There are many ingredients in the recipe for success – drive, determination, opportunity, perseverance, creativity, courage, strength, passion and more. However, we often overlook one key characteristic – consistency. Without that no great success has been achieved.
Of course, there are the rare cases of overnight success, but even those stories have had some background work done.
Take for example artists. They are talented people, yet they still need to work on refining their skills. They also need to work on building their name or brand within their industry to achieve recognition and support (which are important parts of success). Athletes are another example. To succeed in any sport or fitness endeavour you need to put in the necessary hours of hard work consistently. As they say – “practice makes perfect.”
So you may be passionate about what you do and determined to succeed but if you’re not consistent you will not go very far. But why wouldn’t you be consistent if you are passionate and determined? Well because life will be throwing challenges your way and there will be days when all the passion in the world won’t feel like it’s enough to get you out of bed.
This is where consistency comes in. When you feel down, stuck in a rut or facing a particularly tricky obstacle your will and determination may falter. And that’s OK because everyone has a bad day (or days in some cases 🙂 ). The important thing is how to get through those tough moments.
From my experience, there are 3 things that you need to nail down to remain consistent:
- Find a meaningful reason to drive your success and repeat it to yourself often. Why do you want to succeed? What is it about achieving your goal that is important? What will you gain from the experience? These are some of the questions that can help your search for a meaningful reason to fuel or drive. Once you have found your cause, repeat it to yourself during those rough times – write it down, stick it near your bed or on your computer and read it back to yourself. Tip: make sure that reason is long term and is truly important to you.
- Make a plan and focus on one thing at a time. Successful people don’t multi-task. In fact, research has proven that multi-tasking slows you down and increases the chances of errors. Pick one goal at a time and figure out how you will achieve it. Break the bigger objective into smaller tasks and set yourself deadlines as to when each step should be completed.
- Don’t confuse consistency with burnout. You do need to have a plan and schedule as to how you will achieve your goal and that needs to be followed. But you also need to fit in time for rest and destress – be it within your schedule or on a more flexible basis. Of course, you need to push yourself but you need to know when to take a break as well – there is a difference between being lazy and being exhausted! To help you decide when you need to take a break it may be helpful to create a decision tree like the one below:
Good luck & stay focused!