – is the most powerful catalyst of change.
That is usually easier said than done though – don’t worry I got you covered!
Here are 7 things you can start implementing today to create more consistency in your life!
This is quite possibly one of the most impactful practices that I’ve found for consistent success.
The reason being is the human mind has a strong tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before.
Think about a time you woke up late for work. You rush to get out of bed, get cleaned up, and make your way over.
The rush doesn’t stop there though – you end up feeling rushed the rest of the day and are constantly in a ”GO! GO! GO!” mind state.
Knowing this, it’s imperative to set the right tone for yourself in the morning.
Are you trying to be productive and mindful? Your morning should reflect that.
Are you trying to be more health-conscious? Your morning should reflect that.
My current morning routine is as follows: wake up, do a mind puzzle, brush my teeth, journal, read, joint mobility, and finish with a greens drink.
This usually takes me about 45 minutes – but you can start by having a 5 minute morning routine!
One of the basic ones I recommend my clients are as follow:
1- minute Meditation or Box Breathing
1- minute Self-Affirmation & Big 3 to do’s of the day
1- minute movement (pushups, squats, yoga – just MOVE)
1-minute reading (motivation, education, something to gain knowledge)
Finish with a greens drink to set a healthy tone for the rest of the day!
How you start your morning will set the tone for the rest of the day! So let’s start taking charge of our morning to see success for the rest of the day!
Shift Your Focus
One big reason we struggle to be consistent is that we get too fixed on the goal or outcome we’re trying to achieve.
Goal setting is important, but if you only focus on the goal you’ll find it extremely discouraging.
For example, if your goal is to lose 40 pounds and you check your scale weight on a daily basis – you’ll get frustrated that the scale isn’t reading the number you want it to.
Instead, let’s shift our focus to the actions you need to accomplish for weight loss.
By shifting the focus from your outcomes to your process you will be more driven to take action daily because by focusing on the process you will inevitably reach your desired outcome!
Be process focused – not outcome-focused.
Adjust Your Environment
Another easy way to become more consistent is by shifting your environment to make the thing you’re trying to be consistent with the easiest thing to do and always at the forefront of your mind.
Are you trying to run more? Leave your running shoes in front of your door.
Are you trying to read before bed? Leave your book on your pillow every morning so you can see it when you get back at night.
Are you trying to walk more? Set an alarm to go on a 10-minute walk every few hours.
Are you trying to sleep at a more regular time? Set your phone to turn off all your apps at the same time every night.
I could go on and on with these examples but the point is simple:
Shape your environment to promote what you’re trying to accomplish easier.
Change Your Identity
Whenever I use the word identity, I always think about that one episode of SpongeBob where he lost his identity.
It’s a funny episode because he didn’t really lose his “identity” – he just lost his nametag for work. When that happened though, he forgot how to actually do his job!
He wasn’t a fry cook anymore because his identity of being a fry-cook was lost.
It might sound silly, but that lesson is a powerful one.
If you want to do something you need to become the type of person that would do that thing.
Your current behaviors are just a reflection of the person you currently believe yourself to be – whether consciously or unconsciously.
To start changing your behaviors you need to change who you think you are. Once you do that you can start proving to yourself that you are that person with small wins.
If you want to read more, you can start by identifying yourself as a reader. Your duty as a reader now is to read – which you will be more willing to do since that’s who you are.
If you want to lose weight you can start being someone who is more active. You move every chance you get: take the stairs, go on walks, workout etc.
If you want to make better food choices you can start by identifying yourself as a healthy person and following through with that by making healthy choices.
When you try to do a new behavior but you still define yourself by your old behaviors you end up having an internal conflict and trying to do your new behavior is now faced with added resistance. Change your identity and prove it to yourself.
Track Your Consistency
I’m all about measuring things, but the beauty of this is that it can be as simple or complex as you need it to be.
The idea here is to “keep the streak alive” if you will. After all, if you want to do something for a month straight you have to start by doing it for a day.
A really easy way to do that is by getting a whiteboard or a hang-up calendar and just X out the days you were able to complete your behavior.
Sounds simple, but when you can visually see that you started a streak, you are more willing to become consistent because each added X on the board will become more and more rewarding. There’s actually a dopamine response that comes with doing this which makes it even more rewarding!
Anticipate The Dip
More often than not we go into new experiences believing that the path to our desired outcome is straight, clear, and void of any obstacles. Even more amazing is that we believe this even when we know better from past experiences (wtf brain?!)
The dip is going to happen, you’re going to lose momentum and motivation – but what you do when faced with that will make the biggest difference.
In anticipation of the dip, you should have a plan in place for what you’ll do in these situations.
Generally, when my clients hit the dip we always work on scaling back.
Don’t feel like you could go through a full workout? Don’t force it. Go to the gym, do the warm, walk on the treadmill, go home.
You don’t have to do everything all the time, you also don’t need to force yourself to do things because that could lead to negative feelings in the long term. Instead scale back and do something as opposed to nothing at all.
You won’t always feel like it but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always execute.
Be Kind To Yourself
This one’s important because we often beat ourselves up when we fail to follow through on our plan. Once that happens we get lazy, negative, and demotivated.
This doesn’t only amplify the one time you messed up but it ruins the possibility of continuing on and getting back to being consistent.
You’re going to mess up.
The process won’t be perfect.
AND THAT’S OK!
I have days where I fall off track, don’t mark that X on my calendar, or aren’t able to perform the way I’d like to.
It’s going to happen. Instead of letting it be the end of your consistency, tell yourself that this is alright. You’ll be just fine and you’ll continue on as you were before (or scaled back).
Consistency doesn’t mean never messing up – it means that you continue despite the mess-ups!