Are you working day and night with complete dedication and determination? Yet unable to meet your goals? If yes, you need something more than motivation. Here’s the secret to achieving your goals:
“Simplicity is the only ingredient to consistency” – Chinmai Swamy
What are the words that come to mind when you hear the word goal? Most likely you answered motivation among others. While motivation is a requirement, it is not a full proof strategy on its own.
Another word you probably thought about is willpower. The problem with willpower is that it’s a muscle and like any muscle, with too much exertion and overuse, it gets fatigued.
Willpower has one tank and it gets used up with every decision we make throughout the day; that’s why most diets are broken in the evening – you were running on fumes.
If motivation and willpower were your go to buddies to get things done, don’t despair. They play a role but you need to introduce a new superpower into your repertoire – consistency. This is the secret to achieving your goals. Consistency is the magic ingredient that will finally close the gap between knowing and doing and here’s why:
Consistency removes the excuses of ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I’m too busy’
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” – Anthony Robbins
I know it feels like there isn’t enough time to make progress on your life and business goals, never mind your self-care goals. The trick to getting more done isn’t about spending more time but being creative about the pockets of time available to you.
A seemingly insignificant 15 minutes of ‘waiting’ time between meetings is wasted on browsing social media or watching cat videos. What if you accumulated all that idol time during the day and consolidated it into 15 minutes in the morning or somewhere that makes sense in your day.
15 minutes seems almost a waste of time but consistency compounds. If you take that 15 minutes (this is not limited to 15 minutes) and watch a TED talk, read, journal, meditate, run – you fill in the blank – it will start to compound. The key is consistency – repeat that process at least 3 to 5 times per week and you will start to create tremendous progress. You can’t start something and then pick it up again 3 weeks later and wonder why it still feels so difficult and you aren’t getting your expected results.
Why does this work?
Consistency in action creates progress. It allows you to start in a way that is not intimidating and provides a platform for you to prove to yourself that you can do it. 15 minutes is low stakes – you can count on yourself to see through the task and this builds internal trust.
When physiotherapists work with rehab patients, they ask them if they can manage a 3-minute walk. This is easy for the mind to digest and it’s a mental hack to begin. No one can argue that they don’t have 3 minutes in their day to work on their health or that 3 minutes is too overwhelming. Remember – it’s not just about the 15 minutes, it’s the consistent action over time that yields positive results.
Consistency becomes habit
“Stop worrying about where you are at the moment and start getting excited about what the future holds for you through consistent actions and faith.” – Edmond Mbiaka
A habit is something we do automatically without thinking – I don’t have to ask you if you brushed your teeth today, of course you did. It’s part of your morning and evening routines and happens on auto-pilot. When you develop the habit of consistently repeating the same action, the action becomes wired as a new neural pathway.