While it is true that real natural talents exist, most talents are real talents because of the years of practice, sleepless nights going over details, practice, research, practice, and… did I mention practice? And how do you keep the motivation to move forward? Only one answer: consistency. In this article, you will find the best 6 tips for how to keep consistent and get your business or hobby to the next level.
Why consistency is so important
When you start a new business, hobby, or any adventure, chances are, you’ll be great and succeed if you stick to it. Starting a new healthy habit, a brand new hobby, or a business you have recently created will not give you immediate results.
It takes time to see the tree grows from the seed we just put in the ground, doesn’t it? And in the same way, you can nurture and grow anything in life giving time, energy, and patience to it. Seeking discipline and consistency in life also helps your daily routine and health.
But the struggle is real
I get it, it is a struggle to focus so much on something and not see immediate results. You become impatient and fret to “get there”. You can’t learn how to play an instrument in one day, in the same way, you can’t build a business and have success with it in just one day.
Sometimes this struggle can get to our heads and play nasty games with it. It can make us think we are no one, that we are not worthy, that why doing this if we won’t get anywhere, and that there are better people out there. Well, let me tell you, there will always be better people at something. But that doesn’t have to stop us from wanting to be the better version WE can be of ourselves.
This struggle can change the image we have of ourselves and destroy our self-esteem.
It can play with your head
Let me tell you a story, I have ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. We ADHDers are queens and kings of inconsistency due to how our brain works. We hyperfocus on something but when the dopamine effect runs off, we go into deficit and completely forget what we were doing in the first place. I have started so many hobbies and jobs, and committed to so much in life, just to leave it behind shortly after.
I was called out by family and friends about it, and it took me years to recover from the scar I made on myself by repeating that I was a problem and I was a failure.
But we are stronger than that
Until I found out I was not the problem, I was just built in that way.
Now I only stick to what I know I want to commit to and to the areas of my life that I have always come back to:
I started sewing as a creative outlet when I was 14, I have worked on many projects since and my passion for it never faded. I started making accessories to sell at local fairs and had my first side hustle then.
In the summers of my teen years, I used to sew as main hustle and also work at my mom’s office running easy errands around the office on the side. I never had only one job. My ADHD and creativity needed a second hustle to keep me busy. When I started working as a freelance I was doing translations, transcriptions, customer service, and teaching. Side hustles have been a huge part of me, so I started talking about them and their importance in my mental health in my blog which became my business.
Yoga saved my life more than once and the practice is what keeps me sane.
So I kept these three aspects of my life and made a life-lasting hobby out of one, a career out of the second, and my daily healthy habit out of the third
Still, take it easy from time to time
All the rest I have serious problems committing to so if one day I don’t feel like working on my business, on my healthy habits and meditating, or I don’t want to sew, I just don’t. Creating a moment to recover yourself and put some distance from your main project, hobby, or adventure will give you time to rest your body and mind and will also make you see things from a different perspective. And most of all if the gym rats have cheat days where they eat outside of their diet, why can’t I just take a step back, breathe and get back to it with fresh eyes and heart?
Discipline is not always pushing through, it is also finding the time to rest and recover to better keep on pushing afterward. We are all humans and we all have ups and downs.
These tips or rules or principles as you may want to call them will help you master any area of your life, how to stick to your plan, and how to conquer your goal, whatever that is.
How to keep consistent – even if life gets in the way
Step 0 – Is this the one?
This step goes before anything else. Before getting above and beyond in your adventure, consider all aspects of it:
- Do you really want to do it?
- Are you ready and willing to face all the possible challenges that it entails?
- Is this decision based on the heat of the moment or because you really value it?
- Why do you want to do it?
- Are you prepared to take on and develop the skills you need for the project?
- The time you need to spend on it sounds ominous or fills you with enthusiasm?
Once you have clarity on your purpose, let’s move into the real steps to get you there
Step 1 – one step at a time
It is not a cliché that to get to the top you need to take one step at a time. If you have ever hiked, you know there are no shortcuts to the top, it is one step after the other. And if you start enjoying each one of them, this part of the journey can be the most fulfilling one. You are getting one step closer to your goal each time.
For as much as we love what we do, we don’t always love every aspect of it and we tend to procrastinate on the things we want to avoid. It is crucial to include those steps and go through them too. Knowing every aspect of the business, hobby, or habit we want to keep will make us fall in love with it even more and will make us a better player of the game.
Step 2 – organize and conquer
Organization is key when it comes to consistency. Create a system to help you stay organized, such as a to-do list or a calendar to track your progress. This will help you stay focused and on top of your tasks.
Lay out the steps like this:
- Divide each goal into a list of smaller steps to get there
- Then divide each item into exactly what you need to make every step happen
- And go make it happen
This will help you set measurable goals. Breaking your goals into smaller, achievable pieces and tracking your progress to keep yourself on track will help you stay consistent and motivated.
Use a tracker to keep you on track with your progress. Notice the patterns of your motivation and see if you can find a way how to improve it all.
Also read How to stay productive working from home
Especially if you track your progress by checking things off your list. Do not underestimate the valuable effect on your mental health when seeing all you have achieved
Step 3 – set a routine to get in the flow of things
Create a routine of tasks that make you transition into the working mode smoothly and help you get into the flow. These steps will become automatic and you don’t have to waste time thinking about what to do next or creating new unnecessary extra steps along the way.
Step 4 – the K.I.S.S. method
Keep It Simple, Stupid, also known as the K.I.S.S. method is actually a genius idea to avoid overthinking, procrastination and make things run smoothly. Let me tell you why:
Perfect is the enemy of Done
So start your journey through small and simple steps. And don’t go back to each step to make it perfect. Just focus on moving forward. A simple website for your new business done in a few days is better than spending weeks making everything perfect and losing focus of what our goal really is. In the same way, the leggings you own already are perfect to start running, you don’t have to buy new ones.
You don’t have to get complicated, just get in the habit of getting things going. You’ll always have time to add things up once all the system is up and running smoothly.
Step 5 – don’t’ try everything at once
Keeping focus is crucial to be consistent in all you do. You need to be able to walk a path without having to stop to think about which step is next, every time. Avoid doing it all at once. The risk is to lose focus and feel like your goal is unachievable.
Isolate your focus on 1 or 2 goals daily. Go through your list and focus on one thing, when it’s done, cross it off and go to the next. Avoid leaving unfinished business and go to the next. This will make you lose focus, waste precious time and make you feel like you can’t achieve anything.
Pick one main thing and stick with it until you have it under your belt and then you can move to the following
Step 5 – reward yourself
It takes time to see results, focus your energy on what you can control, and stop overthinking things.
Be gentle with yourself, and don’t blame or punish yourself or others if you can’t reach a goal in the time you thought it was going to happen. Just keep going and eventually you will succeed. Wasting time with blame and anger will take energies away from the goal. In the same way, you need positive energies around you. Treat yourself when reaching a goal or when you feel like you are doing a good job. Reward yourself with easy things that won’t take your focus away. Keep balance and keep going. Reward yourself for meeting your goals. This will help keep you motivated and encourage you to stay consistent
Step 6 – keep progress and motivation, with a buddy is even better
Once the heat of the moment is gone is where most people quit. The reason is that they try to do it all at once and reach the burnout state quite fast and easily. Avoid that. Pace yourself and follow the steps you have laid out, rearrange and reschedule things around once you enter the flow, and be realistic about the things you can do with the time given.
This is a marathon, my friend, we are going long distances with our goals, and the best way to do it and keep running at a pace that we can hold for a long time.
Surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you to stay consistent. They can help keep you accountable and motivated to reach your goals. Tell about your goals to a positive person around you that you know will keep you focused, and motivated and will encourage you every step.
Keep motivation with the help of an accountability partner. If you don’t know anyone in your life that can help you, you can try out websites and apps that offer you that. One that is easy to use and free is Focusmate.com, it partners you up with some like-minded and goal-driven person on the other side of the screen. But if you don’t want the interaction, stickk.com offers an app that will help you be consistent in whatever your goal is.