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The Importance of Consistency


This week, I have been thinking a lot about consistency. Consistency is something that doesn't come naturally to me, but it has proven to be a game changer in my business and my personal life. And it is also a game changer for my clients. Whilst my natural inclination is to "go with the flow", I know that I increase my chances of goal attainment if I give them a large dose of consistency. And I love attaining my goals!

Consistency and improvement

 If you want to get better at something you have to practise it consistently.

I don't think I really learned this lesson growing up because, whilst I'm embarrassed to admit it, most things came quite easily to me. Most things, that is, that I chose to do which just so happened to be things that I was naturally gifted in - I was quite clever in this regard, I think! I wasn't gifted in sports so never had to do the consistent practice that comes with that. I was gifted in music but managed to get through all the grades on piano and trumpet with relatively little practice - not that my nonchalance went unnoticed by my teachers, but I still got the results.

Fast-forward a few(!) years and I am now learning a musical instrument again - the guitar. However, I'm not quite as nonchalant as I was at 15. I want to get good quickly and I'm also a tiny bit competitive with some of the other adult students that are learning with my teacher. Turns out that this time round, I'm going to have to practise more.

But where do you find the time? I found myself turning up at my guitar lesson week after week and telling my teacher that I'd only done 20 minutes practice. I'm pleased to say that he gave me a good talking to and, because he's a great teacher, gave me really valuable advice on how to be more consistent in my practice. These are the tips he gave me:

  1. Set yourself up for success - have a "guitar practice" area at home where everything you need (picks, capo, metronome, guitar!) is at hand. This way you can never procrastinate by going to look for something you need.
  2. Decide on how long you will practise for - a realistic, minimum length of practice that you can stick to consistently.
  3. Decide on what you will practise. I am currently focused on scales, transcribing and repertoire building.
  4. Decide on when you will practise. I now have this scheduled at the end of my work day and it's my transition into the evening.
  5. Are there any other ways you can build little chunks of practice into your day? I now have my little electric guitar in my office and every hour I break from work to run some scales.

Now, this is the sort of system that I already do in my business, but I hadn't set myself up for success with the guitar. Well now it's the new regime so perhaps in the coming months I'll be able to share a little guitar ditty with you as a fun video!!

If you need to be consistent in order to improve something, then follow the five steps above. They work for all sorts of scenario.

Consistency and reaching goals

The other place consistency has been coming up for me, is in the attainment of goals. In 2021, I am doing a challenge to walk 1,000 miles. This is a challenge that I've started in other years but never completed.

Consistency is key for challenges like this. I need to put on my walking boots and walk just 2.74 miles each day, tracking on my Ordnance Survey app. That's about an hour of walking per day. It doesn't sound like much but, when you miss a day, you suddenly need to be doing 5.48 miles the following day and that can quickly escalate, believe me. So, focusing on consistency is key. Walk a small amount each day and, even if you don't manage 2.74 miles, chip away a bit at a time.

I'm currently ahead of target and I've added another dimension for myself this year. I am raising money in memory of my late brother in support of a charity which supported him during some difficult times in his life. I'm hoping to raise £1,000 or more so every mile now has a much deeper significance than just completing the challenge. This is really helping with my consistency.

Which goals do you need to consistently chip away at? How can you keep your motivation by connecting with the deeper significance of achieving that goal? I'd love to hear your answers!

In conclusion

I hope that's given you some food for thought about consistency. Of course, many people in the UK are currently juggling all sorts of home schooling and work scenarios so please feel free to throw consistency to the wind for the time being if you need to. But, if chipping away slowly at a big goal feels helpful at the moment, then it can help you achieve big results.

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