Achieving anything in life typically requires the synchronicity of the multiple aspects of ourselves – our thoughts, beliefs, behaviours and in particular, the action we take. When all these moving pieces are flowing together effortlessly, we are able to create the fuel for achieving our goals in life – consistency.
Through my own personal experience as a previous competitive Rugby Athlete and my current experience as an Online Personal Trainer and Mindset Coach, I’ve discovered the importance and influence that consistency has with being successful in life. I’m here to share with you a method on how to create and maintain consistency in any endeavour, while also helping you understand the phases of achievement we go through in order to create this consistency.
Prioritizing over Wanting
Being intentional is truly the first step to accomplishing anything in life. Setting an intention is like planting a seedling of desire. From there we can begin to nurture this desire into fruition.
However, it’s one thing to set an intention, but another to make that intention a priority. Simply ‘desiring something’ – aka wanting, does not produce results. Desire without action is just a wish, a hope, or a dream. The lack of intention with priority is typically the first hang-up that enables people to falter their consistency.
To be blunt, if you’re not doing what it is that you want to be doing, then it’s not a priority. Making something a priority literally paves the path to achievement. It empowers you to be consistent with whatever it is you desire and whatever it is that you are intentionally focused on.
The Path to Achievement
Achievement in life happens in phases.
Let’s pretend someone has a fitness goal or a process that they would like to be consistent with, such as exercising.
Below are the phases to move through in order to generate consistency with ‘exercising’ (or whatever your desire is).
1st Phase: The Negotiation
This phase is typically the most challenging to overcome as it is a dance with the ego (your inner-critic) that can end in procrastination. Considering the exercise goal noted above, the ‘negotiation’ in this phase might sound something like…
“Hmm, I don’t feel like exercising right now. Maybe I’ll do it later. I know! I’ll set an alarm for tomorrow morning instead. Yes! That feels good. What a great way to start my day…”
Generally what happens after this negotiation is that the individual may feel guilty for not doing what they said they would do. There may be a false sense of reassurance and control. It can even be anxiety because they said they ‘would do it tomorrow’. This is a prime example of the Law of Diminishing Intent. Essentially, the more we procrastinate, the less intention we have. This experience can lead us to feelings of remorse, shame, and frustration, aka the perfect recipe for further procrastination. This will most likely leave this individual hitting snooze in the morning and justifying why working out in the afternoon sounds like a better idea – cue in the repeated self-sabotage cycle.
The opposite experience of this phase would be to catch oneself before the negotiation even begins. Instead of entertaining the idea of ‘I wonder if I can make this more pleasurable by planning to exercise at a more convenient time…’, choose this thought instead: ‘I set the intention to make this a priority, this is the next step I’m committed to taking…”, which brings me to the next phase.
2nd Phase: The Doing
One of the biggest misconceptions that I’ve ever seen with achieving goals in life, or going back to our example of exercising consistently, is that people wait to be motivated to take action because they think that motivation leads to action, which then leads to results. This is the perfect thing to default to if you want to give away your intention, give up your priority, and allow access to consistency to slip away from your fingertips. The reality is in fact: taking action leads to results. This then fuels the motivation so that you get to be consistent.
3rd Phase: The Sense of Accomplishment
At the end of the day, people don’t set goals, such as exercising consistently, to literally experience the motions of moving their body through resistance training or movements. They make this goal so that they can achieve The Sense of Accomplishment that comes after the fact. The Sense of Accomplishment is the consequence of prioritizing the doing of the intention that was created, while also refusing to negotiate any other options.
Experiencing a sense of accomplishment will always be the end goal. The purpose in life of being a human being is to create in this physical world: create our life, create the money we want, create our health, create our relationships (the list goes on). The reason why we’ve been successful at creating these aspects of our life is because of this method for creating consistency. The Sense of Accomplishment is the only part of the journey that requires your focus and attention. There is no need to give energy or attention to negotiations or distractions that are not aligned with your intention that you set as a priority.
A Recap of The Method:
- Give up the negotiation phase. Catch yourself and remind yourself of your commitment and your intention. Remind yourself of the fact that it’s a priority for you to achieve the end goal; aka the sense of accomplishment. Negotiation is non-negotiable.
- Focus on the end goal or desire. Where focus goes, energy flows. Focus on the feeling of having accomplished what it is you desire. Focus on taking action so that inaction does not take you out from the path of consistency.
- Never give up. Life happens in ebbs and flows, some of which are controllable and some are not. What is always controllable is your perception of any situation. If you’ve fallen off the horse, it means nothing more than you have fallen out of alignment with what you want. Getting back on the horse, getting back into the flow of The Method discussed in this article will empower you to be consistent in your life.
Consistency creates consistency.
Work on your structures, so your structures work for you. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Looking at your goal and focusing on the sense of accomplishment will help you eliminate the distractions and obstacles of procrastination and self-sabotage that come with the path to achievement. Despite these obstacles and distractions appearing as a burden, they are simply feedback to inform you of what not to do if you wish to achieve your goal.
Some may argue that structures or boundaries in life can create resistance or a feeling of restraint from certain things. I’m here to offer a different perspective. Setting boundaries and implementing structures in your life creates a path for you to go in the right direction of your desires and goals. This your playground. This is your structure for success, this is your canvas to paint your vision. This is your space to create and to welcome in your sense of accomplishment. I invite you to bring The Method to your life and commit to being consistent with your desires. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.