Have you ever tried your best but no matter what method you used, nothing seems to be working? We can find ourselves consuming tons of podcasts and self-help books but still nothing works. That’s because the key to change and being successful lies in one characteristic - consistency. Consistency with a clear goal will help you achieve whatever you want to do in life. According to resources, it takes around 66 days to form a new habit. In creating a new habit, you NEED to be consistent. Repeating everything until it becomes autopilot, means you can accomplish things with much less resistance.
Here are a few best practices to be consistent:
- Create specific and realistic goals: There are a lot of things that we want to do, but make sure to start with something realistic and attainable. When starting something new, create a specific and simple goal. Start with knowing what your goal is then come up with small steps to achieve it. For example, you want to be fit - set a schedule on when and where to exercise, be consistent with the schedule, and don’t miss any day.
- Focus on incremental improvement: Good habits take months to establish. Changing your behavior doesn’t happen overnight. It needs a lot of patience and focus. If you attain one of your goals, recognize it. Celebrate small wins, no matter how small it is. Remember that no step is too small when you want to change.
- Make promises you can keep: People like to be liked by others. Sometimes it is hard to say no to people. Consistency involves making commitments and keeping them. Even though we like to please everyone, it is important not to make promises unless we are sure that we can keep them.
- Fight your emotions: Our brain uses a lot of energy which is why we often feel tired or mentally exhausted. This sometimes makes us feel lazy and stop us from being consistent with our habits. But do not fall for it. Fight your brain and emotions, and keep on pushing forward.
- Increase your willpower: It is normal to feel that we can not succeed with our goal. Sometimes, self-doubt kicks in and there are many reasons why you should not or cannot attain your goal. Self-doubt is the ultimate consistency killer. The moment that you doubt yourself, it kills every motivation you have inside. Increase your willpower - know your reasons by heart and live by them.
- Place reminders everywhere: It’s easy to forget our new goals or habits. Remind yourself by putting messages in places that you usually go. You can put a note on your work table or set an alarm or reminder from your phone. It is easier to be consistent when you are always reminded of what to do.
- Forgive yourself when you made a mistake: Humans are imperfect. No matter what effort or how consistent you are, there are times that you will make a mistake. There are external factors that can get in the way, try not to beat yourself up to it. It happens from time to time. According to James Clear, “ What separates top performers from everyone else is that they get back on track quickly.” Forgive yourself and move forward.
- Reward Yourself: Reward yourself when you get something done. After all, trying to be consistent takes a lot of effort. Set a specific goal or time and as you hit those goals, reward yourself. These rewards will help you stay motivated while trying to be consistent.
Being consistent will help you do better in all areas of your life. It may be hard to be consistent at first but doing the practices above will help you attain your goal little by little. No need to be grand, start with small steps until you get the hang of it. Remember that any change, whether big or small has an impact on your life.