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The Secret Behind Consistency - What Goes On In The Mind of Inconsistent People

Consistency Is Key For Success

It's easier said than done. "What goes on in the mind of inconsistent people". Seriously?

Who isn't inconsistent in today's world?

Not me. Not you.

The thing is we all are going to be inconsistent at sometime or the other. So, what we can try to do, is be try to bring consistency into our lives as much as possible.

So the apt title of this blog post should be "The Secret Behind Consistency - What Goes On In The Mind of Us, Normal People"

The Problem With the "Consistency Is Key" Bullshit

Most people who spew non-sense that consistency is key are not consistent themselves.

And that's the problem with consistency. With time, your priorities may change depending on the urgency of an impending work. So, how do you manage or work with your goals?

That's what I wanna talk about here.


Some days back, I published an article on the importance on consistency and highlighted how not being consistent has held me back from realising the full worth of my dreams.

Even though that's a rather cool thought, the fact of the matter is being consistent in a militaristic fashion is hardly possible.

The thought that I wanted to spread was that even though one is tremendously busy, one can squeeze in 10 minutes of work in his busy schedule at the very least.

Or maybe just 1 minute. 

The question that I want to deal with here, is not whether this practice can afford a person the leisure of forming a discipline, which is great (if it forms) but the plain and simple hardcore reality induced fact that you, I - we all can and will miss days in between.

So, what if you fail?


Heck, I again put off writing two days after taking the commitment to blog at least 10 words daily.

Well, I should point to you that there exists a form of domino effect in these kind of failures. For example, most sweet-toothed obese people would find themselves dripping in sugary donuts, after they fail to follow a discipline of cutting out carbs in their breakfast.

Because, once you wave off the want to be committed to a task, the other goals that you are consistent at, starts to fail. That is exactly the problem with the "what the hell effect".

For example, obese people who are trying to diet, at times, after eating one cookie, think of "what the hell" and finish the entire box of cookies. You see, your brain falls into a "What the hell" trap after you fail to keep to a commitment at first glance and starts to believe that since you have already broken your commitment, you can keep on indulging in more nonsense activities that promote nothing but failure.

Well, the thing is that this can be stopped and the first step to stopping this is to developing a "do not care" attitude. I kind of had this ingrained in me. I was always kind-of a laid back guy and if things did not work out one day, I would always try to get back on track the very next day, without much giving a damn about yesterday's failure.

You need to stop letting your failures affect you. You have a goal, an outcome that has been determined by you. And for that you need consistency. But, if the consistent practice has been broken, you need to treat it as if you still are on track and go on.

Why?

Introducing...

The Domino Effect

Domino Effect to Build Consistency

There's an app called "Fabulous Me" on the Google Play Store (I guess it's in the App Store too) - give it a try - it's highly recommended.
Anyhow, this app tries to build good habits into you using a sly tactic of the domino effect. It starts with a small habit that you need to drink water everyday right after waking up.
As you do it for 3-4 days, it becomes a habit. And then, you do it off the bat. When I first started out, I used to miss it. But I did not press the fail button. I kept going. I kept trying to remind myself through all sorts of ways - sticky notes, keeping the bottle by my pillow etc (I keep my phone away from me before going to sleep or switch it off so alarms and notifs were not viable options for me).

Anyhow, I got into the habit and started to build other habits too - slowly but steadily.

The reason why I am sharing this with you is that when you set a goal and plan to be consistent, you should not wave off your want to be committed even if shit hits the fan when you start out.

Believing that you can still be consistent even with some days of gap in the middle of a practice is all the difference that can decide between whether a shit gets done or not.

The Opposite of What the Hell

Domino effect is kind of the mirror image of the "what the hell" pitfall, except in a positive way.

Once you start building good habits, your brain will be more ready and optimistic to building better habits and you will be able to become more consistent and with greater ease. This also shall help you setting goals and taking determined steps towards achieving it daily.

Here's a post on the domino effect that I thoroughly recommend. 

Now, that's not all.

All this which I said before was the "what" part of that which you should do. But nowhere did I say, how you should do it.

How should you train your mind to not care about your past failures. How should you prepare a positive domino effect. How should you fight your brain when it's telling you watching YouTube videos on space exploration is more important than finishing the biology assignment?


Well, that's what I deal with in this part.

There are two consistency killers hiding behind the amygdala of your brain. And, we got to make you aware of them, if you actually want to get your mind to become more consistent at working on your goals. 

When you learn to fight off these two, you become consistent, you stop harping on past failures and you build a positive domino effect, or in other words, you learn the "how".

The Two Consistency Killers

Laziness

Laziness prevents consistency
I swear that's the female version of me!

Procrastination resides here.

I have a clothing line and there passes countless number of days when I have to make the design for the upcoming editions of shirts and hoodies but I feel too lazy for it.


I rather make myself a nice cold glass of chocolate milkshake and get cozy on the bed watching mindless YouTube videos.

Bleh!

The same goes for blogging. I know, I should finish the post by today but I rather spend my day watching Netflix or reading a book.

I had watched a video of Mel Robbins on YouTube, some days back, in which she said that the reason why we don't do what we have to do, is because it isn't important enough to us.

But, I kind of disagree.

You see, if it was so unimportant, we wouldn't be suffering from guilt the next day or the next hour. We know it got to be done and we know it's important.

But we don't feel like doing it, at that particular moment.

Thus why we put off what we have to get done is not because it is unimportant but because of poor planning. 

Poor Planning can Harm your Consistency

We have set for ourselves a rather broad goal and too-broad goals are the No #1 enemy of getting things done and the No #1 friend of procrastination.

This basically breeds inconsistency. There's no other way to say it.

If you say you want to learn boxing, chances are you'll never get to do it.

But, if you set objectives such as enroll yourself in a boxing gym, increase your stamina by 100%, punch faster and set reasonable time-limits for it, you are much more likely to get it done and not procrastinate while at it.

When we set too big goals, our minds know that the date of completion for the goal is too far away. Also, our mind feels that the manner of completion of the goal is too complicated. That's why our mind's more relaxed.

It doesn't like having too much on it's plate.
So, here's what you got to do-
  1. Get yourself a planner.
  2. Write down the broad goal.
  3. Subdivide the goal into reasonable objectives.
  4. Give time-limits for your objectives.
  5. Now plan your day with the objectives in mind and note the time at which you are supposed to do what.
  6. Try to follow the plan and review how the plan went before going to sleep.
Now, the last part - reviewing the plan before going to bed - is the most important and the part you guys are most likely to skip.

If you don't review how the plan went, you are very unlikely to follow through the plan and planning may just become a mundane chore without being followed through.

On the contrary, if you review your plans, then you know what went wrong each day and thereby abide to your plans more strictly.

Now that you know how to take care of your laziness, let's move on to the next consistency killer, aka-

Doubting Whether Your Work Will Work or Not

When we are just starting out on a goal or a business plan, we don't know what we don't know. Thus, the learning curve is very steep.

And, when we learn the stuff and try to apply it, chances are we meet with tons of failure. And that causes you to drop adjourn your goals for later.

Self Doubt Prevents You From Being Consistent

Unfortunately, this is so very common. We all dream of being successful, getting stuff done by the crack of a thumb, but when it comes to doing it in reality..... man, that causes some serious drain of motivation and brings in self-doubt in our abilities.

We create stupid notions in our brain like "Maybe this business isn't right for me" or "Maybe my business idea is flawed".

But let's take a step back here.

You see, self doubt is just a self preservation tactic used by your brain formed through evolution. Maybe at 50,000 B.C, if something was not working you should have quit and searched for something else, but at 21st Century, those rules don't apply no more.

Seth Godin explains this more aptly in his book "The Dip". (Check out the book, it's really great).

The Dip basically is a explanatory book which tells you the right time to quit and when not to. Seth says that if a business venture doesn't provoke self-doubt in you, it isn't important to you. Thus, self doubt is part and parcel of anything that you do and love.

Therefore quitting should be the last thing in your mind when you are plagued by self doubt.

When you increase your efforts and the results come out even lesser, what you should do instead is take a step back, reevaluate and hit back at your work.

Let's take an example here.

Let's say you are a blogger. You have started a blog and create really nice articles but nobody visits, except for some bots, maybe.

So, it's really depressing and you still fight the self-doubt and keep on posting some really nice content. But, alas.. nothing!

Well, time to take a step back and reevaluate. What are you doing, that's not going correctly? What can you do instead to boost your work?


Or maybe some other tactics to build more backlinks and draw more audience to your blog.

As such, whenever you have an ounce of self doubt, remember that success is around the corner. Step back to re-evaluate your position and push forth.

Remember, if you take back anything from this part, is that this is a sunusoidal curve. There will be bad days and the results will obviously come up if you don't give up.

Read the book, The Dip for more insight on this sub-section.

That's all.... signing out.


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