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September 27, 2021

Simplifying Consistency

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Something I’ve learned to be true about life, both in the books I’ve read and in the experiences I’ve had, is that there’s one factor that is most important than any other. That factor is consistency. We’re surrounded by evidence of this and we’ve grown accustomed to it, which is why I always come back to it to renew our awareness. It’s not a 2 hour workout on a Sunday that makes you fit, it’s prioritizing 10 or 20 minutes every day. It’s not one extra long session of brushing your teeth that ensures your oral health, it’s brushing twice a day every day. It’s not making a bunch of money all at once that is going to help us have financial freedom, it’s saving consistently for years.

The inherent problem with consistency, and what I think is our fatal flaw as humans, is we are designed to adjust our behavior based on short-term rewards. Consistency is an investment in your future and you often can’t recognize the benefits on a daily basis. That’s why we can have good intentions, want to commit to doing something consistently, then after a few days or weeks we lose motivation because things don’t feel any different. Or, maybe you think about all of the lost time and don’t think you can start today and build to anything meaningful. That is patently false and a story you’re telling yourself that protects you from experiencing change.

People ask me for the secret to consistency and it’s really simple - Do it the next time you intend to. Keep it easy to do and don’t preoccupy yourself with any more than you need to.  Embrace the process of consistency, show up in the short-term, and let the compound effect of consistent action taking work its magic.

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