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What actions can you take to become more consistent in living your vision? Have you forfeited opportunities of growth in your life because of inconsistency?
Consistency is the issue
It’s easy to exercise once. It is not that hard to exercise for three or four times a week for a month. What’s really difficult is exercising, three or four days a week, for years. It’s easier to start projects, but it’s much harder to consistently finish them.
I am good at starting projects, but sometimes terrible at finishing them. I would start a project and after a couple of weeks I would slack off and eventually quit if I did not get the results I wanted in the time frame I thought it should happen. I was more consistent at being inconsistent.
The consistent shortstop
A story that really hit home for me on the importance of consistency was one Saturday I was watching a baseball game. Before the start of the game, the announcers were touting the shortstop from one of the teams as the next great shortstop.
They were really hyping him up because he had made several spectacular plays in his very brief professional career. They were comparing him to several of the greatest shortstops to ever play the game. That particular night in the booth with the announcers was one of the greatest shortstops in baseball history.
The announcers asked him an array of questions about his career as a major league baseball player. They wanted to know the secrets that made him one of the greatest shortstops of all time. He confessed to them that there were no secrets. He said it was his consistent work habits that he committed to on a daily basis that made him the player he was.
The announcers wanted to know how he thought this young shortstop performed in comparison to him. The great shortstop agreed that the young shortstop had great potential to be one of the best shortstops in the game. He said that he was still very young and had to play several more years to be coveted with so much acclaim.
As they continued their discussion on the comparison of the young shortstop to the great shortstop one comment stood out in my mind. The great shortstop told the announcers the only way a true comparison between the two is justifiable is after the young shortstop has played the position at a high level consistently for many years.
I loved the way the great shortstop ended the conversation that night by telling the announcers to give him a call in about ten years and then they can start making a real comparison.
Ten Action Steps
As I thought about their conversation and my struggle with consistency, I realized ten action steps that will empower you to live consistent.
- Determine what’s really important to you and let the rest go. Avoid trying to multi-task. Release the things that will not take you closer to your goals.
- Decide to focus on only a few things at a time. You may need to settle on focusing on no more than two things until you are doing them consistently.
- Write down clear and specific goals that you want to consistently work towards.
- List all the distractions you will need to remove or overcome.
- Break goals down into smaller pieces. Don’t try to do too much at one time this can lead to frustration and burnout.
- Commit to consistently working on your goals daily and do it.
- Expect to get off track sometimes. When you do, forgive yourself, let it go and continue the journey.
- Find accountability partners who will encourage you to stay the course.
- Remember it takes time to live consistent. It will not happen overnight. Don’t get frustrated and quit when it takes longer than you anticipate.
- Reward yourself. Go out on the town or do something cool with your spouse, a friend or by yourself. Celebrate your living consistent for a certain period of time.
“Consistency’s path is straightforward and true; and its course, good or bad, helps you learn what to do.” Wes Fessler
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