Consistency. Lately this word has been leaving my lips more often than usual. I’m a new R&F customer and while perusing my friend’s VIP page, I noticed a discussion regarding usage and the necessity of being consistent in order to the get desired effect. That made me think back to my Beachbody days and how you can sell a fitness plan to someone but unless they are consistent in its use, the results will not come.
This got me thinking.
What other aspects of our lives are achievable only through consistency?
And you know what? It’s pretty much ALL of them! When I looked at my own life and the goals that I was aiming for at the moment, they all came down to consistency:
- Get in better shape and see results: be consistent.
- Learn a piece of music on the piano: be consistent.
- Deepen my relationship with God: be consistent
- Deepen my relationship with my spouse: be consistent.
- Educate my children: be consistent.
- Read more: be consistent.
- The list goes on and on!
So, what’s the key to becoming consistent? TIME. Yep. You must devote your precious time to whatever goals to have in a consistent manner in order to make any progress.
One hard workout followed by two weeks of little to no effort = no results. On the flip side, I’ve been practicing yoga (10-25 minutes a day) almost every day for the past month and I can’t believe how much that little habit has changed my body. Before that started, my sole activity was talking a walk and that alone, done daily, delivered results, toning my legs and increasing my stamina and cardio health.
I realized that it wasn’t about the intense effort as much as the consistency of the actions.
Let’s look at building close relationships. In order to really be close with someone, your time is required. It’s that consistent, daily attention that really keeps you close; knowing what is going on in each others’ lives and being there for the ups and downs. For instance, a father spending every evening reading to his kids is going to be deeper impactful than a camping weekend. Those daily moments create a sense of security and trust so that other thoughts and feelings can be expressed. The camping weekend is fun and undoubtedly creates memories, but if it’s followed with weeks of “I’m too busy” that sense of security will not be developed.
Choose ONE Goal at a Time
I’m sure you, like I, have multiple goals you’d like to achieve. The problem is, they all take time and you’ve only got so much time free to focus on bettering yourself or your surroundings. Therefore, the key is to start with just one behavior/habit/goal, set a time frame (such as a week or a month) and really commit to being consistent.
Articulate a “Measurable” Goal
In order for this to work, you must be able to articulate the goal and it must be measurable. Therefore, “getting fit” won’t work as a goal. However, the behavior of “moving actively for at least 10 minutes a day” will.
Link That Goal to a Current Behavior or Occurrence
Once you’ve figured out your behavior and time frame, you need to choose WHEN to do this. As you can see above, I tend to link my behaviors to another already-habitual behavior. Hence, I do yoga after I finish my coffee. The time can vary anywhere from 7am to 9am but after my coffee, I know I’m heading downstairs for some kind of yoga session. Additionally, story time with Daddy is every night after the kids get into bed. This is just an example. It could be the first 10 minutes after dinner is finished or the first 10 minutes after Dad showers after work. They key is to ideally link a goal behavior with another set behavior so it’s more likely to get done consistently.
So here is my challenge to you: STOP trying to do everything at once and pick ONE skill/habit/routine/aspect of your life that you’d like to address in July. Once you pick it, figure out WHEN each day you will do that one activity. Then schedule that in and, if you’re like me and enjoy checking off the box, write it out on your calendar or create a page in your planner and fill in every time you do it. Does it have to be perfect? Of course not! I don’t know any goal I’ve had where I was able to hit all 30 days in 30 days, but consistency is what is going to bring real change. And the awesome thing is that because you’re only focusing on one habit, it won’t even feel that challenging.
I’m curious: what goal/behavior are you choosing to be consistent about in the following month?
Until next time,