Consistency

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This is the pathway for back-to-back success!

Way back in December, Anshul set a goal to lose 15 kg!  With three months of hard work and discipline, he shed 17 kg.  What a success!  When I met him yesterday after three months, I was more than shocked, as he gained double the weight!  What went wrong?  Once he achieved his goal, Anshul relaxed on the diet, exercise and his routines.  Result – the lost weight was regained and plus another 10% to20%.

You start the new financial year and new targets are set.  One or two months everybody is in full swing, but as days pass by, the momentum starts coming down and the targets go for a toss!

You have heard, known and also experienced the advantages of sitting in the seat of meditation.  When you hear about it, with true sincerity you do it for a few days, but after some days, slowly it fades away!

You keep hearing always and now read an article on the benefits of getting up early, and the very next day you decide to get up early.  You also follow it up for a few days religiously with full efforts just to find that after some days you have settled back into your old habit!

Why is there no consistency in following the decisions made or goals set?  Why is it so hard to continue good habits?  Why is it so difficult to make success consistent?

It’s because we can push through to success in just about anything.  But once the goal is achieved, it is hard to keep up that level of effort and hence we stumble.  Sticking with the program and doing something consistently – and not just when you feel inspired or motivated enough – is very, very powerful.  Consistency is one of those rare attributes that everyone wants, but few people actually manage to gain.

Doing anything regularly requires willpower.  The first step to have consistency in success is to make a conscious, wilful pronouncement to our own self that we will stick to it.  This will help to keep us motivated and push us to achieve that goal.

We have to love the change so that it can be continued for long.  Associating happiness with the goal will help in continuing it for long.  In other words, if we think about how beneficial it is and what are the advantages attached to it, then continuing will not be that difficult.  The more painful it is, the more we try to keep avoiding it and eventually it fades away.  For instance, we know of the advantages of exercise, but since we have to get up early and give that extra push to the body, it is painful and we keep avoiding it.  If we start associating happiness and benefits to the cause of exercise, gradually our mind and body will start cooperating.  It would feel that the exertion is well worth it.

If we are serious about making our accomplishment habitual, we have to start small.  In trying and doing everything at once, all we’re going to do is to overwhelm ourselves.  It will make it a lot harder for us to be consistent.  The problem is we make big promises as soon as we get a dose of motivation.  And that’s why within few days or months it fades away.  Small actions are easy to do, and these tiny actions become consistent patterns.  If we pick the right small behaviour and sequence it right, then we won’t have to motivate ourselves to have it grow.

For instance, Anshul should have developed small consistent habits like walking for 20 minutes per day, drinking 8 glasses of water per day, eating two meals instead of three, etc., so that it would have become a part of his life and would have maintained the weight loss.

If you wish to get up early and make it a daily habit, start from advancing your waking up time by 5 to 10 minutes than the usual waking up time.  Gradually, week after week, extend the time and one day you will wake up at the time you want to wake up.

You always wanted to sit in the seat of meditation.  Then start small.  First bring the discipline of sitting daily without a break.  Learn to squeeze out at least 5 to 10 minutes to sit in the seat of non-doing.  Then as days pass by, increase to 30 to 45 minutes or more depending on the time you set.

Leonardo da Vinci put it so beautifully, “…people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them.  They went out and happened to things.”

Every day is an opportunity, and to shine personally and professionally, you need to spend time in building your personality, step by step.  Deep inside, everyone has some distinctive traits and qualities that would make him or her stand out.  If you are consistent enough, it will help you excel, outperform and eventually make success a habit!  Getting desired results and to maintain it even after achievement is a process that has to be carefully watched over and executed with discipline.  As you do that, you will steadily get better and better at achieving a result and then finding ways to equal or improve that result in the future.  Success or lack thereof is a choice.  Achieving and sustaining success require everything you think, say and do to be intentional and aligned with your goals.

As someone said, “Actions open the doors.  Consistency keeps them open.”  In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions.  It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.

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A few unanswered questions could be slowing down your progress…
Stopping you from being the infinite possibility you are created to be.
Passion OR Profession?
Contentment OR Ambition?
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