Let’s talk about the C word.
Not what you are thinking, I’m talking about consistency.
I’ve had so many conversations lately about consistency and the lack of it. It can be disguised as procrastination, or perfectionism. In today’s fast paced society – it can show up as burnout or lack of clarity. At the end of the day, it’s a lack of consistency (and probably clarity) and it’s affecting you and your success. Whatever that might look like.
Staying consistent can be a common challenge for many people, but there are several strategies you can use to help you maintain consistency in your daily routine or habits.
Set achievable smaller goals that lead to your bigger goals: If you want to get healthy (big goal) then tracking your food on a nutrition app could be a smaller goal to help you. Going for walks, or setting a minimum required effort (MRE) of activity, these can all help with that bigger goal. There will be smaller ‘goal’ wins along the way and seeing that accomplishment that will help you with consistency.
Create a routine: Establishing a daily routine can help you stay consistent in your habits. For myself, meditation and reading are part of my day, every day. It doesn’t matter where I am, I always meditate. And that has been consistent for 429 days. And for me reading helps recenter me, takes away some of the noise, and helps me be a better writer. So 15-30 minutes of reading is my MRE every day. I’ve read 5 books since November 2022. And I haven’t read that much since my Uni days.
Track it: Keep track of your progress. Do you know how I know that I’ve meditated for 429 days in a row? Because I use an app. And I know that we don’t need more reasons to spend time on our phones, but tracking is a way to stay consistent. I love watching that number go up, it’s the high-achiever in me.
Hold yourself accountable: I’m going to say that accountability is as important as consistency. There isn’t anyone telling me to meditate or exercise or read, it’s me telling me. And so, make promises to yourself. Start small, baby steps. But when you make a promise to yourself, keep it. Don’t break it. You have to be the most important person in your life.
Find a support system: Selfless plug here, find a coach. And interview a lot of coaches until you find one that works for you. Coaches help you with the future, moving forward, action items, asking questions. All of that is support, and will help you with consistency.
Be flexible: Remember that consistency doesn’t mean rigidity. Be willing to adjust your goals and routines if necessary to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Nothing is set in stone, and change is inevitable. Let go of what is out of your control, and focus on what is.
If you have lost consistency in any areas of life, don’t shame yourself into a pit of despair. Dust yourself off, start small, and find little wins that you can focus on each day.
Early in 2021, when I found myself at my lowest, I took a little red notebook – like the one pictured above (the mouse is so that there is a size reference). I called it “my little red book of wins”. And every day, I wrote down wins.
Made my bed.
Spend time with my kids.
Read a chapter of a book.
Even today, I am much stronger, and I know myself better than ever before. But, when I feel myself starting to get distracted or discouraged, I bring out the “little red book of wins”. And I might use it for a week or 2, just to get back on track. Just to remind myself that consistency trumps everything else. Because we all are trying to be a better version of ourselves, and every little win counts.