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Have you ever made popcorn, whether in a pot on the stove / cooker or in a microwave?  What happens if you keep taking the popcorn off the stovetop or keep stopping the microwave while the popcorn is popping?  Well, you probably won’t get any popcorn.  You’ve stopped the momentum of it popping.

And it’s the same with us.  We start something, build up momentum and then just as the ‘popcorn’ starts popping so to speak, we stop and either turn our attention to something else, repeat the same process or else stop doing anything at all because we get impatient or distracted.

If you use my Born to Flourish planner-journal, you will see that I am big on BEING – being the person you need to be in order to flourish and get to where you want to go, achieve the things you want to achieve.  And I believe that being consistent is a major characteristic you need to have if you want to achieve your goals.

How do Olympians eventually win the gold?  By consistently practicing their sport, every day, for hours on end.

I am always trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday and every month I focus on at least one (sometimes more) key characteristic I need to improve in.  And consistency has been one of them.  Especially when it came to building my dream business, I was far from consistent.  And just like the popcorn analogy, I would knuckle down, work like crazy for days and then end up in an exhausted heap.  Or get distracted by other things, like my day job, home and the other gazillion things that come our way!  By the time I picked up where I left off, it took me ages to get back into the swing of things, I had lost my flow and my motivation.  It felt like I was starting all over again.

So I changed my strategy.  I would always have other things to content with in life and that wasn’t going to change.  I had to learn to work around those things.  I realised that I needed to be consistent to keep things moving in the right direction.  I decided that instead of waiting for days I could work for hours on end, I would do something every day, even if it was only 15 minutes.  That kept the momentum going and kept me in the flow of things.  It also meant I started to use my time more wisely to find that time every day – instead of spending half an hour scrolling aimlessly through social media I could Get Something Done!  And taking a little step every day in the right direction was like keeping the popcorn firmly on the stovetop / cooker or microwave to allow the popcorn seeds to pop and do their thing!

The tortoise and the hare

Ever come across the story of the tortoise and the hare?  I remember reading the story back in primary school.  The tortoise and the hare decided to have a race, the hare shot off and left the tortoise way behind.  Because the hare was so confident it would win, and was also a little tired from running so fast, it decided to take a quick snooze (and clearly didn’t send it’s alarm 😊), and of course, the tortoise kept plodding along, passed the snoozing hare and won the race!  And I couldn’t help thinking I was that hare – working myself to the bone and then ending up in an exhausted heap.  It made much more sense to be the tortoise – to just keep taking step after step and not needing to collapse in a heap and lose my momentum!

How about you?  Are you consistent in your life, in the things that matter?  If you’re not, what difference would it make to your life if you were?  What difference would it make if you went to the gym for just thirty minutes every day to do some weight training or cardio on your way home from work?  What difference would it make if you swapped your daily lunch time social media trawl for learning a new skill?  What difference would it make if you woke up just 15 minutes earlier each day instead of waking up an hour earlier only once or twice a month?

As I always say, we look for complex answers to our problems when the answers are almost always very simple.  If you look at the people you admire and would like to achieve what they have achieved, change your focus from what they have, to who they are.  What characteristics do you think they have?  I’m sure there are many and that’s why this blog post is part of the ‘Being’ series of blog posts.  I truly believe that if we work on our internal ways of being more than we try to look for external solutions to our problems, we will make huge strides in the direction of our dreams and truly flourish!

And so I try to be consistent with other things in my life too.  Being healthy is always something I try hard to do but often try to make big changes and then fall down a day or two in.  So, I’ll choose one relatively small or easy thing to be consistent with, like drinking a large glass of water with a splash of lemon in it when I wake up.  And I am now 99% consistent with this because it’s easy to do and it’s now become a habit.

So, choose something you can be consistent with in your life and see what a difference it makes!  Start small.  And the great thing is that once that becomes embedded in your daily routine, you can move onto something else and build on that.

The Compound Effect

The great thing about being consistent is that, eventually, the compound effect kicks in.  You can start getting exponential returns from the little steps you’ve been taking every day, just as you would get exponential returns if you invested a little money each month many years later.

Of course, it works both ways!  If you’re consistently eating donuts for breakfast each day or spending all (or more than) you earn each month, then the compound effect will eventually kick in too – in the form of poor health and bankruptcy!  So, think about the things you’re consistent with in your life and what the compound effect of this is likely to be in a few years’ time.  And more importantly, what you can do to change things for the better and make consistency work in your favour!

Stay consistent with the Born to Flourish® planner-journal

 I created the Born to Flourish® planner-journal because I was struggling to stay consistent with all the things I needed to do to make my goals happen.  Today, I used my planner-journal every day and couldn’t live without it.  It has a strong element of personal development woven into the more obvious practical aspects and this keeps me laser focused on my goals, my why and what I need to do every day to get there!  Like to find out more about my planner-journal?  

Check out the Born to Flourish® planner-journal here – it’s available in digital format to use on your iPad/ tablet or as a PDF download to print out and complete or simply complete onscreen.

If you have trouble staying consistent then the Born to Flourish® planner-journal will keep you on the straight and narrow 🙂