Last week, we discussed how consistency is the one trait that can lead to success in every area of life but we didn’t talk about how to begin cultivating the habit of consistency in your day to day activities. In some areas, consistency can come easily while in others it can be one of the hardest traits to hone in on.

Two Steps to Consistency

Our areas of difficulty are unique to us and can even fluctuate or be replaced over time. But there is always something that we know we should be consistent at, especially if we want to succeed and for some reason that something is our Achilles heel. So how can we stay consistent with those areas that give us the most trouble? By following the two tips below.

1. Write It Down

The first step to working on your difficult area is to acknowledge that it is an area in need in your personal life. To want a change, you must first acknowledge that change must be made. After you have determined that you must initiate change in your trouble area the next step is to write down how you will change it. Don’t just say it or think it, write it down. Writing it down means taking the first step of action and mapping out how you can move forward and consistently succeed in the long term.

2. Schedule It Out

How is writing down your game plan and scheduling it out different? Well, imagine this scenario: It's New Year’s Eve and you are all geared up to start your resolution of losing weight. You have workout plans and meal plans (written down and printed out of course) and heck even the new workout clothes to help motivate the new you to get out there and be healthy. Day one hits and you’ve got sleeping in and family plans… but you’ll fit a workout in somehow. Maybe you did but the next day its a similar story with different actors. Now you have to juggle work and family and responsibilities. There just isn’t time to go to the store and buy the food for your meal plan or you are too tired from work or chasing the kids all day to fit in a workout. The problem in this scenario is that you didn’t schedule when you would engage in your daily habits that lead to consistency.  I’m sure we’ve all been there before. We get all geared up to make a change in our lives just to negate those plans the next day because we didn’t specify when we would instigate those plans and habits. When we don’t put it on our schedule and plan it out (at least the night before), we wake up the next day and fly by the seat of our pants.. often leaving out the most important part of honing successful, consistent habits… actually doing them.

By scheduling out your consistent actions you’ve already made the decision to make a positive change. And once that decision has been made, the harder it is to break and the more likely you are to succeed.

Consistency Is Really A Lifestyle Change

Some experts say it take 21 days to make a habit but if you are like me, I’m sure your Achilles heel takes much longer. But even consistency can’t be given up in 21 days. The true secret of consistency is that it is a lifestyle change, whatever your area or areas of difficulty might be. For me it is eating healthy, for others it could be being more punctual or even keeping a clean house, but whatever the area you want to be consistent in, know that it is a lifestyle change and the first steps to making those changes are to identify your needs, write down how you will make a change and then schedule it into your daily life.

What areas do you struggle with? What time of day do you schedule to work on your consistent habits?

Photo by Stefan Kunze