Consistency – The mantra for Success

The start of this year, I wanted to lose a few pounds. At this same time, my colleagues came up with a bet amongst ourselves – whoever hits the agreed-upon goal, wins the bet and the loser has to pay the winner 1k.

This was just the motivation I needed. I went ahead and paid for a 3-month gym membership and started my goal enthusiastically. 3 months rolled by and we all lined up to check our weights. Guess what?

I paid 1k to the winner. My weight stayed the same in spite of my workout and diet control.

I wanted to analyze the reason and checked my gym visits for the last 3 months. I realized the problem straight away.

I had not been consistent. My gym visits were irregular. I went whenever it pleased me. I did not show up consistently at the gym to make a difference in my weight.

Consistency is the fruit of the tree of success. The more you do something effectively and with a goal in mind, the better you will get at it and the more you will feel fulfilled
– Dan O’Brien

Consistency – The “secret” sauce

Many a time we would have done everything or at least we feel like we have, in order to achieve a goal. But still, we fall short of it.
The reason being we haven’t been consistent. You see, it does not matter if you take big strides once a while, but unless you do it consistently, you will not have the results to show for it.
I strongly believe – small daily insignificant iterations make a big impact on the overall result.
Be it in your professional career or be it in your relationships or be it in your spiritual journey, you have to be consistent in order to reap the rewards.
Would you really flourish your business if you are not consistent with your efforts?
Would you really learn that instrument if you are not consistent with your practice?
Would you really find bliss in your relationships if you are not consistent with your feelings?
You should be ready to put in the hard yards – day in and day out. You should be ready to feel comfortable doing the insignificant small tasks every single day.
We do not get that promotion we desperately want if we put in one brilliant quarter in a year. We get it if we show up every day and perform consistently over a period of time.
We do not get to experience the most intimate relationship by just spending a few minutes a day with our loved ones. Instead, we have to make an honest effort every day to be a part of their lives.
The words commitment and consistency are often taken together. There is an inherent relationship with these two qualities. I would highly suggest you read the below post for a more detailed analysis,

It’s an excellent piece of article with a couple of really compelling examples.

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How to be consistent?

Being consistent is a habit which has to be developed. We have to see this as a journey rather than some sort of a goal to be achieved.

1. Hold yourself accountable

When you want to develop consistency with anything in your life, you have to hold yourself accountable. 
If you slip up and go off track (which happens often), look at the standards you have set for yourself and force yourself to get on track.
Do not come up with lame excuses, saying it’s not a big deal to shift off from your path. 
If success means something to you, then you can’t hold yourself to lower standards and expect the results to sway in your way.
You have to work for it. You have to be consistent on your path and stay away from the forces which make you lose sight of the goal. 
The best way to do that is to be accountable. You can also announce in your friend circle that you are going to be sticking to this for the next 3 or 6 months. Doing like that forces you to be accountable not just with yourself, but also in the eyes of your friends.

2. Do not be too hard on yourself

It’s important to note that in your pursuit of consistency, there are times where you will go off track and get demotivated. Life happens.
Do not panic and do not go too hard on yourself. 
I know this point slightly contradicts my earlier one, but hear me out. It is okay to slip up once a while. The important thing is to acknowledge the problem, analyze it and learn from the mistake.
If you put too much strain on yourself, then you probably burn out too fast and get frustrated and completely sidestep the goal.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Being consistent over the long term is a much more rewarding process than doing it for 3 to 6 months.

Conclusion

Consistency is a trait which separates successful people from the ordinary. 
Even though it seems to be a tough quality to gain, we can put in some best practices in our lives to achieve it.
Consistency is a long term game. You cannot expect short term rewards in this journey.
Let’s all pledge to try to be consistent in whatever we do.

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Bharath Sirgur

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