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The 7 Keys to Consistent Action

These actions are the keys to consistency

“You can’t expect to succeed if you only put in work on the days you feel like it.” - Unknown

Consistency is king.  There is no amount of intermittent effort or intensity that will ever make up for being inconsistent and, yet, the biggest issue most people face when it comes to achievement is the thing that matters most: consistency.  It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of intensity.  Whether it’s pulling an all-nighter to study for an exam or working out for three hours straight when you haven’t worked out in months, the intensity of making a ‘comeback’ feels quite exhilarating… but that won’t produce lasting results.  

Following through every once in awhile isn’t following through.  It’s making an appearance and occasional appearances don’t produce results.  To achieve and sustain any level of top performance, consistency has to be the foundational habit.  So how do you get your students (or even you) to be more consistent?  How do you teach the art and science of taking consistent, persistent, daily massive action?  

 

Here are 7 keys to taking consistent action:

 

Set up your goals in advance

Know what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, what achievement looks like in specific, measurable, time bound terms, and how that achievement fits into the larger picture of your life.
 

Work in two week sprints

Rather than focusing on long term goals (1 year, 3 years, 5 years), focus on 90 day goals that you then break into 2 week sprints.  In this way, you reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by concentrating your attention on your goals for the next two weeks rather than on feeling anxious about how you’re going to achieve the goals of the next three years.

Schedule the action taking

Tony Robbins once said, “If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real.”  Unless you’ve given your consistency a day, time, and focus block, it’s not a priority.  Not only do you want to set up a calendar that shows when you’ll take action but you also want to change the calendar if and when your timeline on action taking changes.  That way, when you do an end-of-week review on your performance, you can look at that calendar and see an accurate reflection of what occurred.

Evaluate performance daily and weekly

Reflection is a critical component of consistency.  Spend five to ten minutes each night reviewing the goals of the day and the level of completion.  At the end of every week, review your week’s calendar and see where you lost time, got the most accomplished and decide on what tweaks you’ll make to the upcoming week’s calendar.

Get an accountability partner

Recruit someone to be your accountability partner.  This will need to be a person you trust, will listen to and won’t get offended by when he or she reminds you that you need to be focused on doing the work at hand.  An accountability partner holds your feet to the fire which is a great thing when distractions and the opportunity to procrastinate arise.

Work quietly

Share your goals with very few people and work in silence.  Let your action speak for itself.  What far too many people do is publicize what they’re “going to achieve” which then leads to a lethal combination of cheerleading and criticism, both of which give the person too much confidence in a goal not yet attained and too little confidence in their ability to attain it.  Most people won’t get why you’re doing what you’re doing.  Reduce the energy drain of feeling the need to explain it to them by not talking about your goals in public.  Keep your dreams private and work in silence.  The results will eventually speak for themselves.

Celebrate small wins

Acknowledge your accomplishments daily.  Do a happy dance when you reach another milestone.  As cliche as it sounds, life is really about the journey because we spend most of our lives on the journey.  Why waste your life waiting to ‘arrive’ when there are things to celebrate every single day?  Celebrate and see how far that momentum takes you…

At the end of the day, your goals will be accomplished by you.  The best version of you that’s the most suited to accomplish those goals will be the version of you that is consistent, focused, and action driven.  None of those qualities will appear on their own.  You have to cultivate them.  There will be moments of uncertainty and fear.  You will feel, at times, like the goal is unattainable.  But achieving great things has very little to do with how you feel at any given moment and everything to do with what you put your attention on every single day.  If you want to sustain your momentum, you have to feed it with consistency.  Do that and you’ll figure out pretty quickly that no goal is impossible.