Why being inconsistent undermines your progress

Inconsistency kills your progress

Many people think that a burning desire to achieve their goal is all that is needed – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Jim Collins once said:

The signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change, the signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.

To be mediocre is to be average. To be average normally means to not be any good.

The average-ometer

Our interpretation of what is “normal” is very often actually just “average” and it is based off what the majority of others around us are doing or what the media is showing us.

But now consider what else is normal in today’s society?

We see people that are tired of all their constant aches and pains, they carry excess body fat, they feel sluggish and have low energy, they sleep poorly, they are unproductive and distracted, and just seem to have a general lack of ability to enjoy every moment of life to the fullest.

More importantly, we see people setting goals and not reaching them. Over and over and over again. New resolutions. New diets. New gym routines. New projects. New promises.

The thing is, it’s NOT a willingness to change that helps you achieve your goal.

It’s ACTION.

And more often than not, that action needs to be:

1) REPEATED FREQUENTLY

2) DONE CONSISTENTLY.

The truth is that intention or desire are meaningless without action. They are simply emotions. They come and go.

Sure enough, people find it easy to eat well and exercise regularly when they feel motivated and energised and life is going well. But as soon as they get bored, or a small speed bump appears in their journey they fall off the wagon, make poor impulse food choices, and start skipping workouts.

You didn’t get overweight, or unfit, or unhealthy overnight – it is the result of months and years and even maybe decades of poor choices and circumstances. Likewise, you probably won’t get to where you want to be anytime soon – sorry, it just is what it is.

That’s why it’s more important to find a decent plan that you can apply consistently for a long period of time than the absolute-best-super-duper-perfect-tailored-just-for-me plan that you only stick to for 6 days and then end up “off the wagon” once again.

Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom though. There is hope (and you will be relieved at how simple it is)!

James Clear writes about The Power of Marginal Gains, where he explains that:

“So often we convince ourselves that change is only meaningful if there is some large, visible outcome associated with it. Whether it is losing weight, building a business, traveling the world or any other goal, we often put pressure on ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about.

Meanwhile, improving by just 1 percent isn’t as notable, but it can be just as meaningful (if not more so), especially in the long run.

In the beginning, there is basically no difference between making a choice that is 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. But as time goes on, these small improvements or declines compound and you suddenly find a very big gap between people who make slightly better decisions on a daily basis and those who don’t.”

James Clear Marginal Gains

Finally, here is one more quote by Jim Rohn to wrap this all up:

“Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”

What to do now:

  • Identify your goals (Remember the SMART method).
  • Identify what actions you need to achieve your goals (frequent repetition of these actions will build skills and confidence).
  • Create a schedule by which you perform these actions (perform those actions, come hell or high water).
  • Track your compliance using a calendar or something similar  (aim for 90% compliance or higher – you don’t have to do it every day, but it does need to be done MUCH MORE often than not).
  • Most importantly: Get started TODAY. Even if it’s 10pm at night. Do something for 5 minutes that takes you 1 step closer to your goal. Then do it again tomorrow along with something else that will take you even closer.

Aim for long-term sustainability over ground-breaking giant leaps of action. If in doubt break your goals and actions down into smaller and smaller pieces so that you are ready, willing, and able to perform them. From there you can build them back up one by one as you get better at being consistent.

If you need help, read our post on Here’s How You Can Get Started Today and consider doing something like Sleekgeek’s 30-Day Healthy Habit Challenge where we give you 1 small actionable task to do each day because, as James Clear explained, getting 1% better each day can produce phenomenal results.


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