Consistency must be developed. It doesn’t show up unannounced one day just because we’ve been hoping to get more of it. It requires a high level of focus, discipline, and intention. This truth runs counter to the growing theme in western society which teaches us we can have everything we want right now, we deserve it now, we are owed it now.
I’m as guilty as anyone with expecting things to come quickly. I want to see results, fast.
John Maxwell also says, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Slow and steady wins the race. I think we need to start by recognizing that we all possess the attributes and qualities of the Hare. Don’t beat yourself up over it. As I stated earlier this week we are hit with messages of instant gratification all day, every day.
Since consistency must be developed we need to be SMART in our approach and set ourselves up for success, which in turn provides motivation to continue pushing forward.
As industrialist Ian MacGregor asserted, “I work on the same principle as people who train horses. You start with low fences, easily achieved goals, and work up. It’s important in management never to ask people to try to accomplish goals they can’t accept.”
This is such an important principle when developing consistency, or anything for that matter. Start with ‘low fences.’ Begin by becoming consistent in small and simple things and work your way up as you grow.
A great danger presents itself if you just ‘dive in’ to the deep end and start with expectations that are too high. That danger is quitting. The last type of consistency you want to develop is to consistently quit.
Vince Lombardi observed, “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”
Take a look at your life and choose an area where you’d like to develop more consistency. Start with ‘low fences’ and gain some momentum before you begin taking on larger goals.
Enjoy the small wins.