The Power of Consistency
Power or Power of Persistence?
Setting new year resolutions may sound like a good idea but the truth is not many of us stay on course long enough to see results. Consistency is often the missing link between goal setting and realization.
As the famous saying goes: “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” It’s not about one strong push to get something accomplished, it’s about having the persistence and patience to keep pounding until you eventually break through.
Indeed, successful people are not necessarily the luckiest, most talented or most intelligent people – they are simply consistent people who do what it takes to achieve their goals. If you want to move towards your goals, you have to take action on a consistent basis.
When the Comfort Zone Becomes Limiting
Very often we may already know the steps we need to take to reach our goals. However, the fear of making wrong choices or getting out of our comfort zone may prevent us from moving forward, even though it may only involve small steps on our part to the next level of success.
The first step is, therefore, to get out of your comfort zone. Once you decide to move towards your goal, moving past that which you fear and taking action, you can then follow through with some easy steps to maintain consistency.
Some 5 things you can do to build consistency:
- Craft a Personal Mission Statement
A Personal Mission Statement acts like a compass that points you to your “true north”; it helps navigate you and points you back on track when necessary. Writing down your Personal Mission Statement and reading it aloud every morning will give you clarity and help your mind remain focused. Some examples of Personal Mission Statements:
- To positively impact the life of every person I meet;
- To use my skills and giftings to bless another’s life, and
- To love God and others
- Start Small
Break down your goal into bite-sized tasks. Set realistic expectations about what you can do each day. If your goal is to publish an e-book, make “writing 3-4 pages” your daily priority instead of 3 chapters. Smaller tasks are easier to manage and have a higher probability of execution, which in turn creates a greater sense of achievement.
- Carry On – one oil barrel at a time
Famous motivational speaker Brian Tracy shared that by carrying on, we are creating a pattern and blueprint for success. Being successful in one area will then lead to further successes down the road. On the contrary, by quitting the moment we encounter resistance, we set up a pattern for failure. If you have tried doing something a few times and failed, don’t beat yourself up. If your personal mission is indeed important to you and the world, constantly reminding yourself that you are an overcomer and you will not be defeated. Pick yourself up, brush off the dust and keep moving forward.
In one keynote presentation, Brian shared that in his late teens, he embarked on a plan with his friends to travel from Montreal to Johannesburg. Some of his friends quit along the way. Faced with limited financial resources, lack of food, vehicle breakdowns, uncertainty and exhaustion, he and his remaining friend ploughed on as they crossed the Sahara desert to Johannesburg. Particularly, he shared about the “Sahara Crossing” experience and the perils of crossing the desert at night and how “oil barrel” markers along the road helped them. When they saw the oil barrel, they knew they were on track; they simply carried on, one oil barrel at a time. Brian also shared that they often encouraged themselves by repeatedly reciting the poem “Carry On”, written by Robert W Service, a World War I ambulance driver, to cheer on the soldiers in the trenches on the Western Front. That boosted their morale without fail and they eventually arrived at their destination, Johannesburg.
- Create an atmosphere for victory
Misery loves company – the last thing you want to do if you are highly stressed is to hang around like-minded people and reinforce each other’s view about how crappy life can get. Instead of detoxifying your soul, this will only amplify your level of toxicity! Conversely, positive thinking and speaking are as contagious as negative thinking. Surround yourself with those who create an atmosphere of victory with their beliefs and words and see change. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” To help you stay on course, check in regularly with a mentor or friend who can keep tabs on your progress. For example, find a friend who thinks and speaks truthfully and positively and speak to him/her on a weekly basis.
Focus on one thing at a timeInstead of trying to develop three skills or new habits simultaneously, allow yourself to zoom in on one. After you have developed some level of proficiency in one area, you can shift your focus to another, and so on until you’ve achieved all three.
As one would say: “Life will always throw us some lemons. When that happens, its time to make some lemonade and carry on.”
Share with us some of the ways you encourage yourself to carry on!