Welcome to episode #176 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. What matters more than what you do somedays is what you do every day. This is the practice of being consistent. When we want to get things done and do it well – the consistency of effort matters. Yet, we often find ourselves inconsistent and experiencing the results we desire, temporarily. Today’s podcast on consistency will help you manage the challenges and cultivate more consistency in your practices.
If you consider any practice you are starting to work with – there is usually some kind of goal. We want to be better parents, coworkers, bosses, leaders and friends. We want to be healthier, more organized and we want to feel better about ourselves and our lives. When we consider our self-concept and what we believe about ourselves, we don’t always see ourselves as the people we want to be.
Many times, this is due to our inconsistencies in how we behave and act. When that happens, we have inconsistent results. We don’t consistently do what we want to do – and we then don’t have that belief and that expectation that the next time we say we want something, that we’ll get it done.
There’s been research on the topic of grit – and how it’s composed of two factors: consistency of effort and consistency of interest. In both cases, consistency is key. More studies have been done and it shows that consistency of effort, for example, is more important and correlated to entrepreneurial success or student performance than consistency of interest.
What this means is that the more you do something, the more likely you’ll be successful. What this doesn’t mean is that you have to be consistently interested in order to be successful. When I think about how I’ve been consistently successful, I’ll usually attribute it to persevering – which is continuing to do something even if I don’t feel like doing it.
I contribute work ethic and an expectation of effort on my part. What I don’t expect is that it will feel good. I don’t expect that I’ll always love it. I actually expect it to be hard and at times demotivating.
When you’re struggling to stay consistent with your own efforts, I want you to see what you choose to do instead. Do you choose to do something else that feels more rewarding, even if it’s temporary? This temporary fix is usually what keeps us from enduring through the struggle of just getting through what our commitment is to ourselves. These are your non-negotiables.
We call them non-negotiables because if you sit with the idea too long and negotiate with yourself on if or how you’ll do it, you will likely negotiate yourself out of doing the thing that is new and different. Our brains love to do what they’ve always done because we’re wired towards ease and low effort. Staying exactly where you are and not transitioning to get up and go for the workout or not transitioning to the more difficult task of figuring out how to make that decision you’ve been considering.
We have to just move, and not think as much. When I started crossfit, I was going to the 5 AM class in order to be able to coordinate our schedules as parents. I remember just telling someone that I don’t think there, I just do. I know the limitations of my thinking mind. That it will tell me I’m tired or that I’m not that interested or all the negative things about why I should just keep doing what I’ve always done.
Instead, I just let that brain think – but not engage with the thoughts. This means that I follow what I said I would do earlier, and not in the moment. This is the most important but painful act. To stop doing what we’ve always done, which might be to give up when things are hard or difficult or tiring so that we can see results. There’s often more consistency needed than we realize. You don’t need to be consistent with everything, but consistent with what you find most important.
What is the minimum that has to be achieved in order for you to have the life that you want? That is the non-negotiable to start with and be consistent with your efforts.
We don’t need to become robots about everything we do – but there are some things we just know we might struggle more with than others in terms of belief and in terms of how successful we think we’ll be immediately. If we think it may take a while but effort matters, this is where you want to turn off that thinking mind and delegate your actions to your original plan.
Immediate gratification usually gives us motivation to do more, so that’s easier for us to commit to doing those things. That’s why people love to do the things that are easy to cross off their to-do list. It’s gratifying to and sends dopamine through our system. What about the things that they take longer to do? How do we tackle consistency with those harder, longer projects or goals?
Breaking it down
The smaller we can make the tasks we have to do to get started, the more consistent we will be. For example, if you’re trying to start a new morning ritual or routine to get work done for an hour before the world wakes up, you would start with the smallest possible action.
Deciding what you want to do when you wake up. Try being consistent in knowing what must get done. What if that was enough for a day or even a week to start? It’s enough to work on deciding what you want to do. You don’t even have to do it, you just make the decision every night, what’s important for you to take care of first thing in the morning.
Then, when that is consistent, you can then work on not hitting snooze the next morning. Again, you’ve already started deciding what you want to do, and now you just don’t hit snooze. This is something that feels so small, you can likely do just that. Maybe you won’t get to your next activity or wake up at that time, but don’t hit snooze. This is an example, but you can see that if you can break down the big and hard goal into smaller and smaller activities, you can overcome your own desires for gratification and use them to your advantage. You just need to be able to see that it’s possible.
Make it small, easy to complete and focus on one thing at a time – and you can be consistent. It’s not genetics, you’re not destined to just do what you’ve always done – you just need to understand how your mind works and how your body helps you by rewarding yourself to get the easy things done – and use it to your advantage.
If you want to take this work even deeper, you’ll love Spiritual Achiever coaching. On September 13th, I’ll lead you through a personal branding exercise and then the following week, we’ll dive into creating soul-aligned communities. This is where our consistency matters – so don’t miss out and if you want to join, now is the time. We’ll cap off September with a 5 year visioning retreat – and all of these things can be attended from anywhere in the world. If these sound interesting to you, come join the program. I cannot wait to see you there.
Want to know more about what happens when you join?
- When you join Spiritual Achiever® Coaching you’ll be supported for a full year: Career Revelation Academy: A 5-step career change process (if you have a job you want to stay in, I’ll show you how to love it even more) that can launch you into your next career chapter in 30 days.
- 2x/month group training and coaching on Spirituality, Achievement, Earth Energy and Harmony. You’ll know how to design your days for breakthroughs, create a personal brand and community, lead yourself and others through change, become more physically and mentally fit, reduce stress and reinvent what’s possible in this next chapter of your life.
- Discover your Leadership Strengths and Branding Workshop: Increase your awareness of what makes YOU different from others and how to become even better at your genius zone.
- Your Best Year workshop: Create your one year plan and design this next year, no matter what time of the year it is.
- Your Next 5 Years one-day virtual retreat: Vision what’s possible 5 years from now and break out of your old routines so you can step into new habits, behaviors and routines.
- Tickets to all in-person Spiritual Achiever retreats (accommodations not included): Highly immersive and intimate gatherings where we spend time in nature, experience energy work, eat and move well – all while making big decisions and committing to what’s next for us.
- Monthly 1:1 Coaching Sessions: To help you break through obstacles, define your individual path, and to work on both strategy and mindset.
The next step?
Schedule a consultation at www.mayempson.com/contact to get clarity on how coaching can help you on your journey.
Once you’re accepted into the program, you’ll receive a calendar invite for a 2-hour deep dive 1:1 session to map out your personal goals and your own year-long journey.
You’ll have immediate access to the Spiritual Achiever process and philosophy – how to achieve your biggest goals and reinvent your life.
You’ll have immediate access to 5 modules of Career Revelation Academy – to love your career even more and launch that next chapter of your career in 30 days.
You’ll have the calendar invites for the upcoming group calls and retreats.
The next round starts on 9/13.
If this speaks to you, I can’t wait to talk to you live: Enter your details at www.mayempson.com/contact to schedule a consultation.
Reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact for more information on my Spiritual Achiever coaching program. You’ll figure out what’s next and actually go and do it.
If you like this blend of both practicality and mindset, you will love coaching. You can schedule a consultation at www.mayempson.com/contact to learn more about working together and joining this community of like-minded, open and curious seekers. It is the powerful group and private coaching hybrid experience for achievers who want to expand their vision of what’s possible. Twelve months of support, individualized guidance, community and retreats. We will help you build your confidence, trust your intuition and make decisions that you love.
That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.