When I think about the habits and routines that have helped me to achieve my goals over the last 5 years, there’s one thing that stands out from the rest: consistency.
Put another way, being consistent, is the number 1 thing that has helped me to make progress towards my goals both in business and my personal life.Consistency is the number 1 trait you can develop to make progress and achieve your goals!Click To Tweet
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So, if you have a goal in mind and you’re wondering what you can do to reach it, be consistent. Don't allow yourself to be distracted by shiny objects or new ideas.
Here are some examples of how I’ve been consistent in my business:
- I’ve shared a new blog post, podcast or video almost every week since mid-2015. This has helped me to build trust and credibility and I often hear from people who have followed me for years (which is always so pleasing to hear).
- Equally, I’ve been nurturing my list of newsletter subscribers (which I’ve referred to in the past as the biggest asset in my business) for the same period of time.
- I’ve been consistent with the topics I cover and the services I offer. I’ve been laser focussed on helping people with productivity and tools like Asana and Pipedrive. HOW I deliver my service has changed, but WHAT I do is basically the same as it was in 2016. By niching down, I’ve been able to create a steady flow of inbound leads for my consulting business which means I never have to do any cold outreach.
Often I hear from people who are impatient as they aren’t making enough progress in their business. Which is why my advice is always the same ‘Just stick with it’. I often think of progress a but like an exponential curve.
It takes a long time to get going. But when you focus and stick at something long enough (by being consistent) you’ll find the success you’re looking for.
And consistency has helped not just in my business but in my personal life as well:
- I’ve consistently been getting 7.5-8 hours of sleep a night for as long as I can remember. This dipped a bit for about 6 months when our boy Jay was born but now he almost always sleeps for the entire night with no interruptions. Sleep has always been a priority for me as it’s the best way to stay fit, healthy and boost your productivity.
- I’ve been consistently working out about 3-4 times a week since 2010. I honestly couldn’t imagine my life without consistent exercise. Similar to sleep, I find this keeps you healthier and boosts your productivity while working.
- I’ve been consistently contributing small amounts to investments each week to save for the future. When you save a small amount each week you don’t notice the money going out. But over the long-term, this consistency really adds up.
So how do you develop consistency?
Developing consistency is going to be different for each person. Some people are motivated by positive rewards. Others respond better to consequences. Personally, I’ve found the thing that works for me is to put systems in place that help me to maintain consistency so I don’t have to think about things as much (they become more automatic).
For example, with producing content, I use a project in Asana to plan the blog posts, podcasts and videos I’m going to create. If the list of ideas ever gets too small, I brainstorm and work out what to create next. But I never let the schedule run dry. I never think to myself ‘I’m just not going to do anything this week”. I’ve been consistent for so long that maintaining the habit has become a priority all on its own as my audience expects something each week. But the point is, I have a system for managing what I’m going to create next so I always have a plan.
Another thing that works for me is using my calendar to schedule things I want to be consistent with. By blocking out time for my work and even things like meditation or going to the gym, you make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to do something.
There are loads of habit tracking apps out there. I’ve tried a few but for me, they all became a chore to manage and don’t really help me to be consistent. But that’s just me. If you like seeing your progress slowly ticking up in an app, go for it.
I’ll finish off by saying this – whatever professional or personal goals you’re focussing on right now, think about what you need to do to reach them and how being more consistent with your actions will help you to get there.
Consistency goes hand in hand with patience. I’m not even saying you’ll reach your goals faster, just that you’ll reach them before you give up or switch to something else.
If you have any thoughts, feedback or comments, let me know below!