On Staying Consistent & Achieving Goals
On Staying Consistent & Achieving Goals
In a world of constant distractions and fight for our attention, it's becoming increasingly hard to remain consistent in one thing only. There's always something new to try or someone telling us that our way of doing things is wrong and you should try their way instead.
By now I must have tried every single hamstring stretch possible and yet, I still can't do a perfect downward facing dog.
I must have have tried every productivity hack out there and I still can't publish articles consistently.
Not to even mention my ever growing list of unused domains.
Why? Why does it feel like I'm busy all the time and yet results still aren't what I expected?
It's simple. Lack of consistency and commitment.
Here are a few tips that have helped me stay committed:
Stick with the Process
What we need is practice and consistency. To repeat our practice daily. What we don't need is to keep consuming more and more information and constantly change our way of doing things.
For example, the fitness industry nowadays has made it very easy for us to fall into this bad habit. Every athlete seems to have their own theory and there's always a new workout coming out that claims to be better than the rest.
Same with productivity. There always seems to be new apps coming out that will finally make you productive and organized. How many times have you switched between Evernote, Notion, Roam, etc?
Unfortunately, Social Media and the Internet in general promote this type of behavior. Feed algorithms reward new and different content so creators are constantly forced to come up with new ideas. Even when older ones are perfectly fine or even better.
Most People out there can't even do single pushup or never published a single app and instead of working on the basics, they're being told to do ridiculous workouts or to try that new shiny framework.
Don't fall into this trap.
Maybe you don't need to try all those new things. What you do need is to be consistent and stick with something for a long enough period of time.
Set your goals and stick with the process.
Long-Term Consistency Trumps Short-Term Intensity - Bruce Lee
Build the Daily Habit
As we all know, building habits is one of the crucial steps to achieving your goals.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.* - Aristotle (supposedly)
But I've found that it's very hard for me to stay commited to something if I don't do it consistently every day.
It may be hard at first but once you've built that momentum it'll be harder to stop than it was to start.
If you want to be fit and healthy you have to workout every day.
If you want to be a good writer, read and write every day
Stop Consuming, Start Creating
Don't speed too much time on the theory. Do the Work.
While reading and studying the theory is essential, too much of it can be a form of procrastination. It's an easy way to avoid doing the work and still feel productive.
This type of behavior will inevitably make you feel frustrated. You feel like you know so much but yet you have nothing to show for it, nothing accomplished.
"Throw away your books; stop letting yourself be distracted" - Marcus Aurelius
Know When to Quit
Once you have decided what to do, stick with it. Starting something and not going through with it is a waste of time.
You must either go all the way with something or don't bother doing it at all. Don't half ass it and then call it quits.
Yoda said it best,
Do Or do not, There is No Try
But while it's important to push through, sometimes the best thing to do is to quit.
As Seth Godin explains in his book, The Dip, one of the most important things in life is to know when and what to quit. To recognize when we've reached a plateau or when we're heading towards a cul-de-sac, a dead-end. But also recognize when something's worth the effort
If you've been constantly working towards something and you feel that there are 0 results, then yes, maybe it's time to change things up a bit. But If you've only been working for a few days or weeks, stay patient and give the process a chance before quitting.
Progress takes time.
This may seem obvious, but we forgot about this when it matters the most.
Why should you feel demotivated and frustrated when you see no short-term results? It's all part of the process. Keep Reminding yourself of it and accept it.