Habits remove decision fatigue – should I go for the run or should I hit snooze? Make the decision the night before and just get up. Of course it’s uncomfortable at first but when you can persevere through your mind trying to convince you to take the easy route, eventually it is something you do automatically.
I want you to switch your mind-set from needing motivation and willpower to developing consistent action. Time accommodates what you choose to put into it. However, consistency can backfire if you are not deliberate in your actions. If you consistently multi-task and check your email every 15 minutes, you will develop the habit of procrastination and distraction.
If you consistently take 5 minutes before every meeting to set your intention of how you want to show up and how you can make the interaction meaningful, you will see the results you want.
Consistency removes the pressure of perfection
“Dreams only come true when you appoint strategic consistent actions to wake you up.” – Edmond Mbiaka
The beauty of committing to just 15 minutes a day is that it is impossible to make something perfect in that time frame but you can create momentum. It leaves you wanting more. You can now move onto the next activity energised versus depleted. When you approach a goal, it is often the enormity of the goal that prevents action and drives procrastination. Deep down, it is fear of failure but gets disguised in other ways.
Is there a book, a painting, a course – something you want to create but you have been avoiding? Is there a skill you would love to learn to take you to the next level or open an entire new doorway of opportunity? Break it down into bite size chunks. Do one brush stroke, write 2 paragraphs, and download the curriculum but just start.
Aim for progress, not perfection. Perfection is procrastination in disguise. You have to finish the task before you can perfect it but when you only allocate 15 minutes to the creation, you hack the fear and build a starting ritual.
Consistency builds resilience
“Part of courage is simple consistency.” – Peggy Noonan
Vitality is a core value for me and I make sure this translates into action in my calendar. I train 6 days per week and have done so for many years – even in winter.
A commitment to consistent action builds not only physical strength but mental strength. It is having the self-discipline not to buy into the narrative of ‘I don’t feel like it today’ when I have a broken sleep. I cannot tell you how many mornings I have woken up at 4:45 and NOT felt like going. But I override it because I know how I will feel after having achieved the action and showed up to myself.
It is often on those days where I am my strongest and this plays out beyond the gym. It is on the days I have a disrupted sleep and now have to show up to an auditorium full of people and present a workshop (pre Covid). If I didn’t have the experience of knowing I could do it, the self-talk would probably be really destructive and tell me I won’t manage to be on my A game. It is consistency over time – even when it’s not perfect that builds resilience and the mental strength needed to persevere.