Developing a Consistent Approach to Everything You Do
Consistency is possibly one of the most under-rated words in the self-help, personal development genre. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to develop or grow on a personal level. But it’s the very thing that people struggle with the most. Why is this?
Just take a look at how many people, each year on New Year’s Eve, realize that another year has gone by where their lives are still the same, and they make a “New Year’s Resolution…”
“I’m going to lose 25 pounds this next year.”
“I’m going to finish that book I’m writing this year.”
“I’m going to start my own business this year.”
“I’m going to…”
“I’m going to…”
“I’m going to…”
We’ve all done it. It’s so common that comedians use it as a source for their jokes.
So, what’s the answer?
Here’s the problem spelled out…
Too many of us are focused on WHAT TO DO instead of WHO TO BE.
BEING Rather Than DOING
Let’s use one of the most popular New Years Resolutions – losing weight as an example. The problem is that most of us are focused on DOING, rather than BEING – we are too focused on taking action, and not focused enough on who and how we want to BE.
The thought comes first – such as, “I want to be thin.” The feeling comes next – such as, feeling thin would feel so good. And the belief about who you are needs to come next – such as, “I am thin,” or, “I am getting thinner every day,” or “I see myself as a thin person.”
Belief should come before action, not after.
How you see yourself, creates yourself.
What does this have to do with being consistent?
If you don’t believe you can become thin, if you don’t see yourself as a thin person who has total control over your weight, you’ll never make it – never be able to develop the discipline it takes to be consistent.
But when you are able to see yourself as a thin person, when you believe it, you’ll create it.
You have to focus more on WHO you want to be, and not on what to do…
Basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna and many others recently tragically passed away because of a helicopter crash. Kobe’s life shed some important light on this word “consistency.”
Kobe wasn’t the fastest player. He wasn’t the quickest. His vertical leap of under 40 inches wasn’t even close to Michael Jordan’s 48 inch vertical leap, and many other players in the 40 inch range.
So, what made Kobe so great?
First, he believed that he could be the greatest player of all time. He saw himself as the future best player in the game before he even entered the NBA.
That belief help to drive his determination to win. And his determination helped him to be consistent every day.
It’s as simple as that…
Determination drove his insane training routine. Determination drove him to be the best he could be. And determination came AFTER he decided who to be, rather than just what to do…
But what does determination have to do with consistency?
Without determination, you won’t get out of bed in the morning to do the “consistent” things you need to do in order to attain your goals and dreams.
Belief is the bedrock of determination. Determination is the foundation for consistency. And consistency is necessary to create good habits.
How to Develop Good Habits
When you learn to see yourself as already being the person who you want to be, then everything else will fall into place. When you use statements like, “I am in perfect health” and you identify with yourself as a healthy person, for example, your subconscious mind will assist you to live into that statement – live into that belief.
So then, when the rubber meets the road relative to your actions, it will be much easier to develop good habits – the consistent good habits that you need to have in order to accomplish your goals and dreams.
The question then becomes, once you believe in yourself to be who you want to be, which will help you to naturally create determination and consistency, how do you develop good habits?
First, you must understand how long it takes to form a good habit.
We used to think that it took 21 to 30 days to develop a good habit. But more recent studies have shown that it takes more around 66 days to develop a good habit. In addition, what researchers have found is that people can take anywhere from just 9 days all the way up to over 250 days in order to create a good habit. In other words, it varies a lot from person to person.
But the interesting thing about creating a good habit is that it didn’t matter how much time you took every day to create the good habit, or how intense it was. All that mattered was that you did it. So, for example, if you wanted to create the good habit of doing push-ups every day, even if you did just one push-up a day, you’d develop the habit of doing push-ups and then one day, do it out of habit rather than conscious thought.
Books have been written about this concept which talk about the importance of doing mini-habits – or small, little efforts every day towards a habit in order to create it.
The nice thing about it is that you can apply this method to anything such as:
- If you want to write a book, write just one paragraph a day.
- If you want to get in shape, do just one-push up.
- If you want to exercise more, commit to at least five minutes a day.
You may be thinking, “Yeah, but that’s too little! I can’t reach any worthy goal doing so little!”
But here’s the trick to this…
No one said you should do your minimum. What is being said is that you should do at least one push-up, write at least one paragraph, and exercise at least five minutes a day.
See the point?
In other words, come hell or high water, you’re going to do that one push-up a day. Come hell or high-water, you’re going to write that one paragraph for your book. Come hell or high water, you’re going to exercise for five minutes a day…
So on those days when you really don’t feel like it, you can do the bare minimum. But on the days when you’re feeling good, you’ll want to do much, much more.
That’s how to develop a good habit.
How you see yourself and what you believe about yourself is going to have the greatest impact on how happy and successful you’re going to be in life. Once you believe in yourself, or start making the effort to see yourself for who you want to be rather than who you think you are right now, then you can use determination and consistency. Then you can use determination and consistency to create good habits that stick.
So, this coming New Years Resolution, instead of talking about what you’re going to do differently, talk about how you’re going to see yourself differently. Then it will be easy to use determination and consistency to become the person who you want to be – someone who can easily create the good habits you need in order master consistency and good habits.