Consistency is a habit

productivity Nov 18, 2023
Consistency is a habit

In this era, we talk so much about methods and strategies that we overlook the fact that consistency is a habit and therefore requires practice. In this post, we'll be going over how to more easily achieve this consistency.

The steps to achieve greater consistency are the following:

  1. Set yourself up for success
  2. Execute your plan
  3. Repeat the process

Set yourself up so consistency becomes a habit

It's no secret that we love to do things that are easy. Ever since we were babies, we've always preferred the path of least resistance. The problem when it comes to becoming consistent is we tend to make it harder than it needs to be.

If consistency is a habit you want to pick up, then it would benefit you to make the process as smooth as possible. It will require effort, but making it easier makes it more palatable.

To set yourself up for success, you want to focus on a few key things.

Firstly, have a plan. Having a plan of action on how you'll achieve consistency is important. If you don't know what steps to take, there's nothing wrong with doing some research or getting a mentor.

With a proper plan, you will make more progress because you'll succeed more often. This leads to more motivation and, with it, even more progress.

Second, set up your environment to make success easy. It is much easier to not eat junk food if there's no junk food to begin with. For whatever goal you're aiming for, remove the things that make it harder to achieve.

The harder it is for you to go off the rails, the easier it will be for you to stay on course. By setting your path and removing things that would take you off of it, consistency becomes a habit naturally over time.

Just do it!

By now, you've probably met someone who was all talk and no bite. They would talk and talk about their plans, but never get anywhere with them. The difference between people who become consistent and those who don't is action.

It's one thing to have a plan and an environment set up for you, but it's another to actually do what you have to do. To make consistency into a habit, you must find the strength inside of you to take action.

It sounds simple, but it's not. There will be many days where you don't feel like taking action and it takes all of your strength to make a decision that didn't require nearly as much before.

The problem in our modern day is we're so focused on perfection and not messing up that we end up shooting ourselves in the foot. We don't want to risk looking stupid, so instead we just don't show up.

The important part of taking action is not that it's perfect, but that you show up. If you can make it part of your routine that you do what you must for at least five minutes a day, you'll pick up whatever it is you're aiming for very fast.

Repetition leads to consistency

Remember in school when they'd make you memorize something by repeating it? This is how I memorized the quadratic formula. No, I didn't memorize it by using it. I memorized it through a song. Was it silly? Yes. Did it work? Yes. 

To achieve consistency, you need to repeat the process over and over. Without this repetition, your mind will write it off as a one-time thing and you'll lose hold.

There's only one problem: repetition is so boring. There's a reason why so many kids hate school. The most popular method of teaching just so happens to be the most boring.

So in order to make sure repetition isn't too boring, you also need to find a way to make it more interesting for yourself. There are multiple ways to do this and there are two that I really endorse.

The first and most recommended way is to set mini-goals. 

Even when you're in a process, there are smaller things you can do to keep yourself going. You won't get in shape all that quickly, but you can make smaller changes that add up.

If your main goal is to lose weight, set the mini-goal of cutting out one food item that is making you gain weight each week. By making and completing these mini-goals, you end up sustaining your motivation for the long haul instead of waiting for a big wave to give you a big surge.

The second way is to add rewards that don't set you back too far.

If you're trying to lose weight, then restricting yourself to one sugary food item on the weekend is a good compromise. This process makes it so you train your brain to associate the hard work with the reward.

The reason why mini-goals are more recommended is that they train you to see the process itself as the reward while rewarding yourself trains you to see the process as something that leads to a reward.

Both are valid ways to make your process more enjoyable and can even be mixed together. The important thing to keep in mind is that if you want consistency to become a habit, you need to keep yourself in the habit for long enough.

Consistency is a learned habit

To become more capable, you need to stick to the process you set out for yourself long enough. There are multiple pitfalls that cause you to either slow down or fall off the track altogether.

By following the steps outlined here, you are making that process a lot easier for yourself to follow. By making consistency an easy habit for yourself to pick up, you are making future success a lot easier.

- Karl