I have heard since my childhood, “You need to be consistent if you want to be successful”, “You need to be consistent if you want to achieve your dreams.”
Damn! This consistency. Damn! These people.
Why? It’s because they always told me that I need to be consistent but not told me,
What is consistency?
Merriam Webster Definition- “agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole”
What does consistency in life mean?
Although I don’t understand this definition and you also don’t even need to understand it.
Simple Definition- The process of designing your life so that you do the tasks repeatedly that you want to do. For example, if you want to learn basketball, play basketball; if you want to be a better public speaker, speaking. In short, anything you want.
The common rule goes like that you need to have a really strong desire or iron willpower to achieve your goals. Is it true? I think you are the most appropriate person to answer this. Are these techniques working? You are right and this is also true for most people.
– There are people who use their willpower can almost do anything. For example, My uncle Garry (not Gary Vee) has one of the strongest persons in terms of willpower. Let’s get practical. The problem is how many people have such strong willpower. At least, I don’t have and most of the people don’t have.
– Percentage of People
Concept of Design
Now, the question is- “How can you be consistent without willpower and desire?” Actually, you cannot. It’s because you are asking the wrong question. The question should be- “How can you design consistency in your life?”
Being Consistent vs Designing Consistency
You cannot become consistent. You don’t believe me( as expected). Therefore, try it out yourself.I give you a small challenge of waking up at 5 A.M every day for 21 days.
Will you wake up? There are high chances that you will not. Let’s spice up the things a bit. If I say- “If you don’t wake up at 5 A.M every day then you will lose half of your life savings”
Will you wake up in the morning, now? Probably, yes(if you care about your retirement).This is the point I wanted to bring your attention to. You do something that forces you to do what you want to do(even if you are not feeling like doing it)
In short, you cannot be consistent unless you design your like to be consistent.
Successful People design consistency too!
There are high chances that you might have heard about Hooked and Distraction by best-selling author and coach Nir Eyal. He once told, “ I was once procrastinating on my book. I made a commitment with one of my friends. If I do not complete his book by a certain date, I will pay him $10,000.” Can you guess the result? You are right. He completed the book on time.
He uses focus mate and accountability partners (discussed later in the book). One of the most sort out productivity gurus and best-selling authors of “The Productivity Project”, “Hyperfocus” does not relies on willpower or the power of desire to be consistent. He uses accountability partners, tools like
How can I setup my intention?
It’s the starting point of designing consistency. The problem with most people is they want to be consistent but don’t know what consistently look like. For example, If you don’t know the address of the your friend’s house, will you be able to reach your friend’s house? If you are a normal being, you will not be able to find your friend’s house.
The same is the problem with consistency. If you don’t know what consistency looks like for you , how are you going to design it. Therefore, set up your intention and initiate the process of designing of consistency.
You can’t setup your intention without data.
You need to track how you spend your time(even just for a week). After tracking your time, analyse where majority of your time goes. You will be really shocked by the stats you will see. This data will let you know how you actually spend your time. When you know how you spend your time, it’s really opening. It will pave the pathway to set up your intention.
Okay, you know where your time goes. The next step is to be intentional so that you can be consistent. One of the best ways to set up your intention is to set up your calendar. Every week take just 15 min. You need to just write down three categories of your life to which you want to allocate time.
There are no defined categories but for most of the people is- self, relationships, and career. The three categories for me are self, learning, career(college+ freelancing). After defining three categories, you need to define three things in each category and allocate how much time you need to allocate them You must also write down when you are going to do these activities in your calendar.
Some of the best ways to design consistency
I cannot stretch its importance. I first got to know about this term from the amazing book 4Dx Rule. After that, I was on fire. I have an accountability partner for my persona development and one for my business. It’s one of the best ways to design consistency. It takes just 15 min every week where I share my results for the given week and make a small but high-impact commitment.
Do the productivity gurus tell you that social media is harmful? I agree with them but what about the opportunities for productivity it opens every day. For example, focus mate, forest. The basic concept is this-
Case 1: If all of your friends are going to a club, you will go to the club.
Case 2: If all of your friends are going to study, you will study.
Your circle of people affects you much more than you realize. Therefore, these apps like, focusmate, forest, etc pairs you with people who also want to be consistent. Therefore, you become more consistent. If you will just take only one thing from this article, then please check out foucsmate and forest(premium-it’s cheaper than your latte).
Set boundations and limitations
Yeh! I know you want to yell at me, “The last productivity guru’s video I watched told me that you have no boundations and limitations.” I completely agree that you have no boundations and limitations but your inconsistency should have. For example-
Freedom- An app that allows you to shut down distractions while doing work.
Beeminder- If you don’t do the work you need to do, it will deduct money from your bank account(by the way nice business model)
Be vocal for your goals
Many people say, “Don’t tell your goals and aspirations to anybody.” I say, “TELL your goals and aspirations who would love to hear(I even sometimes tell people who really wouldn’t love to hear.)” Yeh, definitely, you would not want to tell your teachers and parents, about how much you love a girl with so and so name(commons sense).
It’s not a race that you have to win. I have emphasized in the whole article that consistency is designed but that’s not the complete truth. Consistency is also a never-ending process. It means you will have to design it every year, week, day, and hour of your life. I used to think that are experts are those who know most about a subject. I was wrong. Today, I know that experts are those people who learn more about that subject every day than most people.