Exercises To Work Out Your "Consistency" Muscle
Consistency has been a buzz word recently, especially as more people are pursuing entrepreneurship, a field in which being consistent is key.
Whether it being scheduling a certain number of blog posts every month, writing a certain number of pages for your book a day, actively participating on social media, or even maintaining your physical health while pursing entrepreneurship a career or passion project that has no guided daily schedule requires the self-discipline of consistency.
In the title of this post, I correlate consistency to working out a muscle and this is exactly how I feel like you should see it. A lot of people feel like being consistent is simply a character trait; however, I see it as something that requires practice and dedication so that it becomes easier and a part of your life routine.
Throughout my journey to entrepreneurship, I've realized one key concept that has shifted my paradigm and has helped me stay consistent.
How you do one thing is how you do everything.
Basically, this means how you handle and manage any situation, challenge or experience in life is probably how you handle all of them. For example, if you are a person that likes to cut corner, you will probably see that same pattern in various aspects of your life. You may see it in the way that you clean your home, the way that you skim a book (or use spark notes), the way that you perform tasks at work and even social situations.
Therefore, when a person decides that they want to be consistent, it has to be just that: a decision. If you are having a hard time being consistent in a certain task, I would evaluate how consistent you are in other areas of your life. Other than my entrepreneurial endeavors, another area in my life that I crave consistency is my physical health. Working out consistently while also growing a business can be hard, especially when you throw late night food cravings and work travel in the mix; however, I decided that it was important enough for me to have consistency in both of these areas.
When I decided this, I realized that I had to work my "consistency muscle" until it became strong enough to not seem like a chore, but instead seemed realistic and manageable.
Just like when working out in the gym, you don't go straight for the 50 lb dumbbells; you most likely start on the guide machines, then go to light dumbbells and overtime work your way to the heavier weights. Your goals with consistency have to be the same way. Instead of loading yourself with a slew of crazy goals, you have to start with what is manageable for you.
This also requires you looking at your own abilities and goals and seeing what "weight" you can take on, instead of comparing your consistency muscle size to others around you in the gym of entrepreneurship. Just because a certain person can handle a number of various tasks in a day doesn't mean that you should.
If you want to be more consistent, here are some exercises that will get you on the right path.
1. Brain dump each and every responsibility you currently have to get done this week.
- Include everything, from that time sensitive email to taking your kids to dance class.
2. Now, in a different color of ink, write down everything that you would like to get done this week that is not completely time sensitive.
- Using a different color ink will help you realize what responsibilities you are wanting to add to your life beyond your daily routine.
3. Prioritize the "want to get done" tasks by most to least important and then assign each task a day.
- Cross them off of the calendar once you have completed them.
4. After the week is over, see what tasks you were able to complete vs. not able to complete.
- Evaluate the importance of the items that were not completed. Write down the number of "want to get done" tasks that you actually accomplished.
5. Next week make a similar list of all of the things you need to get done and all of the things that you want to get done. Now, make you calendar only including the number of tasks that you were able to accomplish last week.
For example, if you only accomplished 5 "want to get done" tasks last week, only add 5 new "want to get done" tasks this week.
6. Increase the "want to get done" tasks as feels comfortable so that you are staying consistent with what you would like to get done.
If there are tasks on your "want to get done" list that are never getting done (such as writing a blog post, meal prepping or working out at the gym), evaluate to see how important that task really is to you right now. Contrary to popular belief, it's okay to not get it all done. See where you can delegate tasks in your life, automate tasks, or revisit tasks at a later date.
How are you staying consistent in your routine?
Photography: Michelene J