For the last few years, I’ve selected a word to be my thematic focus for the year. The word for this year is PLAY, and I can definitely use some more energy behind that theme. But hey, it’s only May. I’ve got some time to turn that around.
My word for 2020 was CONSISTENCY. I chose it because I felt like I lacked it in both my personal and professional life. I had a feeling that if I could practice this character trait and get better at it, things could shift for me.
You see, the only thing I’ve been consistent with the last eight years is feeding and walking my dog, Tori. And that’s because she demands consistency. She knows when it’s 5 pm and it’s time for her dinner. She tells me when it’s her afternoon walk shift. She’s got pee-mails to check out!
But I had a whole lot of inconsistent behaviors everywhere else. I would stop doing the things that would eventually lead to the outcome I wanted. And I would stop for a myriad of reasons.
I wasn’t seeing the results fast enough; it felt difficult for some reason or another. Or, I would wake up one day and just not feel like doing it and all momentum would cease.
Please tell me I’m not the only one!
In his book, “The Art of Persistence: Stop Quitting, Ignore Shiny Object and Climb Your Way to Success” author, Michael Stawicki shares the Inconsistent Failure Cycle.
- You decide to change.
- You are scared (or excited) about the change but determined to do it.
- You start.
- You hit a wall.
- You stop your new action and fail to achieve change.
Yep, that was me.
But here’s what was the biggest breakthrough for me. I needed to stop making my consistent actions dependent on results within a specific time frame!
For instance, I would limit my food intake for two weeks, work out HARD every day, and only see a 1 lb loss. Well, why the heck do I want to keep doing that to myself for such a small payoff?
You see the mistake I was making, right? (Maybe you’ve made this error yourself?)
Here’s what gets in our way of creating positive consistent actions
- We want instant gratification These days you can get almost anything you want delivered to your door within 24 hours. The world is changing so fast and we want results just as quickly! And there are countless FB ads telling us that’s what we should expect. Lose 10 lbs in 10 days, get paid a million dollars in under a year following this business model, flip your house in 60 days! We need to learn to look for long-term satisfaction
- We expect significant results too soon. This was my issue with losing weight, but it might be yours with social media; either gaining followers, gaining clients, or both. We want 10 paying clients as soon as we get done with coaching school; or, 10,000 followers in 3 months. It’s like we’re throwing apple seeds on the ground and expecting an orchard next week.
- We allow a skipped day to be the gateway to stopping – The ideal is to have a streak that goes unbroken, but that’s not always possible or we allow excuses too easily. Streaks are so much easier to keep when they’re small commitments. Write for 10 minutes a day, make your bed, go outside at least once a day.
Truth Bombs About Consistency
Consistency is a character trait and it can be developed. You develop your character traits the say way you develop any habit, through intention, attention, attitude, and commitment.
Practice creates mastery. And so, my question to you is, what are you practicing right now that might be leading you to master a negative trait?
Because a positive behavior is as easy as a negative one…it’s just not as practiced.
The biggest secret to consistency is so ridiculously easy and it’s the very thing that most people won’t do…simply SHOW UP!
That’s it, show up. It doesn’t have to be perfect or better than the last. Some days it just needs to get done. I’ve been practicing that with my blog posts and newsletter. Tonight I’m writing this blog at 7:45 pm.
And yes, I desperately want to make some popcorn and veg out in front of the TV. But I KNOW that’s not going to get me the result I want. I want to build a community, make connections, serve and help people. And I want to show up for myself and honor my commitments.
And the painful truth is that if you don’t show up for yourself you’re a dreamer practicing wishful thinking. What are you WILLING to do? Because that life you want to create for yourself won’t happen if you don’t show up for yourself consistently in small ways every day.
If you’re curious about how to build more consistency in YOUR life. Join me for the next Moffitt Talks Live on Wednesday, May 26th at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET.