Why Consistency Matters: The Foundation of Life Skills

“Yup,” she says to herself as she types in the headline knowing fully well that she hasn’t been consistent in the last couple of weeks. Insert sheepish grin. I missed getting this weekly blog out last Wednesday as I have done for the last couple of months. And, today’s Thursday so I’m already one day late in getting this week’s blog out.

Is it the worst thing in the world to be inconsistent? No. I mean, if you compare missing the odd voluntary blog post to adhering to a daily medical regimen, clearly only one of those inconsistent misses has real consequences. 

The Importance of Consistency: Why It Matters in Your Personal and Professional Life

But consistency does matter, especially when it comes to professional development. If you do something over and over again, what happens? It becomes a habit. And habits quickly evolve (or devolve – depends on what kind of debauchery you’re tapped into!) into behaviors. When you do something often enough, with consistency, it becomes second nature. 

When you’re expected to do something with regularity that involves someone else besides you, not doing it can dash the hopes of whatever it is that you’ve been doing for someone else. Just think how you’d feel if your BAE consistently washed up all the dishes after dinner and then, one day, for whatever reason, s/he/they didn’t clean up the kitchen. How would you react?

It sounds like a little thing, but it can escalate into an argument. Why? Because a precedent has been set. You’ve been conditioned by the consistency shown by your S.O. through the daily habit of tidying up the kitchen. 

When it doesn’t happen, you’re forced to reckon with why it didn’t happen. Then your brain is going to start working at warp speed, fast-forwarding to the doomsday scenario, “What if I have to start washing the dishes everyday?” Insert rage. Frustration. Maybe sadness. Or, maybe you’re like me and you don’t mind doing dishes so no harm, no foul. That’s one little example; there are thousands of others and maybe some of those other examples DO matter to you. Maybe they’ll matter a lot…

What if consistency is expected in your job? The quality of your work? Timely delivery of a project that you’ve been paid to complete? Consistency plays a crucial role in productivity and meeting deadlines. Or, flip it around, what if you’re working with a freelancer who counts on a client to pay consistently, as soon as a gig is approved or each week at the same time so that the freelancer can plan his/her/their weekly spending? Everything isn’t about YOU – sometimes (and most likely, oftentimes) – what you do has implications for someone else. That’s EQ and empathy, and we’ll cover that at a future time – on a Wed release of this blog!

From Inconsistency to Self-Discipline: Tips for Building a Consistent Routine

It’s time for a coaching moment. Alright, let’s talk about how you become more consistent, because, when you’re consistent, your productivity, mental well-being, and just about everything else benefits from your self-discipline.

Here are a few tips:

#1 – establish a morning routine (another word for “consistency”). Do the same thing everyday. Try to wake up around the same time, make your bed, shower, get dressed, eat some breakfast, caffeinate if you need to, brush your teeth – all the good stuff. Beginning your day the same way, everyday, transforms consistency into good productivity and life skills for the whole day.

#2 – measure your consistency. I know, metrics, metrics, metrics. You don’t need to do anything fancy here, simply take a mental note. Assess your consistency with, for example, your morning routine. How many days of the last week did you follow it? That’s a metric. This can be especially important when it comes to leadership and professional development. Or whatever else you want to measure to get a reading on your level of consistency.

#3 – not to riff off one of the world’s most loved brand slogans, but it makes sense here. Just do it. You may hate the idea of doing it and you’re more likely to get through it by kicking and screaming, but you WILL get through it. Get it done. Make it happen. Will yourself to get through it.

Here’s an extra tip: don’t be hard on yourself if you have the odd miss. It happens. The odd miss only becomes an issue if you start missing more than you’re hitting the goal. 

Give consistency a try. Why? Because it counts.

See you here, next Wednesday …

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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