We’ve all heard that consistency is the key to success. We have heard or read stories about people achieving great things, and the credit given to consistency. And we have all failed to grab hold of this simple idea – this ideal – and make it a reality in our lives.
Why is consistency in good habits so difficult for us? in this article, I examine the keys that will unlock consistency for us.
What is consistency?
- Consistency means taking small actions every day, even when we are not motivated or inspired to do so.
- Consistency means focusing on the task we are busy with, while maintaining a vision of the bigger picture or goal we are working toward.
- Consistency means repeating the same actions over and over again, day after day, building those actions into habits and routines.
- Consistency means reassessing our actions and looking for ways to improve them or progress them, so that our daily habits are, in fact, helping and not hindering.
- Consistency means being patient as we focus our efforts on the small, daily actions that reap long-term rewards.
- Consistency means believing in what we’re working to achieve, believing in the change it will make in our life and in the world, and knowing that the small daily steps lead us there!
- Consistency means the small things matter.
- Consistency means being dependable, reliable and responsible for our choices, decisions and actions.
- Consistency means showing up, no matter what.
- Consistency means you take responsibility for you, no excuses, no complaints, just you and your decisions.
Often when we think of consistency and the need to be consistent, we’re focused on how we can achieve a big goal or dream; that dream you consider just a little out of your grasp, something really challenging. But I think we need to think of consistency a bit differently. It’s not about the big things, although those are very important. It’s all about the little things.
Perhaps you don’t have a massive goal, dream or plan that you want to fulfill; perhaps you just want to be a good person, healthy, a great Vetrehabber, a great mom and wife, a fabulous friend. If that is what you are after, you still need to master consistency to achieve it.
Or perhaps your goals run along the lines of being the best Vetrehabber in your area. Being the Vetrehabber that Vets choose to refer to – or that colleagues refer to.
Consider the way of money
This is the best analogy I have read for consistency:
Think about your finances. If you are intentional and consistent, you put away money regularly and over time that money earns an interest and grows. You barely have to think about it. However, if you lack consistency, you save money sometimes, dipping into it when you need to. Over time your occasional efforts amount to nothing.
If you lack intention and consistency with money, what happens? Your money just leaks away. There is never enough, saving begins to seem unfeasible, and over time you have less and less of it as you progress through life.
That is the power of consistency with something simple – putting money away. The effect of inconsistency is the same when it comes to our professional skills, our knowledge, our emotional intelligence.
If we are intentional and consistent, we can build up our knowledge, skill and professionalism slowly over time, each action earning interest and compounding on the value of the previous one.
If we have intention but no consistency, we will occasionally feel inspired to learn, to watch a webinar or attend a conference, but the effects will be short lived and over time the value of those actions will amount to nothing.
Or we can do nothing and just carry on innocently with our lives, and find ourselves a few years down the line having lost much more than we gained, lacking anything of value to show for our years in the field.
And so, you see, consistency isn’t important only when we want to achieve a goal or a dream. It is essential every single day, for the small things. For us to remain relevant in our profession and continue to do the best for our patients, we must cultivate and master good habits consistently.
The benefits, professionally
Consistency in your life as a Vetrehabber will gain you many things:
- Consistency establishes belief – both our belief in ourselves, and the belief that others have in us. It establishes our standards, motivates others, and builds their trust in us.
- Consistency grows relevance. To be relevant, you have to stay up to date with the latest research and developments in our industry. Consistency in this area will cause clients, colleagues and referring Vets to look to you as a professional and reliable source of information.
- Consistency allows reassessment. When we are consistent in our actions, we can objectively assess what has and has not worked, allowing us to adjust course to achieve the outcomes we’re aiming for.
- Consistency leads to accountability. As Vetrehabbers, it is essential that we understand our accountability as a part of the team caring for our patients, and that we establish relationships of accountability within that team. In the good and the bad, hold yourself accountable. This will set you apart as a professional worth trusting.
- Consistency builds stability and sustainability. Not only will the relationships with your team and clients become more stable and sustainable, so will your business.
- Consistency builds your reputation. When you are consistent in your performance and results, in your behaviour and in your growth, your reputation will continue to grow.
These six benefits are learned from Margot Anderson.
How can we be consistent?
At the end of the day, being consistent comes down to three things:
- Small actions – the smaller and easier an action is to achieve, the more likely it is you will stick to it. Make it simple and achievable. And then do it.
- Know your why – at the end of the day, you need to know what you are aiming for, whether that be a specific goal or the best version of yourself. If you don’t know why you are doing something, it is going to be mighty hard to be consistent about it.
- Reassess – regularly look back on what has worked and what hasn’t, and make adjustments accordingly. Adjust your course, progress your actions, and grow over time. Don’t reassess too often or you won’t see any change. Every two to three months is a good timeframe, depending on what you are working towards.
My mission this year is to practise consistency in everything I do. Will you join me?