Improving: The Key of Consistency
When you think about struggles involving time management and lifestyle improvements; there is one thing that seems hard to grasp. Yet it’s arguably one of the most important ones to obtain. This tool is made to form recent changes into effortless habits. Most of the time these long term goals get derailed into temporary improvements due to lack of motivation, commitment, or patience. If you've ever rolled your eyes to the saying ‘consistency is key’ then this one's for you. Here are some ways you can master the art of consistency to help you achieve your goals.
1. Identify the Goal
Seems obvious, but sometimes we become more focused on jumping ahead we forget we have to get there first. Setting realistic goals is a good place to start building your consistency. If you can’t pinpoint your goal into a specific idea and time frame try thinking a little broader at first. This will help you dig deep into what you actually want.
For example, if a person is struggling to set a goal but their overall objective is to become healthier and have more energy. Then seek out reasons and motives to achieve that objective. This process is known as ‘finding your why’. There’s no wrong answer as long as it makes sense to you. So in the example, the ‘why’ could be that there would be the wanting to feel better at the end of a long work day. This shows us what is driving motivation for the main objective which proves to be useful later on. For now use all that information to create a realistic goal. The objective is to feel more energy and feel healthy; the ‘why’ is to still have energy at the end of a long work day and to feel productive. Therefore, my goal might be that in 4-6 weeks I develop enough energy to run at least one mile everyday after work.
2. Let go of self doubt
Self doubt is likely the strongest reason people will fall short of their goals. It is a mental boundary set forth by a person’s brain to say they have reached a limit. However, far too often these mental limits are too restrictive. This lack of confidence in your own capabilities directly affects your self worth. Overtime that repeated belief of low self-esteem will translate into lack of commitment to yourself.
Having the right mindset is half the battle. Being actively present in your own consciousness to block out negative thoughts is a great place to start. Be patient with yourself and understand that growth takes time. You have enough adversities from outside elements, you don't need to be at war with yourself on top of that. That being said, ignore people’s opinions and refrain from using others to evaluate worth. Just focus on the next best move for you. Blocking out self defeating thoughts will allow you to grow without constraint.
3. Build a routine
Habit stacking is a good way to enhance consistency. It’s been proven that attaching a new habit to an old one is an easy way to start building a new routine. Brushing your teeth, washing your face, even coffee in the morning. If it's part of a habitual routine you can stack a new habit with it. Going back to the first example, if the goal is to have energy to run everyday after work. Maybe try adding a full 8-12 ounces of water to your morning coffee routine, this would help you reach that goal of being healthier. It's essentially scheduling a series of checks and balances. Actively doing consistent actions together will help lock it into a long term part of your lifestyle.
4. Do it anyways
Unmotivated? Uninspired? Do it anyways. You owe it to yourself to work hard on the things that you want to make permanent fixtures in your life. The key to success ultimately comes down to how hard are you willing to work towards the goal. Sometimes it’s really going to take putting mind over matter and reminding yourself of the big picture. Envisioning how your life will be different once obtaining that goal. Reminding yourself of that reason why you began your journey. Understanding what motivates you is a great tool to help you pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.
5. Welcome support and accountability
Reaching out for support or help it’s never as easy as it sounds. Pride sometimes gets in the way, as well as, not being sure who to turn to. It’s important to know that no matter what your goal is you’re never alone. It’s true! Whether it’s a professional in a specific industry, for example a nutritionist helping you eat better to assist a medical condition. Or your accountability partner, this can be someone personal to you, your spouse, a family member, or friend. That person is going to be able to let you vent about the hardships, celebrate your successes, and offer advice when you're needing it. They don’t have to have the same goal as you but they should support your goals. This person will also be able to help you check in with your progress and growth, they’ll be able to hold you accountable on your journey and help you pick it back up if you’ve encountered any obstacles along the way.
You can do it!
It's important to understand some days will be harder than others. However, that does not mean it's impossible. You are capable of greatness and can achieve any goal you set! Practice consistent thinking and consistency will follow.