This weekend just gone by, I was teaching the final module of my
current hypnotherapy practitioner diploma course and we spend some time
discussing applications of hypnosis for advancing sporting performance. One of
the themes that crops up with applications of mental imagery, applications of
self-hypnosis, goal-focus, applications of effective self-talk, development of
self-efficacy, applications for motivation and so many of the other facets
included in class, was that persistence and consistent application made all of
these things more effective.
It made it a topic that I wanted to write about today. Not in sporting terms, but in life in general.
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne Johnson.
Most of us have gone through phases in our lives where we were only really consistent in doing one thing – procrastinating. Or consistent in our inaction.
If this is the present reality of your life, you are not the only one. Difficult and dark as it may appear now, there is light at the end of tunnel! All that is needed are some simple changes in your approach.
It is easy to fall prey to the habits of procrastination,
inaction or getting distracted by trivial and unimportant affairs of daily
life. However, building self-reliance and a benchmark for consistency is not as
complex as the realm of astrophysics either. All you need is consistent application,
will power and motivation to get and keep the show on the road.
Here are some great articles on those related topics to use in conjunction with the information in this article:
Learning how to be consistent is one of the best ways to achieve long-term greatness in anything you do – from taking care of your health, your career, sporting excellence as mentioned earlier or enhancing your relationships. However, learning how to be consistent is also the one thing that we humans can have a difficult time perfecting! It is most difficult when we are trying to improve something in our life. Especially if it is something new we have not done before, or if we’ve forged bad habits that make consistency seem very challenging indeed. In many areas when seeking to advance or be more successful, we have no choice but to learn to be consistent.
The critical part of this journey lies in how to take the first few steps towards being steady and positive in all life situations.
“We all have to start somewhere, and doing something is better than nothing at all. Start small so you don’t get discouraged and give up. Remember it is all about consistency.” – Khloe Kardashian.
Why Consistency Is The Ultimate Success Tool
- Consistency Leads To All-Star Habits
Consistency in your life leads to all-star habits, and with all-star habits, you can live a life that is filled with, well, whatever you want. What are some of these habits that you gain, one might be wondering? Well, that depends on the person and what you are seeking in life.
For instance, if you are seeking good health and want it to be a big part of your life, consistency could lead to you going to the gym every day, eating healthy and being in great shape. If you want to be a successful professional writer, then consistency could lead to you finally finishing your first book, reading more and simply becoming a better writer.
Being consistent should lead to people being more productive, meeting every deadline and being the happiest version of themselves.
- Consistency Is Everything
Why is consistency the ultimate success tool? Well, because consistency leads to great routines, and ideally a flawless schedule. Having a great routine and schedule is the key to being on track every single day. On top of that, it’s the key to making your goals and dreams come true.
A great routine and schedule is literally your map to success. While setting goals and dreams and then keeping them close to your heart is essential, a great routine and schedule is the actual act of you following your dreams.
Without consistency, none of this would be possible. Without consistency in your life, your days would become a maze because you wouldn’t know where to start, where to go or what the finish line looked like.
It’s great to have boosts of energy, which could lead to you working at odd times as a result (such as 10 at night), but often the key to success is doing your work at the same time every day. The building of that habit is something we can all benefit from greatly.
Here are just a few simple steps to learn if you want to improve an aspect in your life and become more consistent with anything you do. Set time aside for actions that will help get you closer to your goals and dreams. Those goals that are definitely worth working on. The rewards are huge and you are unlikely to be disappointed. I want to share 8 inspirational ideas on how to stay consistent and realise your dreams.
“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.”- Tony Robbins.
8 Steps on the Road to Consistency
1. Plan Ahead.
Consistency over time requires planning. You need to think ahead as you plan, prepare and practice consistent behaviors. You have to understand that your core activities are built around your values, a purpose, a plan and goals. If for any reason your priorities are not in alignment with these areas, it will be difficult to maintain consistency over the long-run.
What specifically can you do to maintain consistency?
How will you remain consistent when you get distracted from your core activities?
2. Maintain Consistent Focus.
You may need to identify your priorities that you want to focus
on and remain consistent on those priorities. Try to find 3-5 things for you to
focus on and then follow up on those things on a regular basis. This is where
accountability comes into play. By adding an accountability partner to your
life, you’re simply increasing your odds of success. You don’t want to lie to
someone you respect. Therefore, when you tell them you’re going to do these
things this week, you’re more likely to do so.
Review your goals and planned actions each day, ideally in the morning prior to starting, so you begin with focus that you aim to maintain throughout the day.
3. Maintain Consistent Action.
“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”- Stephen Covey.
Consistency along with focus comes in the form of proper preparation, planning, and practice. You have to prepare yourself each day with consistent action. You also need to mentally prepare yourself with daily doses of self-reflection.
Ask of yourself:
• What action do I need to do to achieve my goal?
• What actions and activities do I need to repeat to achieve my goal?
You must be laser focused and have a clear idea of what needs to happen in order to achieve your desired outcome. Ask yourself these questions each morning or write them in your daily planner in addition to focus development and you’ll benefit greatly.
4. Visualise Your Vision.
Remember to keep the why and sense of purpose sitting underneath your goals prominent in your awareness. It’ll keep you connected to what you are doing. It is very important if you are going to have a clear compelling vision of what you’re aiming to achieve and know why you want to. Visualise how you wish your life to look. This will fuel your fire and get you on a mission.
5. Be Specific.
Do not make a generalised plan to “be more consistent.” It is
important to pick your battles carefully. Just pick one or two things that you
want to work on and stick with it. It is a common fact that all of us have
limited capacity when it comes to will power and discipline. For example, a
doctor or therapist will recommend that you don’t try to quit something like
consuming sweets and drinking at the same time – otherwise you might fail at
both. Instead, try to be more consistent with just one particular aspect of
your life, like making healthy eating habits daily. Setting specific goals will
give you something to strive for. We can’t achieve everything at once otherwise
we will overwhelm ourselves and run the risk of not achieving anything.
Once implemented and happening automatically, move on to the next thing and add that to your consistency regimen.
6. Make It A Priority.
It is important that you create space in your schedule to work on your goals. Stephen Covey, the highly regarded author of the best-selling “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” once said, “Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.” That distinction may be subtle, but it is also very important. If you are trying to make a specific activity or trait more consistent in your life, you have to build your entire life around it rather than trying to fit it in your usual daily schedule. For example, if you are trying to build muscle and want to attend a gym, it is important to set aside the time to do so. Very few of us ever think we have enough time, yet we do find time for the most important things. If you aren’t getting to something, it may be because you haven’t decided that it is really important to you. Prioritise and work it into your schedule accordingly.
7. Improve Your Willpower.
Do read the article I linked to earlier in this one on this topic. You have to improve your willpower and ignore your feelings sometimes. That is, you need to ignore that voice in your head that says: “I don’t feel like it!” Anytime you are trying to be consistent at something that is important to you, you might hear that little voice. You have to train yourself to overpower that voice in your head if you want to learn how to be consistent. You just cannot be consistent without improving your willpower and remembering that you have to practice whatever it is you are trying to improve over and over again, even if you don’t feel like it. It is also important to ignore the negative voices inside your head. Research experiments have established that Willpower is drained by too many decisions. Willpower is like a muscle that can get fatigued from overuse.
Read this article for more on this topic and for the research references: Decision Fatigue: Scientific Ways To Reduce Decision Fatigue.
Ignore those voices that say: “I can’t do this,” or “I can’t seem to stick with this!” or “I’m too lazy!” Just keep working on it and you will get better. Remember, that it is okay if the changes are occurring slowly – it is impossible to be perfect at everything. One of the biggest mistakes we make is not giving it enough time – both short-term time and long-term time.
8. Be Realistic.
It takes time to be consistent! I recently read Making Habits, Breaking Habits by psychologist Jeremy Dean and in it he shows that some research suggests that it takes 21 days to cement a new habit into your routine. Other researchers suggest it can take up to 66 days for a new habit to become consistent in your life.
Also, keep in mind that you won’t start out always being consistent 100% of the time but that’s okay. Be kind to yourself! Don’t think that if you miss one workout, that it was a major problem. It is okay to fall off the wagon time and time again – everyone does. Just don’t think that because you fell off the wagon that you can’t catch up… you just need to run and catch up to it! What is that old saying – “It isn’t about how many times you fall down. It is about how many times you get back up!”
Your life is too precious to waste away. Your future rests solely in your hands. You and you alone decide what you’ll focus on. You and you alone choose to be distracted. You and you alone can only decide to take action. This all begins with small steps and a positive mindset. You must commit yourself to consistency each and every single day without fail for weeks, months and years.
You may not see immediate results but over time and with consistent action, you will build the foundations of a meaningful life.
Have some of these themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist who is looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book, it’ll help you advance eating habits!