One of the biggest culprits for failure — that is, people not doing what they set out to do — is consistency. By “consistency” I’m simply referring to the ability to stick with a course of action once you’ve decided on it, and not getting distracted. Consistency has to do with focus: setting your sights on a single goal or objective, and holding them there until that goal has been realized. Understanding and developing consistency is one of the most important things you can do to improve the successfulness you experience in your life in general as well as business.
Consistency is a fairly simple idea in theory, but in application there’s a little more to it. I believe that the fundamental concept is built upon three underlying principles, each of which is intrinsic for fully understanding and applying consistency well.
Patience: One of the main reasons people don’t stick with what they’re doing, whatever it might be, is simply impatience. A good example of this is in the Cyberworld, people try something for a week or two and, impatient for results, immediately run off to the next interesting looking fad that they see in an Ad or on a website. Patience is a key to consistency: you have to be patient, take your time, and focus your efforts diligently in one direction in order to produce quality, lasting, tangible results.
Belief: Likewise, failing to believe in what you’re doing will definitely kill your consistency in doing it. Or, to look at it another way, make you much more consistent at NOT doing it. A good illustration of this is Companies who start Blogs and have to constantly be reminded to maintain these writings. Your consistency, or lack thereof, in what you do is a good indication of your true believes about it. A lack of consistency in this case may not be a negative, it may just be a sign you need to move on to something else.
Value: Tying in with the last point is the value you perceive to result from the actions you take. Everything that we do is generally motivated by one of two things: fear and desire. In either case, you take action based on perceived value: running from a Lion has the value of maintain your life, while running as a form of exercise has the value of maintain your health. If they fail to see some kind of return (even a long-term one) from whatever it is they’re doing, most people will be severely de-motivated and their consistency will suffer as a result.
Developing consistency is doable, but it definitely takes practice, and I believe that understanding these three ideas is imperative to becoming more consistent in all aspects of your life. Next time you think your consistency is flagging, examine these three ideas and how they apply to whatever you’re doing.