How’s it going?
Day 37 is pretty awesome.
It’s becoming more difficult of late to make sure that I actually get these blogs written. What with the coronavirus it feels like the world has been turned upside down and everyone’s routines have gone somewhat out of the window.
That’s why (as it’s 9.58am) at this time of writing
It seemed appropriate to write a blog post about consistency.
How To Be More Consistent In Life And Business
It’s very easy to start building a habit, but it’s difficult to actually stick to them and make them consistent
I should rephrase this; it’s easy to ‘announce’ you’re going to be starting a habit, but extremely difficult to stick to this for even 30-days.
And there I was talking about how to be more consistent and it’s rolled into day 38.
I failed 🙁
Which underlines the challenge that we all face with being more consistent.
I started the blog challenge 38 days ago and there was a group of maybe 20 of us on Whatsapp.
All committed to the idea of posting content 1x per day, every day…for….forever?
This was back on day 24/25 when the first series of people got chopped.
By that stage, the herd had whittled down to just a couple of people.
As with many habits, once you get past the point of enthusiasm and it starts to just become hard work , you question ‘what’s the point?’, ‘what do I write about’, ‘no one will care if I stop’, ‘this is not getting me anywhere’…
It reminds me of some of the marathons and training runs I’ve done in the past when I get seduced by my waning motivation.
In those moments it’s so easy to just stop.
A good example was just two days ago when I posted this in the Whatsapp group:
I made a speech about getting through this and my plan to produce Skyscraper content (this may well end up being that depending upon what happens).
And then as you can see after, no one committed (including me) to actually producing anything.
It’s a little disappointing when you see it so plainly how frail our willpower is when it comes to consistency.
It’s just far easier to not do it rather than buckle down and just put the work in.
And here’s the kicker.
I’ve got an accountability group (as you can see above), and it’s all set up so that we can all hold ourselves accountable and as you can see – in the end, no-one does.
Consistency = Success?
This is like a corollary for success isn’t it?
If we can’t commit to a 38-day habit (including myself) then what chance do we truly have for success?
Going on this journey has been a real eye-opener for me.
It’s surprising how difficult such a seemingly simple thing is; to commit to writing every day. 1x a day; 1000 words.
There are now just three of us in the group, Pravin, Ganesh and I.
No one else remains, and even we’re failing.
Saluting The Consistent
This gives me so much respect for those who are hugely successful – as it underlines that one of the core components of success is extraordinarily difficult to complete.
The art of consistency and how to build this over time.
Granted the events of the world what with the coronavirus and lockdown have thrown everything into sway but that’s how life is right?
It will continue to throw curve-balls at us no matter what.
And this is the part with professional athletes or professional anyone that we don’t truly appreciate unless we attempt it ourselves.
Consistency over time is so so incredibly difficult to achieve.
So to all of your professionals who can stick to routines, day in day out for years in and years out – I have so much respect for you it’s untrue.
So I decided to have a Google of how to be more consistent and offer commentary on each of these points one by one so that we can hopefully learn more about this together.
Pick That One Thing:
So I went onto the first blog I saw on Google and this is point 1:
The opening line is powerful isn’t it?
Developing consistency goes against human nature. Anecdotally based upon my own experience I know this to be true.
You only need to see the groups above to recognise that consistency has failed all of the people you see in that group.
It takes a lot of finite energy and it involves replicating positive behaviours until those positive behaviours define you.
Until your habits become the new normal.
So focusing upon one goal makes a lot of sense before moving onto another.
For me I’ve got:
The 430am club
Writing 1 blog per day of a minimum of 1,000 words
And writing 10-20 Quora answers per day
10 Upwork applications
Writing out my three priorities for the day
Where I’m failing on is… well all of them to one degree or another.
So the key here is to isolate one goal and dominate it before focussing upon the other.
I’m back here trying to get these 1k words going, kicking dragging and screaming.
Let’s move to point two:
Focus Upon Getting 1% Better Every Day
This is actually an exceedingly good point.
I’ve been waking up all my life between 630-730am.
Suddenly pushing that back to 430am is hard.
And it’s not going to happen overnight.
Which is where the challenge lies.
To permanently change behaviour that’s been ingrained for decades is a very difficult thing to do, and it can take months of pounding away at it before you see success.
So perhaps the insight here is to look for trends rather than complete consistency?
This would make more sense with the 430am group that I have. I feel we are all bandied together to try and execute based on our own journeys of trying to wake up earlier and it’s about slow and steady progression.
And that we should remind ourselves of this.
I.e ‘well done Deepak’ you’re writing a blog about how to be more consistent because you had a dip. This is an excellent way to reinforce the habit
The next one is about our emotions:
Push Back Against Your Emotions
It definitely is the case that emotions are at play here.
My daily routine is all executed in the mornings when I am freshest, but doing all of these tasks consecutively definitely drains my energy and I feel I need a break.
And breaks can sometimes extend even further.
So this is where the saying comes from then – when you’re feeling tired or unmotivated and your monkey brain starts playing mischief with your logic – it’s important to push forward.
I guess this is what I’m trying to do now.
I like number four from this blog – it’s comforting haha:
It’s Ok To Fail
We all fail at one point or another – and the point to remember here – is that you will get tired (certainly of late I’ve felt my slump more and more).
As the examples above outline, there will be times that you fall off the wagon.
The quote that this blog finishes up with I find best:
How Quickly Do You Get Back On Track?
This is an insight I didn’t really appreciate.
That according to this blog what separates top performers is how quickly you can get back on the wagon after falling off.
So it’s not about your fall, it’s about your return.
For me this is amazing advice and gives me the energy to keep pushing through.
Crowdsource Solutions To Your Problems
This will sound like such a cliche perhaps;
But relying solely on my own insights and those of my friends is an idiotic way to approach trying to find success.
My friends suffer from the same challenges that I do.
Arguably, given I created all of these groups I should be the one leading the charge.
So I did what I considered to be the sensible thing.
I didn’t ask anyone about consistency, I Googled it to see what came up.
We’ve finished with the insights from workforcesoftware. Now let’s move further forward with Marie Forleo she’s got a video on this which I’ll add to our insights bucket:
Find Your Why
This is incredibly insightful because it’s important to determine ‘why am I doing what I’m doing?’.
And to determine why you’re doing what you’re doing you need to (to some degree) figure out where you’re going.
So with this in mind let’s reanalyse my goals:
1 blog a day for 100 days
I love writing, I want to build my personal brand and produce a huge personal brand following about my journey as an individual rather than me as a ‘SEO/Agency/Otherwise Guy’.
1000 Quora Answers
I enjoy the idea of going viral on a platform, and want to build up a steady flow of referral traffic and email list as a consequence of hitting 1,000 answers and am confident it’ll ultimately lead to further brand recognition and PR opportunities
10 Upwork Applications Per Day
To ensure sales for Pearl Lemon keep coming in so I can grow the business and not solely rely on the sales team to generate business as Upwork has highly qualified leads
And so forth.
So guys this one is extremely powerful.
As Marie comments – finding your why is very important.
The next point about pick your battle is as 1. Isolate one goal.
We’ve already seen this one so let’s move forward
Stick To A Powerful Schedule
This one is excellent.
The importance of having a schedule is huge.
Mine begins with the 430am start, and then the idea is, is that before 9am I’ve got the blog and Quora and Upwork done so I can start my day
Right now you can see on this Sunday it hasn’t happened.
But building that routine around your priorities seems critical to me.
However, it’s also made me realise that I must schedule my priorities first and work on those I imagine.
i.e ‘List Your 3 Priorities For The Day
Is one of my goals and by doing this blog and Quora, I’m essentially avoiding it potentially.
Or rather let me reframe it.
List Your 3 Priorities To Be Completed By Midday
This is probably a better way to approach it so with this in mind I’ve just adjusted my ‘to do list’
(I went back to Wunderlist in the end after Streak and Any.Do – I paid for both – both didn’t work for me)
Let’s see how this works!
Put Your Feelings In A Box:
Now, this is similar to #3 – ‘fight your emotions’.
I like the emphasis that Marie places on the ‘ignore’ element.
Many of us fail upon this when it comes to getting things done – and there are definitely times where you can feel absolutely awful doing something – but again that’s how you become the king of consistency (because that too shall pass).
So ignoring your feelings when it comes to building world class habits and becoming more consistent is SUPER important.
We’ve seen this one –
This is number 5 – how quickly do you get back on track. A good reminder
I’m going to interlude with another element I’d like to discuss:
Analyse Your Failures
Many of these blogs I write are pretty much for myself.
I mean I’m not researching keyword strategy or executing link-building (at least right now lol).
It’s really a means of processing what’s going on in my life and looking to find clarity among the madness.
There are multiple reasons for why documentation is so important:
It offers opportunity to understand what’s the reason behind problems that occur along the way. And it’s pretty much therapeutic because I think deeply about things happening in my life and challenges (as well as opportunities) that present themselves.
With you alongside me, we’ve put our ego aside and went journeying on Google to discover what the successful are saying about how to be more consistent.
And through their advice we’re cementing it into our minds to go out and make ourselves more successful tomorrow.
Which brings me to the third and final blog I’ll look at to see if there’s anything else we can learn about the power of consistency:
Build A Consistent Morning Routine
So this is building upon the schedule element but with the focus being on the morning:
I’ll go one further than this guy (pulled from this blog btw) and say that you should also build work into your daily routine to ensure its power.
Write Down Your Routines, Tick Off Goals Completed
This is what Anthony Gali has mentioned:
What I like about this is that the power of writing things down and then ticking them off as complete is super-powerful.
It helps to build consistency in a visual way, so do so.
That reminds me I need to get a calendar that can help me with this.
But this is definitely something that I’m trying to do here; write about my goals, and focus on completing my goals.
Focus Upon The Process, Let Go Of The Outcome
This one isn’t focused on the process exclusively, but this is what I got from it.
It’s super important once you’ve done your planning to just GET THINGS DONE.
Let go of the outcome and instead focus on the process of producing content, the process of ticking off routines and goals completed.
The less you think about it, the more successful you will be with it.
e.g I’ve set myself a goal of writing content for 100 days in a row. I’m on day 37. So if I stopped now I’d have no real way of understanding the benefits of writing for 100 days in a row.
Stopping sooner would leave me with no way of understanding the true benefits (or wastefulness of it).
So I get my head down and focus upon the process.
One day at a time.
Think about just completing the activity and nothing else.
Ok, guys, I found another blog now because I’m finding reading up on this and then discussing my learnings on it to be so useful for me (and I hope it’s powerful for you too – please do leave a comment below)
Do Something You Love
This one is great because I’ve created the initiatives with the groups I’ve setup based around things I want to do for myself.
Anytime I’ve tried to create goals that go against things I enjoy doing I’ve failed very fast at them.
That’s the truth of the matter and it’s a simple lesson here really.
Focus on goals that involve (at their core) things that you love to do. That’s truly the only way to really become world class at them.
Else someone else will love it more and become more successful than you.
I love writing. I was an English Literature major, rapper with 150+ songs, I’ve always written and this is no different.
I also love running. I’ve tried other sports – several – but have always ultimately come back to running.
Find what you love and do that, please.
Build Reminders Into Your Environment
This is an excellent one that I actually don’t do at all, and is something I want to fix now.
I think I’ll start by writing it down on an A4 sheet of blank paper and putting it on the top of my laptop.
Right here (I’m sat in my pyjamas in my living room whilst writing down all of this btw):
I think this is also something that’ll help me; building reminders into the environment around me.
And I’m with my laptop pretty much all day so that’ll work well I hope.
You may well have noticed from even #15 that I’m continually tweaking this routine to try and generate the best result for myself.
Almost all of my tweaks typically fail.
But then I only need a couple to work and then a couple more and the compound effect of them all is very powerful.
So I’d continually remind you that it’s ok to keep tweaking your process in search of finding even more consistency in your life.
Tweaking is how I decided to write what’s now become an almost 3,000 word blog post about how to become more consistent.
So keep, please keep experimenting.
What a journey writing this blog post has been.
I’m by no way an expert and I wrote this blog as much about providing value to you as much as it was to help educate myself.
And these are the key areas we ended up exploring:
I’m so glad I Googled, I’m so glad you joined me on this journey and I’d love to get your comments below on what you’re doing to become more consistent in your life.
Alongside which of these points most resonated with you.
For me, trying out all of these new little tricks I do believe will help me in order to become even more consistent in my life.