How to develop consistency more easily

productivity Mar 09, 2024
How to develop consistency more easily

In our modern world, so many people have an attitude of all or nothing. Either they do it completely correctly or not at all. Because of this, many people end up not doing enough to reach their goals. Today, we'll be going over how to develop consistency more easily.

The points we'll be covering are:

  • Ditch the perfection
  • Make habits easy
  • Consistently half-assed 

You probably will benefit from this

There are very few people who wouldn't benefit from having more consistency in their life. What we'll be discussing today is stuff that would have helped me with my procrastination back when I was in high school. Maybe then I would've gotten a good mark in English class.

As with many things, this isn't hard to pick up. It will just take a lot of time to acquire and get down.

Reject perfection

Raise your hand if you weren't a perfectionist back in your school days. The number of times I've tried to be perfect back then would require me to have at least a dozen hands to count all the moments. From the tests where I got one question wrong to the times I stressed over how I said one specific word, perfectionism made things worse than they need to be.

By far the number one thing that stops people from taking action is this perfection complex. They figure that they need to do it right or not at all.

If you know anybody who seems to only ever do research on something and never take action, this is why. They're so nervous to mess up that they only want to try when they feel like they will get it right.

Teeny tiny problem: there's no way to know when you'll truly be ready if you never try. If you never start, you'll never know where you're at.

To develop consistency more easily, you need to ditch the whole perfection mindset and embrace your mistakes.

This mentality starts when we're young and we get praised for our natural talents. We're called smart or artistic and indeed this is helpful.

However, many of us are also raised in a way where we feel we can only get this validation by sticking to what we're good at. It's one thing to know your talents, it's another to intentionally limit yourself.

There's no easy way around this. You have to just accept that you'll make mistakes along the way and that it's okay.

Just remember: the master has failed more times than the student has tried. To become the master, you need to be willing to fail and fall short.

Make Habits easy to drop or keep

I never really knew why I could so easily get absorbed into video games but why I would so easily get distracted from my important school work. I didn't learn until later that it's because I was playing games more habitually compared to doing my school work. 

The things that we do consistently are simply a product of what we have done consistently. Or, the more you do something, the more you do it.

This is the greatest double-edged sword we have as humans. This logic is what goes on behind our best habits, as well as our greatest vices.

To develop consistency more easily, you need to figure out for yourself ways that allow you to make the good habits easier and the bad habits harder.

Each habit you want to keep or drop will have something that makes it easier to either keep or drop. For example, if you want to stop eating candy then just stop buying it.

By making the good habits easier and the bad habits harder, you acquire the consistency you want in life.

It's important to keep in mind that willpower is not something to be taken for granted. Willpower is best preserved for when you actually need it.

It's better for you to just not have candy at home if you're trying to avoid it instead of using your willpower to not eat it. This way, you can save your willpower for something else.

By making it easier to drop or keep your habits, you are pruning out that which isn't productive for your life and keeping that which gets you where you want.

Consistently half-assed

Think back to all the skills you do have. Now, think back to how you started with those skills. You didn't start out perfect with them. Same with when I picked up saxophone in high school. I started out awful and became good later.

The core idea behind perfectionism is that if we can't get it right today, we may as well never try or wait until we can get it right. This leads to many people never trying.

However, it is far better for you to try than not to try at all. But, how do you go about doing this?

To develop consistency more easily, do things consistently half-assed than not assed at all. This is the thing holding people back from their potential.

Many people hold the mentality to not do anything half-assed. They were raised to do or do not, because there is no try.

To do something half-assed consistently means you are taking action. By taking these small actions, you build the habit over time without burning out.

For example, instead of working out for 30 minutes at a time, if you can only manage to go for 10 then only go for 10. If you can't manage to have a whole conversation with someone, start with a compliment or an observation.

If you do something half-assed consistently, you will eventually get to the point where you want to do more because what you are doing is no longer enough. Or, you actually enjoy it now and want to do more.

Either way, you build up the habit in a way where you aren't overdoing it. This done consistently overtime is what ultimately leads to you being consistent.

Develop consistency overtime

It cannot be stressed enough how important patience is for develop consistency. Being consistent is a behavior, and like all behavioral change it takes time.

Be patient with yourself while developing consistency and you'll come out the other end capable of doing what must be done even when you don't feel like it.

- Karl