My grandfather used to like to say, “If you want to cut down that large tree in the back yard, all you need to do is go out and whack it with the axe a few times every day. It may take a while, and longer if your axe is blunt, but if you keep at it every day, eventually the tree will fall.”
Consistency is undervalued
We tend to value speed over consistency. Consistency can appear to be akin to plodding. A characteristic of an under-achiever. In our day, the hare is rated more highly than the tortoise. Instant or quick results are celebrated. A long-term plan implemented consistently can be shunned or even despised.
What can appear to be an ‘overnight success’ usually comes because of a lot of hard work done consistently over a many months or years. It takes a while to develop the clarity of mind, the focus, and the consistency of taking regular action steps that leads to success.
Sometimes if there are obstacles to achieving a goal, people will give up or change tack, rather than push through with consistent action, to find the way to overcome the obstacle. Obstacles can be seen as a negative. Or a sign that this isn’t meant to be, or some other wafty excuse.
Consistency is the key to most things
- Fitness. To get fit it requires specific action every day (or most days). And once you attain a level of fitness, if you stop doing your workouts, you will soon go backwards.
- Parenting. If you keep changing a child’s daily routine, they will grow up without structure and often become insecure or even develop ADHD. If the house rules are administered inconsistently a teenager will soon lose respect and start doing whatever they want. If there is not consistency of love and connection, family life can become a battleground.
- Business. If you turn up in your business happy and positive one day, but are moody and cranky the next, no one will want to work for you. Team culture will be massively affected.
- Trust. If you lack the ability to follow through and keep commitments you have made, you will struggle to build trust. Keeping your word is the key to building trust in relationships across your life.
- Goals. Break down your longer-term goals into 90-day segments. Then break them down further to know what you need to do this month, this week and today. This will enable you to consistently work your plan to achieve amazing progress.
- Money. The key to wealth creation is consistently saving a little every day. It pays to learn the benefits of compound interest. If you can get 7% interest on your money it will double every 10 years. If you are in debt then use the same principle to pay down your debts. If you apply discipline and consistency to your finances, you will always have money.
What gets in the way of consistency?
- The person in the mirror. The first person you MUST lead well is yourself. That means getting to know yourself well. Celebrate your strengths, accept and guard your weaknesses. Commit to keep learning and open to growing. That means working on yourself consistently. Most people live way below their potential. Due to fears, limiting beliefs, poor role models, etc.
- A victim mindset. Everything will begin to change for the better in your world on the day you decide to take 100% responsibility for everything in your life. We live in a society that blames and looks for excuses. Even when bad things happen, I never want to develop a victim mindset.
- Lack of vision or purpose. Finding a purpose bigger than yourself is one of the joys of being fully human. Dedicating yourself to live out that purpose sets you on a journey to become a bigger person with more capacity.
- Lack of discipline. Discipline is much easier when you have decided to take responsibility. Vision and a sense of purpose inspire discipline. Without vision we live carelessly. As if our words and actions do not matter. Strong character and resilience come from learning the benefits of consistently practising self-discipline.
- Lack of accountability. Linked to responsibility and discipline is the willingness to make yourself accountable. Accountability starts with you. You can make a start simply by writing down your goals and plans. Many resist such basic accountability. Higher levels of accountability come when we share our goals and plans with a trusted friend or mentor and ask them to check in on us and challenge us to keep growing consistently.
There are other things that you could add here that get in the way of consistency, like: lack of humility, lack of supportive relationships, and more.
Most of us need some assistance to fulfil our potential.
If you are a high achiever and used to being successful, there is only so far you can go on talent alone. There comes a point in life when you begin to hit your limits. This is when you need to do some work on yourself to become a consistently high performer.
My mentoring program – ‘From high achiever to high performer’ may be right for you.
If you would like to talk about your situation with an experienced business mentor, please book a free no obligation call with me here. I would love to help set you up to fully release your potential so you become someone who can achieve great things and finish well.
LIKED THIS? READ MORE
Over the years I’ve written many articles about consistency and success! Here are a few of my favourites to help you integrate your work into all other parts of your life.
- The power of consistency
- What Is Your Criteria For Success?
- Why a mentor is helpful for business success