After being beaten by Tortoise, Hare reminds himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!”
There’s wisdom for today in this age-old Aesop fable, and today’s lesson is about the power of being consistent when it comes to reaching your goals.
Whether you have committed to eating healthy, to exercising regularly, or to achieving an aggressive sales target, being consistent will play a crucial role in achieving your goals.
Why Strive to Be Consistent?
To illustrate the value of consistency, consider this amazing fact:
The real value of being consistent isn’t about how to make ten million dollars. It’s much more practical and widely applicable than that. Consistency is about developing the persistence and patience necessary to stick with your goal until it is realized. I have learned repeatedly, throughout my career, that the fastest way to achieve any goal is by being consistent.
What Are Your Consistency Zappers?
The greatest challenges you must be prepared for are YOUR excuses.
Do any of these sound familiar to you? It’s ironic to think that our excuses are the biggest challenges we must overcome to be consistent in doing what is required of us to achieve our goals. Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s the excuses we allow that sabotage us from achieving our goals.
I have fought this battle of excuses enough during my career to know that the only way my excuses won’t keep me from being consistent is if the goal is important enough to me.
Consistency is the Key
When I decided to begin a career as a residential real estate agent at the age of 23, my lack of experience put me well behind the ‘pros’ who had been making a living selling real estate for years. But I did have one distinct advantage: I was determined to succeed.
Because I had such a strong desire to become a successful Realtor, I was consistent and prospected nearly every morning (Monday-Saturday) whether I felt like it or not. There were always other things I needed to do (and would much rather have done), but I knew that doing this one activity consistently was key to achieving my goals, so I did it.
Within 4 ½ years, I was one of the nation’s top-selling Realtors, selling over 115 homes a year. At age 28, I became one of the youngest Realtors ever inducted into RE/MAX’s Hall of Fame. As I look back, I credit being consistent in my daily prospecting efforts as one of the defining keys to my success.
Do you have a goal you want to achieve? If so, start by making a list of those activities that are most important in helping you reach your goal. Then follow my seven recommendations below.
Seven Ways to Increase Your Consistency
1. Make a commitment. After you identify the activities you need to do to accomplish your goals, make a commitment to do them consistently—without fail or excuse. Make that decision as to when and what you will do in advance, rather than waiting until the time you plan to do it.
2. Set up routines. Establish a routine to do your daily activities. For example, if you are going to exercise every morning, set up a routine. Allocate the amount of time you will need to do each activity up to and including your exercise period—such as getting out of bed, dressing, morning chores, and travel time.
3. Don’t allow excuses. Resolve right now that you will not permit yourself to make excuses.
4. Take advantage of your peak energy state. When is your energy level at its highest? Whenever possible, use these times to devote to the activities you need to be consistent about. It’s much easier to do what you know you should do when you have energy than when you are exhausted!
5. Do the challenging tasks first. I have found it is always best to do the most important activities first. If the tasks that will drive your results and help you achieve your goal are hard, do them first. It’s too easy to put off the things we don’t enjoy.
6. Review your goals often. After writing down your goals, consider writing a commitment letter to remind yourself why your goal is important and to list the reasons you want to achieve it. Review the letter anytime you find yourself procrastinating or rationalizing that something else is more important.
7. Commit to 21 days in a row. It takes 21 consecutive days to make something a habit. Consistency will be easier once it becomes a habit for you. Will you do what is required of you for 21 straight days?
How to Win the Race
You are in control of your life and how you spend your time. You can achieve any goal you set if you will be consistent in doing the correct activities correctly.
Your mental diet largely determines your character and your personality and almost everything that happens to you in life.
What is a mental diet? Keep reading and I’ll explain…
When you feed your mind with positive affirmations, information, books, conversations, audio programs, and thoughts, you develop a more positive attitude and personality.
You become more influential and persuasive. You enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem.
Those who work with computers use the expression “G.I.G.O.” or “Garbage in, Garbage out.” But the reverse is also true, “Good in, Good out.”
When you make a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to take complete control over your mind, eliminate the negative emotions and thoughts that may have held you back in the past, and become a completely positive person, you can actually bring about your own personal transformation.
Mental fitness is like physical fitness. You develop high levels of self-esteem and a positive attitude with training and practice. Here are the seven keys to becoming a completely positive person:
Speak to yourself positively; control your inner dialog. Use positive affirmations phrased in the positive, present, and personal tense:
“I like myself!”
“I can do it!”
“I feel terrific!”
“I am responsible!”
We believe that fully 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go throughout your day. The sad fact is that if you do not deliberately and consciously talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will, by default, think about things that will make you unhappy or cause you worry and anxiety.
As we said before, your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all.
Perhaps the most powerful ability that you have is the ability to visualize and see your goals as already accomplished. Create a clear, exciting picture of your goal and your ideal life, and replay this picture in your mind over and over. All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. As you “see” yourself on the inside, you will “be” on the outside.
Your choice of the people with whom you live, work, and associate will have more of an impact on your emotions and your success that any other factor. Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who are going somewhere with their lives. Avoid negative people at all costs. Negative people are the primary source of most of life’s unhappiness. Resolve that from today onward, you are not going to have stressful or negative people in your life.
Just as your body is healthy to the degree to which you eat healthy, nutritious foods, your mind is healthy to the degree to which you feed it with “mental protein” rather than “mental candy.” Read books, magazines, and articles that are educational, inspirational, or motivational. Feed your mind with information and ideas that are uplifting and that make you feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.
Listen to positive, constructive CDs and audio programs in your car and on your MP3 player or iPod. Feed your mind continually with positive messages that help you think and act better and make you more capable and competent in your field. Watch positive and educational DVDs, educational television programs, online courses, and other uplifting material that increases your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself and your life.
Almost everyone in our society starts off with limited resources, sometimes with no money at all. Virtually all fortunes begin with the sale of personal services of some kind. All the people who are at the top today were once at the bottom, and sometimes they fell to the bottom several times. The miracle of lifelong learning and personal improvement is what takes you from rags to riches, from poverty to affluence, and from underachievement to success and financial independence.
As Jim Rohn said, ”Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
When you dedicate yourself to learning and growing and becoming better and more effective in your thoughts and actions, you take complete control of your life and dramatically increase the speed at which you move upward to greater heights.
Take excellent care of your physical health and wellness. Resolve today that you are going to live to be eighty, ninety, or one hundred years old and still be dancing in the evenings. Eat healthy foods, natural and nutritious, and eat them sparingly and in proper balance. A nutritional diet will have an immediate, positive effect on your thoughts and feelings.
Resolve to get regular exercise, at least two hundred minutes of motion per week, walking, running, swimming, bicycling, or working out on equipment in the gym. When you exercise on a regular basis, you feel happier and healthier and experience lower levels of stress and fatigue than a person who sits on the couch and watches television all evening. Especially, get ample rest and relaxation. You need to recharge your batteries on a regular basis, especially when you are going through periods of stress or difficulty.
Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
Some of the factors that predispose us to negative emotions of all kinds are poor health habits, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and nonstop work. Seek balance in your life.
Practicing the Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to become a positive person and to ensure positive outcomes and better results in your life. Your expectations become your own self-fulfilling prophesies.
Whatever you expect, with confidence, seems to come into your life. Since you can control your expectations, you should always expect the best. Expect to be successful. Expect to be popular when you meet new people. Expect to achieve great goals and create a wonderful life for yourself. When you constantly expect good things to happen, you will seldom be disappointed.