To be consistent is half the battle won. Do you agree?
We pick up so many activities and hobbies due to sheer excitement. Sometimes we drop them because we lose interest and sometimes because we couldn’t be consistent.
The key is to choose an activity that has your genuine interest and not because of temporary pleasure. Not just genuine interest but also see if it solves a problem. For eg., learning to code can solve a problem by giving you skills and the ability to earn a lively hood. Learning to play the guitar can release so much stress when you are creatively involved.
I say that because when we don’t follow through, we tend to go through the guilt of not being able to keep up with it.
Feeling guilty will always bring negativity and block you from better things. So, choosing activities that can last longer will always keep you motivated to keep going.
On the other hand, there are some activities that you have to perform and there are no two ways about it. For example, if you are working then you have to complete the projects within a stipulated time period. That means that you will have to complete a certain volume of activity daily to be able to complete it.
What About Being Consistent?
Let’s say that you have identified the activities that you are passionate about and also differentiated between the necessary ones. I guess that’s the first half of the battle won.
Now, for the next challenge, how do you stay consistent in what you took?
Some of the most successful people are those that are consistent in life while they are gradually growing. On the other hand, being consistent is what we struggle with.
We start so many things with utmost passion for a few weeks and then “boom”. We lose interest or struggle to keep up with it.
A lot of the credit for not being consistent goes to setting unreasonable expectations as far as the outcome goes. Our obsession with the outcome is so intense that we are more hooked on to that than the activity itself.
I also agree that there could be some unpredictable life challenges that can affect our routine, like falling sick or a sudden downfall of some aspect of your life.
A long time ago, I worked with an affiliate sales agency that worked for the company that I was employed with. In a very deep conversation about the business aspects, he shared his 70 years of wisdom in one line.
You can have a bad and bad week, but not a bad month.Anonymous
Let’s Take A Look At What We Can Do To Be Consistent.
You’ll agree with me that every problem has a solution. If it wasn’t for our problem-solving skills, humanity wouldn’t have survived for this long.
Take the Covid19 for that matter. Our generation or anybody alive has not actually witnessed something like this ever. All the other information we had was from the Spanish Flu that affected the world nearly 100 years ago. Considering the absence of digital information about that virus, we didn’t really have enough data to follow through with the research.
Most experts believed that getting a working vaccine out would take nearly a decade. That’s what the common practice had been. There are so many trials and approvals that need to go through. In the meanwhile, the virus can wipe out a substantial amount of the population.
Well, that’s true, it did cause havoc in our lives watching our lives turned upside down. However, on a positive note, in less than a year we have a vaccine. Let’s skip the conspiracy theories about that for now.
When we could deal with a grave problem or a black swan event, everything else can have fairly easy solutions if not the easiest.
Ok, I dragged this too long. I wanted to establish what we are capable of first. That’s it now, let’s get to it.
1. The Why
One of the major aspects as I mentioned before is picking the right activities. Sometimes we get influenced by others or things that are happening on social media. Oh wow, she/he is playing guitar, it sounds good. I should take up that hobby. Damn, so many people reading books, I’ll take up the activity.
Stop for a moment, and think why you need that activity in your life. Does that solve a problem in your life? For eg., learning music may not solve a major problem, but it can help destress and giving you the chance to take your love for music one step ahead.
It doesn’t have to solve an actual problem, but it should have the potential to contribute to your life somehow. It is also ok to randomly pick up habits and activities just to experience how it feels like. That means that you may either do it like a pro or give up too soon or manage to drag it for a little longer than usual.
This leads to the next point.
Depending based on why choose to do what we chose to do, setting the right kind of expectations can make a difference.
If you chose to read a book with a purpose, which could be let’s say learning a skill means that you should be able to track your progress with each page. You read a book on basic graphic designing, then don’t expect to become a pro.
It’s quite common to make comparisons to other designers and think that your designs are the worst. Hey, we are human it can happen. But think of it, that book only offered basic learnings, why did you hope to become a pro and you have barely read 1/4 of the book.
Don’t be so harsh on yourself. Be patient, start with the right mindset.
3. Time Lines
Expectations and timeline setting are highly important. I am not sure if you have heard of this concept, “The Plateau Of Latent Potential”. This is from the book called The Atomic Habits. According to the author, that we often get disappointed with constantly working hard and putting in a lot of effort but results are not substantiated.
We reach a valley of disappointment, that can either sink the ship or a rocket that will take you to the moon.
For eg., have you ever tried to learn a new language, if yes, then you would know the time it takes to get really good and conversational? I mean not just small talks but a variety of combinations of aspects of communication.
If something takes a couple of hours to cook, it will take a couple of hours to cook. You can’t expect to enjoy a stake that’s not well marinated and cooked at an ideal temperature. That means it’s roughly a 12-24 hour prep time. If you make one in 30 mins, there’s going to be a noticeable difference.
4. Have Fun
I am sure we all have been through this. When we start any job or work or any activity for that matter, we are filled with excitement and joy. Apparently, that fades off in a few weeks or months.
We start seeing it as a fun process and start to turn that into a task that has to be achieved. When you take away the fun from anything that you are doing then it takes away all fun.
We might be doing some serious tasks or projects, that doesn’t mean that we still can’t fun doing that. You are contributing towards some development, you are solving problems, analyzing things, and doing a lot more. Celebrate these little and daily achievements.
Life is full of these small successes and happiness, we have to be too blind to ignore them.
5. Plan And Structure
We need a plan and structure to achieve everything that we want to do on a particular day. You know, we can’t just wake up whenever we want, do things as when we like, not prioritizing doing difficult tasks first, and keeping the light ones for the end of the day.
You don’t need a stringent plan like the military, but you still need some structure to how you want to do things on a particular day. If it’s planned and organized there are 99% chances that you will follow through regularly.
That’s provided that you discipline yourself to build strong habits that help you stick to your plans.
Be flexible too. Some days the plans won’t work. If you manage to deal with your activities efficiently for most days, one or two bad days won’t bring down the castle. In fact, it’s the regular mismanagement of schedules that actually affects us in the long run.
6. Manage Your Heath
One of the main reasons why most break the chain of consistency is because of sickness. Physical health is easily identifiable in most cases. However, mental health starts to decline and stays invisible for the most part.
Pay attention to anything that reflects any signs of a declining health situation. If you are struggling to manage your mental health, then don’t be hesitant to seek professional help. If you are not able to direct your life in a certain direction then seek a life coach mentor.
There are so many people that have consciously changed their lives by just being observant of their state of being. Our health can play a significant role in determining whether we enjoy life or struggle with it.
We always find a million excuses why we don’t continue to be consistent. However, all we need to find is one reason why should be. Remember that most people don’t become good at what they do overnight. It takes months and years before they get to where they are right now.