There’s a certain energy that comes with a new year, don’t you think? It seems like focus and drive get bumped up a little bit when January rolls around, at least for a while. If we want to leverage that energy to create change that actually lasts, we have to figure out the ways to stay consistent, otherwise it’s just two steps forward and four steps back.
I spent some time reflecting on what helped me stay consistent in the process of achieving big goals like losing 150 pounds, starting a business and writing two books. And now, as I work towards some new goals, I considered what fuels my consistency and what doesn’t.
In fact, I put together a podcast sharing these keys to consistency so if you haven’t checked out episode 947 of the Primal Potential podcast, you’ll definitely want to do that!
3 Things You Need to Know to Stay Consistent
First, I want to make sure you know the two things that are absolutely required for consistency. While there are a million things you could focus on like motivation or accountability, there are only two things you must have.
- Follow through
Specificity is the one that held me back for years. I was clear on my goals but I never really got specific which meant I wasn’t often taking action.
I’ll give you an example. When I weighed over 350 pounds, there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to lose weight. I thought about it all the time. I knew that I needed to eat better and that it would probably help if I started working out, but more days than not, I made excuses and didn’t do the work. I’d plan out how much weight I could theoretically lose per week and how long it might take to get to my ‘goal weight’, but none of those things created consistency in the habits I’d need to establish for a lifetime of being fit and healthy.
Specificity Is A Superpower
I actually talked about this way back in episode 563 – “Motivation for When You Feel Stuck” and it’s as true now as it was then. It’s something we talk about in this week’s episode, too (947). If you want to stay consistent, you have to focus more on the small picture than you do on the big picture.
I’m currently working on my third book and thinking about things like when it will be done and how much it will take to get there won’t move the needle. Instead, I focus on the small picture: when will I write today and for how long?
As I work on losing weight from my two back-to-back pregnancies, focusing on the small picture and being specific drive my consistency. Each day, I’m writing down the three action steps I’ll take to drive that goal. My action steps today aren’t necessarily the same as my action steps yesterday and they don’t need to be. What drives my consistency is specificity and focusing more on the small picture than I do on the big picture. I use the Change Makers Journal for this specificity of my daily focus. You don’t have to use that, but do have a process for daily specificity!
A lot of us make the mistake of relying on motivation but as hard as it might be, we have to divorce that notion. When you have discipline, motivation doesn’t matter!
What gets in the way of discipline, of course, are our excuses. One of the most important steps we can make to support our follow through, is to develop emotional maturity in our thoughts. Think about it this way: if you know you need to stay consistent in order to make progress, you can’t continue to justify not having time, not being in the mood or pledge to get back on track tomorrow.
In order to decrease the appeal of your excuses, you have to become a more rational, objective thinker.
It’s a practice, and I give a bunch of examples in episode 947.
I am 100% on board for my goals this year, and I’m 100% on board to help you achieve yours, too! Get started by tuning in to episode 947 and if there’s anything I can do to help you, definitely let me know!