Consistency is one of the most misunderstood words that I’ve come across. On my never-ending journey towards self-improvement.
Well, don’t judge me yet! I have my reasons, and there isn’t a lot. But just enough for me to say it is a misunderstood word.
The problem is there’s a thin line between being consistent and doing something daily. People usually walk right over that line.
You see consistency is about being regular with a rhythm, not about showing up daily out of tune.
Check your Consistency
Let’s say you join a gym. You plan to go for 6 days a week.
Are you consistent? Yes-as long as you’re fulfilling your goal and showing up on all 6 days.
Are you going daily? Well, no. Cause you’re leaving one day of the week. So technically, you’re not doing it every day.
(Assuming that you don’t take breaks or the gym isn’t closed)
Consistency is Personal
I think the idea of consistency should be personal. Your consistency can look poles apart from someone else.
Let’s say you have two social media influencers. One posts for 7 days a week, and the other one posts for 3 days a week. Both of them have been doing this without fail for 3 months. Who’s more consistent?
The answer is none. Both are consistent according to their own schedule.
Being consistent is about showing up regularly based on the routine made by you.
Not doing something every day is fine as long as it’s not in “your” routine. It still counts as being consistent. So, don’t beat yourself up.
If consistency looks different for everyone, how will I decide what looks good for me?
1. Set goals and stick to them: The first step is to see whether you can manage it comfortably or not. Meaning that you need to set realistic goals and stick to them, come what may.
Consistency breeds from being comfortable. If you don’t feel that excessive pressure, you can easily follow a habit without losing on quality.
For Eg: If you’re starting to post on social media and your goal is to post 3 times a week, make sure you do it without fail.
This is what you’re comfortable with. 3 times a week becomes the minimum, and if you can do more without overburdening yourself, great!
2. Experiment: Setting goals is great, but what if you could do more and you aren’t? Or what if you’re doing too much and you should just slow down?
It’s okay to be clueless because you’re just starting out. Experimentation leads the way for you to find your sweet spot.
For Eg: I started with Linkedin content by posting daily. 6 days a week without fail. With time I realized my content was becoming generic, and I wanted to explore other platforms too.
So as an experiment, I started posting longer content on an alternate day basis. I started getting better traction, probably because the content got better.
For the last 6 months, I’ve not missed any alternate day of posting, and I’m proud of my consistency.
My point being, try to work in a couple of ways to figure out what’s best for you. Don’t stick with one without getting some.
3. Work through workflows: Sure, consistency looks different for everyone. Except for one thing. You need timely breaks and a proper routine. The best way to start being consistent is through habits and daily workflows.
That workflow should obviously include work but also rest. You cannot expect yourself to be consistent if you don’t recharge yourself, consistently.
For Eg: If you want to work longer hours, be consistent with short sprints of maximum productivity.
If you want to work for 3 hours straight, make sure you take a 5-10 min break to rejuvenate every hour.
Once you’re back, add the extra 30mins of break at the end. You’ll not only feel better, but it’s easier to work the 30 mins now since you’ve worked longer before.
4. Never miss twice in a row: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever followed is this. Never miss twice in a row. It came to me from the best, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits.
I still can’t believe how simple yet profound this really is. You are allowed one time off but not a single second more.
Start preparing yourself as to how you’ll get back the next day on the day you skipped it.
For eg: Going to the gym 6 days a week is your consistent goal. Let’s say something came up, and you think you won’t be able to match this week’s target. Make sure you never miss twice in a row.
Missing more than once starts a chain reaction. Missing twice seduces you into “it’s so easy to do it again.” So don’t.
5. Mix & Match: If life’s a party, then consistency is the cocktail. You can meet a lot of people at the party and see what they prefer. Then mix and match to create the perfect cocktail that’s suited to your taste.
If you don’t prefer analogies, what I mean is meet people and talk to them about their habits. Try to meet niche masters of their own routine.
Talk to them about how they do stuff, most important to them, and how they can go on every day without missing a beat.
Don’t sweat yourself trying to make a routine the same as everyone. If you have 24 hours in a day, make sure each pocket of routine you’ve selected is productive for you.
Figure out your sweet spot with a sweet little chat. That’s all it takes to get started.
For Eg: If you want to make budgeting a routine, talk to someone who’s a master at this. Your finance friend or business mentor.
Or your fitness freak friend, to see how they diet and manage to stay consistent without eating junk.
Consistency feels like a buzzword at this moment but don’t let it be.
It’s a crucial process that’ll define who you become 5 years or 10 years down the line.
So make sure you choose your habits wisely. Stick to them but don’t fall into the pressure of doing something every day if you don’t want to.
You do your consistency always.
On that note,
What do you do consistently without fail?
Let me know in the comments below