Even though the concept of staying consistent seems very simple on the surface, most people do struggle with this idea. They find it difficult to stay consistent because there are just too many distractions. People are simply not focused, committed or disciplined enough to stick with something in the short-term for long-term results.
The key reason why most people struggle with staying consistent over the long-term is that they only live for the short-term. In other words, if they don’t get immediate results from their actions, they don’t see the point with continuing with those actions over the long-haul. However, the habit of consistency isn’t about obtaining quick results. It’s rather about making incremental progress and improvements over an extended period of time.
Consider for a moment a skill that you have developed over the years. Maybe you’re a good singer or guitar player. Maybe you’re a great dancer or can speak a foreign language very well. No matter what skill you developed, you developed this skill over many weeks, months and years. And you developed it because you applied yourself consistently toward learning that particular skill.
A Practical Example of Consistency-in-Action
Consider for a moment a child learning how to shoot a basketball. In the beginning the child is shown the proper technique of how to shoot the ball. However, early on things aren’t easy. They practice and practice the proper motion and movement but results are just hard to come by. The basket just seems too small and too far away. However, the child persists with practicing their shooting technique over many weeks, months and years. And through repetition they start shooting more baskets.
The results become more consistent over time because of the muscle memory the child has developed through the act of repetition. Furthermore, repetition has helped the child to better understand what works and what doesn’t work while shooting the basketball. In other words, they have learned from their mistakes and errors and made the necessary adjustments along the way.
Years down the track shooting a basketball has become second nature, and it’s all because they committed themselves in the beginning to consistent daily practice through repetition.
This is of course just one example of consistency-in-action. It’s just one example of how doing something consistently over a period of time can reap incredible results. However, what if the child didn’t commit him or herself to daily practice? What if they just practiced once or twice per month? What difference would that have made years down the track? Obviously a tremendous amount of difference.
You Are Already Applying Consistency-in-Action
There are no quick results when it comes to a commitment to consistency. Consistency is rather about making incremental improvements over time. The results you are after will eventually come, however they will only come over an extended period of time when you commit yourself to consistency-in-action.
Now of course if for any reason you feel that this is something that’s difficult to do, then consider for a moment all the poor habits that people develop over time.
For instance, regularly snacking on that candy bar or overeating just a little each day over the course of many years can lead to major health concerns, obesity and mobility issues. But of course you probably won’t notice what overeating “just a little today” is doing to you, because it really doesn’t make much of a difference “today”. It probably won’t even make much of a difference tomorrow or next week, and maybe not even next month. But over the course of several years, overeating a little each day makes a significant difference; for that is when you finally start seeing the results from your consistent daily actions, and therein lies the power of consistency.
This is just one example of many where we use consistency-in-action in a very negative and limiting way. I’m sure you can probably think of at least a dozen more examples.
Given this, it’s quite clear that we are certainly capable of applying the consistency habit into our lives. However, from here-on-in it will all be about applying it in the right way to help you achieve your desired goals and objectives.
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