It seems this last week I have been having many conversations in regard to staying consistent. Consistency is key to accomplishing any new habit or behavioral change and in reaching any desired goal.
Like with anything in life, it is hard to create change or get better at something without being consistent. The hardest thing about being consistent is staying in daily practice. If you wanted to learn or get better at playing the piano, you have to practice. If you want to learn and excel at a sport you have to practice. If you want to change your habits and behaviors around food and eating you have to practice.
And with consistent practice you begin to get better and excel because what you are trying to accomplish gets easier with practice and consistency.
Here are 5 tips on staying consistency written by a psychologist.
#1 Make a conscious decision to remain consistent
Say it out loud to yourself “I am committed to remaining consistent each day in my goal. I am doing this!” Notice the statement is in the present tense.
This technique commands your subconscious mind to act now not later. Consistent actions consistently thinking specifically consistent thoughts that you were and will remain consistent.
#2 Revise your concept of time
The only time you have is RIGHT NOW. Later on, next week, next month or next year is only a concept or thoughts in your mind. Tomorrow is not here, next week, month or next year is not here. Right now is here. The point of power is always in the present moment and all of the anxieties and worries about later are not happening now. So let’s go of the thinking, “I have to be disciplined and consistent all day, week month or year” and change it to “I am disciplined in this moment. Right now is the only moment I need to pay attention to. I am only required to be consistent and disciplined in this moment.” Be in the NOW!
Tip #3 Have a plan. Know Your Objective
The definition of a plan is a scheme, program or method worked out before hand for the accomplishment of an objective. A plan is in place so that you don’t have to do the thinking before hand or in the moment. Preparation is consistency’s wonderful cousin.
You must have a plan to be successful, even if it’s a daily plan. For example, the night before you can pack your bag for the gym. Know what your workout will be when you get there. You could also plan your meals for the next day and pack what you need so you can stick with your plan. It is imperative that you have a plan to let you know where to direct your actions, thoughts, effort, and time. It must be a plan that you want. It must be in line with your values and your hearts desire. The more emotionally invested you are in your plan, the more you will remain committed, the higher chances are for success.
Tip #4 Remember the feelings and thoughts are temporary and subjective
Any negative feelings or thoughts that can intrude on your being consistent are temporary. It is an illusion. It is an untruth that you tell yourself. In the moment it feels very powerful, but in an hour, 10 minutes or tomorrow you can feel very different. Don’t let temporary illusions of stress, anxiety, worry, or insecurity derail you from your plan. In moments like these it’s critical that you push through this discomfort and Just Do It!
#5 Do one thing at a time. Be in the present moment
This is being fully and 100% present in your moment. Allow your mind and body to be present and engaged. When you find yourself distracted or your mind wandering you bring it back to full attention of your moment. You are fully and acutely tuned in to that and only that aspect, nothing more and nothing less. This concept is why mantras and self-talk are powerful. They bring your attention back to the constructive action at hand and in the moment.
When all else fails and the above tips do not work, use this foolproof guide below to help you stay consistent.
If you are not “feeling like it”… Do it anyway
If you are sad… Do it anyway
If you are busy… Do it anyway
If you are tired… Do it anyway
If you’re feeling good… Do it anyway
If you are feeling too stressed… Do it anyway
If you are feeling unmotivated… Do it anyway
If you are on vacation… Do it anyway
If you are unsure… Do it anyway
If you find yourself making excuses… Do it anyway
No matter what, trust that you can and will stay consistent. Be patient one moment at a time. You’re an amazing person with valuable gifts to offer the world, but first master the gift of giving the best to yourself to be consistent with your hearts desire. Once you stay consistent with yourself, everything else falls into place.