It’s been a couple of months into 2021, and so I took a look back at the new year resolutions that I made at the start of the year. It’s safe to say that there were quite a few goals that I started but eventually quit. So, it got me wondering about how to be consistent in life. Here are some of the reasons why you may be inconsistent over time, and what you can do about it.
How to stay consistent in life
Choose a singular goal
“Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”Greg McKeown
As a society, we’ve come to confuse busyness with productivity. As a result, so many of us are trying to accomplish too many things at the same time. Greg McKeown talks about this exact problem in his book on Essentialism. He calls it the Clarity Paradox.
- When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.
- We have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.
- When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.
- Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.
So, if you want to learn how to stay consistent, then you’re going to need to be able to prioritize the tasks that truly matter.
Now, it’s important to note that this process is different for everybody as we all prioritize different things. Some people prioritize their work. Others place a high value on their relationships with friends and family. To be consistent, you need to find what’s important to you.
However, that’s only the first step. Once you’ve found your singular goal, then you’re going to have to learn how set boundaries surrounding it. For yourself and those around you. This involves strategies such as setting weekly deadlines for yourself. It could also be saying no to situations that would derail you from your purpose.
When on a diet, I used to have a really tough time telling my friends that I wouldn’t be able to dine out with them. I’d feel uncomfortable about bringing a packed lunch to a group outing. Often times, this led to situations where I would cheat on my diet, and then feel guilty for it.
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Once you start developing these habits, you’re going to notice some considerable progress. However, this is where a lot of people fall into a dangerous trap that causes them to stumble. Comparison
Your goal is yours, and yours alone.
Once find your path, the temptation to compare with others on the same path will be enormous. However, this journey is yours, and yours alone to take. One of the main reasons why a lot of us are inconsistent is because we constantly compare ourselves with others.
Why don’t I look like them? I’m not making as much money as them. Do you see a trend? It’s all about them and not about you. Negative thoughts like this have a tendency to blind us to our own progress, as we become consumed with how others are doing.
To combat this, you need to realize who your true competition is. Yourself. The only person that you need to be competing with is who you were in the past. Are you further in your goals now than you were last month? Did you try a little bit harder this time? If so, then you’re doing absolutely great. Adopting this sort of mentality keeps the focus on you, allowing you to maintain consistency over a long period of time.
Once you go down this path of focusing on yourself, you’ll begin to see that the success and failure of others has nothing to do with you. Everyone is on their path in life. If you spend too much time looking at where others are going, you’re going to trip on your own feet eventually.
Ditch the idea of perfection
So, we’ve got a singular goal, and we’re not comparing ourselves to others. This is pretty good recipe to staying consistent in life. However, there is one more hurdle that people tend to forget once they’ve got the ball rolling. Perfectionism.
I’ve found that whenever I’m deep in a project, I tend to overthink things a lot. Things have to be perfect, all the time. It really is an all-or-nothing mentailty. If it’s not perfect, then it’s not worth my time or energy. Personally, this is one of, if not the major reason why I tend to be inconsistent with my goals. So how do we get rid of perfectionism?
Well, often times perfectionism happens out of a fear of failure. So to beat it, we’re going to need to overcome that fear. Fortunately, I’ve just launched my new free e-book on this very issue. Ascension: The Complete Guide To Overcoming The Fear of Failure.
In the e-book, I uncover the habits that will allow us to overcome the fear of failure. These include:
- Breaking free from the illusion of perfection
- Choosing the path of progress
- Developing a good reaction to failure
By the end of this book, you’ll understand how to use failure to your advantage, putting you in the best position to be consistent with your goals in life.
So what do you think? Are any of these reasons why you aren’t consistent in your life? Have you tried any of the strategies above? Let me know in the comments below, I’m curious!
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5 Replies to “How To Be Consistent In Life”
Interesting post, I really like it. I had never seen that clarity paradox before. I guess the one point would be that if you have more options/opportunities, you don’t necessarily need to take any of them/all of them so you could just take one and maintain the clarity. But I’m sure it’s tempting to take all the options!
Consistency is sooo important!! I know my perfectionism tends to get in the way. Great post, more people need to realize this.
Great post! Wanting perfection holds me back sometimes but I always power through. It’s a choice I choose every day. Thanks for sharing!
I had never heard of the Clarity Paradox, but I can see the logic in it.
I personally never set New Year’s resolutions because I know that they are doomed to fail because most people try to be too grandiose with them. Instead, I keep a constant stream of small goals throughout the year.
This is so true in my life right now. The amount of energy spent into being consistent is huge. I fail some and win some, and that depends when I have too much on my plate. Zeroing on one goal at a time does make it easier to achieve. Set backs dragged me slow, but the vision of what I set ahead keeps me going strong. Thanks for the reminder that both clarity and success are attainable when you don’t overload on tasks.