How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.”
Anthony Robbins
Consistency is the act of doing the same thing again and again without fail. We all know by this time success doesn’t happen all of sudden and we need to be consistent. And this committing for a long haul is something that we feel like it doesn't come to us naturally eventually leading us to give up. I think it is very possible to be consistent without going hard on ourselves and in this article I will share with you my personal tips on how to be consistent.

1.      Setting goals

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

Louisa May Alcott
I would like to begin with setting goals. It is a very obvious thing to do yet I am stating it because having clear goals frees us from the clutter of asking ourselves what we want.  First decide on what you want to be consistent on. Is it study? Is it writing? Is it a workout? Is it starting your business? Having clear goals motivates us to move ahead maintaining focus in our tasks while prioritizing what we are going to do to attain the goal. It also gives us direction otherwise it is very easy to get diverted and not do work when we don’t set for ourselves what we want to do. So, have vision in your mind of what you want to do. Then it gets easier from there. Set goals each day and look forward to growing each day. Moving to tip 2,

2.      Planning

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Planning feels like a hassle to us. Having failed multiple times in planning, it has already fatigued us to the point we don’t want to plan. I believe planning can set the tone for us into driving momentum. Once, we get into momentum, it is harder to stop. So, what we can do to make planning easier from my experience is to have a to-do list. There are also days when I don’t do full day planning minute by minute as well. But what I do is have a to-do list. In addition, I tend to forget so whenever there is a task I note it down on the to-do list. I then designate time for it based on priority. It feels great ticking off the task. It has been working for me for I am able to complete the tasks and it has given a sense of direction to me.  I am learning language right now, so my to-do list always has a language box in it daily.  I tick it off as I make time for it and finish it. I do the same for workout. It has given me much needed momentum to continue each day. I go to a to-do list more often these days.

However I do believe, in the long haul, it is always good to have planning time wise than to have a to-do list, such that instead of spending time where we don’t want to, it can help us prioritize which is important and we can focus on the given task entirely. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But since we are just starting, you can start with a to-do and it works like magic. Planning may work, may not work. But let’s always give in to planning because

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.”
Winston Churchill

Talking about myself, I started to plan at the beginning of each month and I am amazed how I have been able to achieve so much I have set up for a given month. It makes me realize the power of planning. Plan for the next day today or plan for the day in the morning. One tip I can give while planning is that we need to plan according to us which comes to point 3 that has been a game changer for me,

3.      Starting slowly

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

Starting slowly each day is the key for me to be consistent. Despite setting goals and having exquisite plans, we cannot get ourselves to start any task. Starting the task is the hardest. Sad thing is we have so many tasks in a given day. What I do is I designate 15 minute for each task. I know this sounds so little but it is the secret and it works like a miracle. For instance, I was committing to a half an hour workout at once. I was doing good for 1 or 2 months but then I lost motivation and couldn’t do it at all.  Now I designate 15 minute in the morning and 15 minute in the evening. It is still the same. I workout for half an hour or even more than that daily. This has really helped me than going all in for a 30 minute intense workout. I can easily start a workout and complete it too without much motivation. What I do is I set the timer for 15 minute and workout. I take a break after 15 minute and continue in the evening. But sometimes, I even continue after 15 minute after taking a break. Some days I just do 15 minute. That way I have been consistent over a period of time than working out for half an hour at a single shot. The 15 minute can lead to 1 hour someday but at least I am getting a 15 minute workout which is still good for my body than no workout at all.
 I do the same in my studies too. What I do is I go through the topic which is about to be taught 15 minute before the class. I try to do this most of the time if not after all the classes are over, I revise what is being taught most of the time. It really helps because we might have already forgotten what was taught during classes and it keeps our memory sharp too. It enables me to go through my books and go in deeper things that I don’t understand. The 15 minute can prolong to 1 hour or 2 or more but at least I am studying. I also do same for reading other books aside from course books and I have been able to read so much books this quarantine.
“Perfection of effort is not required, by the way. It is the consistency of attempting to work these tools that brings the progress. It’s like anything else. If I want to tone muscle, lifting a ten-pound weight a few times every day will move me toward my goal much quicker than hoisting a fifty-pound barbell once a week. Yes, it really is true: “Slow and steady wins the race.” Just try a little, every day. You’ll see.”
Holly Mosier
How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

 I do the same for writing blogs. I write each day starting from 15 minute but I would be lying if I say it doesn’t take much time. While writing sometimes it can extend to 4 hour in one sitting someday even a whole day. Some articles take weeks to write despite writing daily for hours. But now I could effectively do so because I had already gained my momentum. I have realized it is easier to keep going when you have momentum. In addition, you begin to fall in love with what you are doing and find great joy in doing.  
This committing for less time has definitely motivated me to do work and maintain my consistency. Starting is the key. I wouldn’t say just 15 minute will change your life but it will help you get started. There are days when you don’t want to do anything at all. Just that 15 minute will bring you peace and it will definitely accumulate over time. It has that much power.
“My new deliberate and slower pace has created a higher quality in my experiences.”
I would suggest you to get creative, not try it just for productivity. I recommend you to apply 15 minute for meditation. And adjust time according to it. The key is a few minutes each day. Mix and match that way it will break the monotonous.

4.      Working hard and smart as well

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

I believe in both working hard and smart as well to stay consistent. Not always we can devote 100% to the tasks everyday. When you are studying, study the content and also take practice tests. That way, you can retain what you have studied and study for the test effectively as well. Focus on only one task at a time. You can use a timer to help. Don’t multitask.  That also means cutting some work for yourself in a day so that you won’t feel overwhelmed. I also do that when I feel overwhelmed and it has helped me a lot. Once you get consistent, you can add tasks. But start with one task at a time.

5.      Loving the process more than the result

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

“I don't believe in failure. It's not failure if you enjoy the process.
Oprah Winfrey
Oftentimes, we forget this but it is important for us to feel proud of our achievement instead of focusing only on the end purpose. We are often fixated on what we can get and forget the joy in the process. Life is after all a journey not a destination. We have just been shown since when we are young that you need to get to this point, you need to do this and that and we think that is our destination. But think of that as your milestones. How during our journey to any destination, milestones are there to guide how much km is left in your journey. So there are the same. They just guide us. Our ultimate destination is right now to live. They help in living and they are something but they aren’t everything.
“Where is the best place to be? Wherever we are, together.”
J.R. Rim
 We should of course love the result, it will motivate us to work but loving the process even beats the result. It evokes the passion in us. When you are passionate about it, you can dedicate it.  Personally I look forward to waking up and writing each day, reading each day because I am passionate about it. However I still don’t think passion is the only key for being consistent. What it takes is self discipline. People look at self discipline as something hard and it is something that doesn’t define them. Think of it as building a routine. The routine is built when we do things repetitively. We don’t need to look at our phones before we fall asleep because it has already become a routine of scrolling through phones in our bed. Routine sets tone for us and provides us momentum. So, you can make a routine with the habit you want to add into your life. Like reading before the bed. In quarantine we just have lost the essence of our routine of getting ready for the day so things like that can help us stay grounded.
How we can make a routine is make a study space, prepare yourself like after having meals or freshening up and then get into studying. Make a routine before study so that it will give you momentum each day to start.
“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” — Tom Landry

6. Taking care of yourself

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent
This is the most important of all. We should always remind ourselves that we come before work. While it is good to get the desirable result, nothing is more precious than our health. So, eat right, sleep well, have a regular sleep and wake cycle, take frequent breaks to rejuvenate, spend time with your loved ones and please don't be hard on yourself. Going hard on ourselves will work for some time but we should remind ourselves we are committing for a long haul. We are the performers. No matter how much the stage is glittery, it is performers who take upon the stage. So, take care of your health, your body, move more, organize your physical space often. Your environment represents the state of your mind and having clutter around us will impact our mood. Let the light and air in. And the most important, be your friend. Comfort yourself time and again. Don't criticize yourself too much. Don't give in to others' criticism all the way. Look for the ways to improve. It is harder to stay positive, I know. I also get hopeless time and again but I constantly comfort myself. I take some time off for myself. As much as our work defines us, it isn't our sole identity. Our identity is being here in the present moment. Don't ever feel ashamed of yourself. There is always a chance to improve and it is never too late to start or resume again. 
If there’s one thing that I’ve repeatedly and rather foolishly forgotten to schedule into my life it is to create times where it’s not scheduled.”
Craig D. Lounsbrough

7.      Having patience

How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”
Benjamin Franklin
I would like to conclude with this point. I have written so many times in my articles to have patience because this is the area that I also struggle with. And just that reminder that things will take time provides me so much relief and maintain my consistency.  Hopefully I am getting better at it than when I started my blog. I feel like we are surrounded by this notion of wanting everything at once these days without waiting. And this has spilled over to other factors of our life, where we expect the same. I would again like to remind you it will take time my friend.

We cannot be good at everything at once from the beginning. What matters is showing up each day. Please don’t beat yourself for not being able to do certain things. Have patience within yourself for yourself, and commit to getting better each day than being the best. We might think we are not that capable enough to do anything but whatever we can do from our sides can entirely change someone’s life. We have just been living in doubt that just because we are not able to get desired results out of ourselves, we are not worthy of anything, we don’t amount to anything. But it isn’t true. You are enough. Yes, you are. That's what makes you you. It is time we stop being hard on ourselves for real. We are a work in a progress not a work of perfection. It is good to wake up everyday to be excited over things rather than to be a perfectionist and being bored with life. Life is for living and what we have is now. 
Be flexible like a river bending as you go through obstacles but not stopping at all. Obstacles will come but let's try before giving up. Let keep on going and trying and not losing our hope because what matters is showing up each day. And I wish you all the best for you endeavors. 
How to stay consistent: 7 ways to stay consistent

So, this concludes my article. Hope this helps you. I will say the 15 minute rule works the best. You can try it yourself for a week and tell me in the comments if it helped you. Stay safe. I will like to bid you bye with this quote. 
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”
E. James Rohn