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You are the main factor limiting the growth of your business because of your fears, limiting beliefs, inability to focus, and inconsistency. Three years into running my first business, one thought sits deeply with me: I might have the best strategies, yet nothing would work until my habits (or the lack of those) stand in the way.
On a journey of teaching myself consistency, I wanted to share a few of my findings:
1. How many things are you trying to be consistent with?
I’m trying to test new digital networking strategies in addition to dedicating time regularly to building products, keeping up with social media games, and more. About 15 times during my workday I say to myself: “This is it, now I just need to do this ONE thing EVERY DAY and the result won’t take long to show up.” I create spreadsheets for tracking this new process I came up with. The issue is I’ll probably never open most of those spreadsheets ever again.
You can’t start exercising, eating healthy, reading before bed, and dedicating time to your passions all in one day. Consistency is friends with focus and best friends with priorities.
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – The Rock
2. Make a decision
One day, almost 5 years ago, I decided to train for a marathon. It took me 8 months and 9 days from the day the decision was made until I crossed the finish line.
For 8 months and 9 days, I did not care about any external conditions. I trained through pouring tropical rains until the point I was running in water up to my ankles. I kept the schedule during family vacations halfway across the world. I left every party at 11pm, even If I just got there at 10pm. I organized my eating, sleeping, and working schedules around running.
The day I decided to train, I also decided on how I would do it and set a schedule. I calculated what time I needed to wake up to do all that and set alarms. There was no rethinking and adjusting the plan to weather family vacations or any other factors.
Many times, when trying to develop consistent habits, our good intentions are compromised with the complexity of execution. That’s why the first point of this list is still really important: you gotta know what the habit you are trying to be consistent with is so you can organize your life around it.
3. Willpower is limited, don’t waste in on “how to’s”
We covered the schedule – you do it once. Same with all the other aspects of your new habit. Decide once and for all where you are doing it, what you are wearing while doing it, and how long you are doing it for.
Have everything ready for yourself at the scheduled hour. If it’s a new business process you are working on, how about blocking time off in your calendar and switching off the distractions. If you are practicing daily writing, close all tabs except for your text editor the night before.
4. Have a plan
In today’s reality, consistent content is one of the key elements of any online brand presence. Suddenly, even if you are an IT founder, you’re faced with a need to also be a writer. And to do it consistently, you must share your ideas on various channels.
Amy Blaschka is a social media ghostwriter and storyteller who’s started every morning for the last nine years with her trusty MacBook Air and a cup of almond milk latte. She shares some hacks that helped her to maintain consistency:
“I’ve found that carving out dedicated time to write and create content is crucial. For me, morning is best for my deep creative work, so as much as possible, and always write my Forbes articles on Sunday morning. I also tend to batch my content, creating more than one piece at a time, and map out my content for the month ahead.”
“Consistency is what matters the most in triggering something important to your life.” – Abdul Rauf
5. Stack the habits
Janice Wald who runs her blogging business together with her husband, shared how he brought a new sense of discipline into the business when she “hired” him to help her grow. She states, “My husband and I have both problem and solution hours each day. The idea is quite domestic. Over breakfast at 10:00 am, we review the problems our business will seek to tackle that day. During dog walking time at 6:00 pm, we review how we handled the day’s problems.”
Many experts recommend habit stacking, as it’s often easier to add something to an existing daily routine, rather than creating a completely new one.
How do you maintain consistency in your daily life? Share your ideas below!
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