Consistently scoring 20+ points in a game.
Consistently working out each day and eating right.
Consistently being prepared for your meetings.
Consistently researching and staying ahead.
Consistently showing up, no matter the convenience or the challenge.
Consistently making time.
Consistently doing the work.
“We are what we repeatedly do.”
I’ve found consistency is the hardest thing to master. But the mere concept- obsessing over this is where your focus should be. I didn’t learn this early enough if my life or career- but it’s evident this trait, in almost all aspects of life sets others apart from the rest. We see flashes of greatness and one hit wonders. But consistency what is most highly regarded. No matter your goal or vision- it you just did ‘x’ or repeated ‘y’ consistently, you would see success. The greatest leaders I’ve met and the most successful people I know fundamentally are masters at consistency.
However, it’s the initial break through- forming the needed behaviors (a collection of habits) to be successful is hard. Really hard. The mere thought of it can be stifling.
Why is it hard? Being consistent is more than doing hard work. More than obsessing with the idea of your goal. And it’s more than preaching over and over about that great idea you have. Or showing casually showing interest in something.
It requires commitment.
Got a goal you want to achieve? A skill you want to learn or master?
…what have you sacrificed to get the time you need to achieve it? Do you really need to watch that game/TV show? Give 1 thing up and use that time as your ‘homework’ time.
…are you full committed? Really? Say it out-loud in the mirror each day or write it down that you are all-in. Make it real. Make yourself accountable.
…do you have reminders or mnemonic devices you can put in place to keep you accountable? Markup your calendar. Put post-its on your bathroom mirror. Give yourself ‘minor punishments’ for not following through (like not watching a TV show, or forcing yourself to work late).
…how do you know you’re on your way to achieving your goals? Set lead and lag indicators. Act on those. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the thought of how your going to achieve your BEHAG.
Far to often, we all are looking for that silver-bullet. The easy button. We want a shortcut. But it all starts and ends with consistency. And that’s not easy. It’s a multi-dimensional complex concept you must obsess with. Excellence is not a single act or moment in time- it’s a series of habits. It’s a path of perseverance.