One of the most important skills to master in life is how to be consistent.
Consistency separates winners from the losers. Those who get the life they want have one distinct trait that others don’t — they show up every day regardless of how they feel.
Professionals put in the work even when they don’t feel their best. Amateurs let emotions get in the way of the actions that lead to success.
If you want to be a professional, you must be consistent. And while consistency is hard to develop, it’s not impossible if you implement the right tactics.
So without further ado, let’s dive into five powerful tips for how to stay consistent and make massive progress towards your goals.
Why Consistency Is Key To Success
Does this story sound familiar?
You make a vow to lose weight, improve your social life, or change the trajectory of your career.
Motivation starts off at an all-time high. You crush the first few days and find yourself on the path to consistency and re-shaping who you are.
But around the one week mark, something happens internally. The motivation wave that you’ve been riding is no longer there to carry you.
The new behaviors you’ve committed to now feel like a chore.
A month later, you’re in the same exact position as you were when you vowed to change your life for the better.
Everyone has their own version of this story, but the one thing that’s present in all of them is a lack of consistency.
Anyone can show up and put in the work for a few days while riding the motivational wave of starting something new.
But what happens when that energy fades? What happens on the days you don’t feel like killing it? What happens when the process starts to feel like a grind?
Well when that happens, most people quit. And as a result, they never learn how to be consistent enough to reach their long-term goals.
The reason why consistency is key is because it’s literally the only thing that lies between you and the person you want to be.
You don’t need to consume more content. You don’t need to set new goals or make new plans. You don’t need to wait for the timing to be right.
You just need to execute on the daily habits that will improve your life regardless of how you’re feeling.
If you can master that, then you can achieve anything that you set your mind to.
How To Be Consistent In Life (5 Tips)
Consistency is something that we can all master, it just takes the right strategy and some practice.
So without further ado, here are five simple tips that will help you be consistent after you start down the path of improvement.
#1: Narrow Your Focus
None of us do particularly well with split-focus.
Elon Musk may be able to run several billion dollar companies at once, but most of us are not Elon Musk.
It feels good to think big and set 3-4 goals at a time. But when reality hits and we realize the magnitude of what we’ve decided to take on, that’s when we get overwhelmed.
If you want to learn how to stay consistent, you need to prioritize. You need to direct your energy to the pursuits that really move the needle in your life.
Focus on doing fewer things that have more effect, as opposed to a bunch of things that each have minimal effect.
Instead of focusing on multiple goals at once, pick the one that deserves the bulk of your focus. Here’s a question that I like to ask myself in order to narrow this down:
If I had a magic wand and could instantly change one thing about myself, what would it be?
Usually, your answer to this question is a good indicator of what to put at the top of your priority list.
Step 2: Start With Small Wins
When setting out to achieve a certain goal, many of us buy into the philosophy that we need to think big.
I couldn’t disagree more with this philosophy.
All of the positive changes that I’ve made in my life have sprouted from a tiny seed — a small daily habit that represents a subtle identity shift.
It’s exciting to aim high and set ambitious goals. It feels good to imagine a better version of yourself and say things like:
- I’m going to start meditating for thirty minutes every day
- I’m going to start waking up at 4:30 every morning
- I’m gonna write for two hours every day
But we often underestimate the level of discipline required to stick with these habits. Despite this reality, we rationalize these targets by saying, “When the time comes, I’ll have the discipline to follow through.”
The problem is that setting goals doesn’t change who you are, so the mantra you need to adopt in order to master consistency is the following:
Big Goals + Small Daily Disciplines = Mastery
So as you think about how to be consistent, think about a daily target that you can hit regardless of how you feel.
- Instead of aiming to meditate for 30 minutes per day, start with 60 seconds per day.
- Instead of trying to wake up at 4:30 am every day, start by trying to get up 10 minutes earlier than you usually do.
- Instead of building a habit of writing for two hours per day, start with writing for 5 minutes.
You’re not gonna get a rush of dopamine from hitting these targets on any given day. You won’t be jumping for joy because you spent five minutes writing, or because you meditated for 60 seconds.
However, you will build a foundation of small wins that form the basis of your new identity.
And what will that new identity be? Someone who shows up every single day regardless of how they feel.
#3: Create Flexible Habits
There’s no denying that small wins are the foundation of consistent action.
If you’re trying to maintain a consistent workout habit, then it’s much better to set a goal to do 5 pushups as opposed to 100 pushups.
However, what about the days where you’re feeling motivated? What about the days where you really feel like crushing it?
Well, that’s where flexible habits come into play. Flexible habits allow you to take advantage of the days where you feel like testing your limits and seeing what you’re capable of.
Here’s how flexible habits work. First off, you use the small habits that you need to engage in as a minimum requirement. Once again, this should be a behavior you can perform regardless of how you’re feeling.
Then, you’re gonna create three different tiers of the behavior you want to engage in. These tiers will represent various levels of difficulty for the habit; easy, medium, and hard.
- Easy: You’ve already come up with this tier. This should represent a target that you can hit even when motivation is at rock bottom.
- Medium: A respectable accomplishment that’s a fairly big step up from your small habit.
- Hard: This is the target that you could hit every day if you had unlimited willpower.
Setting up a structure like this offers you the best of both worlds — you can keep your focus on the small win, while also pushing yourself towards massive progress.
So try this out for yourself and see what you can come up with!
#4: Don’t Miss Twice
If you want consistency to be your calling card, you must live by the never miss twice philosophy.
As James Clear says, “Missing once is an accident. Missing twice is the start of a new habit. This is a distinguishing feature between winners and losers.”
The people who’ve mastered how to be consistent recognize that one wrong decision isn’t the end of the world. But they do know that booking back to back losses makes losing a third time far more likely.
So never forget this when it comes to staying consistent — your only goal is to book a win every single day, regardless of how small that win is.
This is what results in the cumulative identity shifts that help you become the person you want to be.
Once you’ve done something almost every day for 60-90 days, you’ve already won the game of self-improvement.
Achieving your goals is now inevitable because you won’t need to fight against resistance, you’ll just act in alignment with who you believe yourself to be.
#5: Find An Accountability Partner
Staying consistent is the cornerstone to changing your life, and one of the best ways to stay disciplined is to find someone on the same mission as you.
This accountability partner can be a friend, family member, mentor, or anyone who is committed to helping you stay on track.
It’s easy to falter on your commitments when you have no one to answer to. If you miss a workout or wake up late, you’re the only person who knows.
Besides the internal shame you might feel for slipping up, there’s no immediate penalty that you have to incur.
Having an accountability partner can double the pain of not sticking with your commitments. You’re not just betraying your goals, you’re also betraying the faith that someone else has in you.
Success may be a lonely process, but it’s not a path that you have to walk completely alone.
FAQ’s About How To Be Consistent
Now that we’ve covered a bunch of ways to start being consistent in life, let’s cover some of the other questions you may have around the keys to consistency.
Why do I struggle with consistency?
Lack of consistency can be due to a number of factors.
Some people let ambition get in the way and set unrealistic daily targets. Some people haven’t clearly defined their goals and have no mission to strive for. Other people simply get bored with the daily grind.
There’s no one size fits all answer to this question, but these reasons above encapsulate most people’s struggles with consistency.
Which of the three reasons resonates with you the most? Identify it and use the tips provided above to address it.
What is the trick to consistency?
The trick to consistency is to embrace boredom.
Many times, we struggle with how to be consistent because the daily actions required to reach our goals are not sexy or exciting.
Success is a boring, slow, and uncomfortable process. If you expect every part of your journey to be exciting and rewarding, you’re gonna flame out very quickly.
When you’re feeling lost in life because you’re not making massive progress, the trick is to recognize that’s how you should be feeling.
How do I train myself to be consistent?
If you learn how to stay consistent, you need to treat this process like you’re working out your muscles at the gym.
When you adopt a new habit, start small. Identify a target that you can hit every day regardless of how you’re feeling.
Each day that you perform this habit, you re-shape your identity. And as your efforts compound, you’ll feel less internal resistance towards that behavior on a daily basis.
Once that process starts unfolding, you’re in a better position to start aiming at bigger targets.
So if you wanna train yourself to be consistent, here’s the three steps that you need to go through — start small, master the art of showing up, and then test your limits.
Final Thoughts On How To Stay Consistent
I hope you enjoyed these simple tips for how to be more consistent in life.
There’s no secret or shortcut to success — it’s daily action compounded over time that eventually creates remarkable results.
The daily grind is the only thing that matters when it comes to pursuing the best version of yourself.
It’s not an easy process, but hopefully the tips provided here have offered you a clear roadmap to mastering consistent action.
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