Get My Reading List

How To Be Consistent in Life: 9 Proven Ways To Get Things Done

mindset motivation productivity time management Mar 22, 2021
How to be consistent in anything in life, every time

When it comes to achievement, there is good news and bad news.

The good news is that we are often talented in the area of our giftedness. 

For instance, I believe that one of my gifts being able to quickly a) see the path to a solution for a client and b) guide them toward the best solution that actually accomplishes their goals. 

The bad news? 

It just doesn’t matter if you have a natural ability or not. The deliberate and consistent application of that ability is the defining characteristic of success. In my case, If I don’t make a deliberate and consistent effort toward attracting clients, I will never be able to offer my gift to anyone. 

The “work smarter, not harder” mantra of Generation X seems to invite us to cleverly find the easiest way to achieve our goals, while at the same time shirking our Baby Boomer parents’ call to hard work. The command to work smarter, not harder suggests that there is an either/or choice here, but I think it’s more of a both/and proposition.

I believe that the consistent application (hard work) of the right kind of actions (smart work) is the key to success — the key behavior being: CONSISTENT EFFORT. 

Most would make the assumption that 5’7” basketball players aren’t going to make it to the NBA, let alone win a slam dunk contest, but that’s exactly what Spud Webb did in 1986, against opponents that were a minimum of twelve inches taller than him. 

He defeated his teammate, and defending slam dunk champion, Dominique Wilkins, with two perfect 50-point scores in the final round of the competition. 

“Spud kind of duped him,” said their coach Mike Fratello, "He told Wilkins he never had anything prepared, didn't practice for it. So, Wilkins maybe thought his normal assortment would be good enough to get through.”

But Spud kept practicing and kept honing his shots long after the other players. Was he quick? Yes. Did he have the unusual jumping ability for his size? Yes. He could dunk at 5’3” when he was in middle school. But it wasn’t these things that allowed him to beat Dominique and all other opponents. 

His consistent effort over time, NOT his natural talent, was the difference between winning and losing.

Close your eyes for a moment and think of the things that you’re good at. The areas where you have real talent. You’re talented in SOME areas of your business, right? 

Maybe you’re great at closing sales, or possibly you have the ability to create easy-to-follow systems and procedures in your business. Are you a great chiropractor, or an amazing coach? 

Now, think about just ONE way to consistently work on improving this skill OVER TIME. Try not to think about the “silver bullet” that you presume will quickly make you better at this particular thing, and instead KNOW that by doing that one thing that you thought of overtime you WILL achieve significantly greater results. 

In his book, “The War of Art,” Steven Pressfield, wrote about overcoming resistance and believe that learning how to overcome resistance and actually putting your ideas into action is THE “silver bullet” of all “silver bullets.”

Often, the resistance we experience isn’t toward the idea of doing something hard — we all like to think that we can do hard things. The real resistance that we feel is that of sustaining effort over time. 

For instance, if I asked you to bench press 45 lbs., five times in one workout, my guess is that you could that, maybe even easily. But if I asked you to bench press 45 lbs., five times a day, for the next month, I could confidently bet against your ability to achieve this relatively simple goal. 

Why? Because consistent effort over time is hard

You know you can lift that 45 lbs., but arranging your schedule to make sure that it happens for a full month and then keeping to that schedule requires consistency, not just intensity. That ability to remain consistent is what I would bet against. 

Consistency is the real measurement of success. 

So, what’s a lazy entrepreneur to do if they’re struggling with consistency?


Here are 9 ways you can be more consistent, every time: 


1.) Be Deliberate

Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote about the “10,000 Hour Rule” in his book Outliers. The concept was based on research done by Anders Ericsson on promising violin students. Gladwell claimed that anyone could achieve mastery of anything with 10,000 hours of practice. While Ericsson was flattered that Gladwell cited his research, he publicly corrected the author shortly after the book was published saying that it wasn’t just the 10,000 hours of work that created mastery. It was 10,000 hours of the RIGHT work. To achieve our goals and be more consistent, we must first identify and systemize the RIGHT work. We must be deliberate in our practice, and it is an only deliberate practice that creates mastery. 

2.) Create Specific and Realistic Goals 

Once, in one of my mastermind groups focused on coaching, I asked the participants for their business development goals for the month. While most of the participants created goals such as “one new client this month,” or “reach out to five new prospects each week,” one of the participants proudly stated his goal as “five new clients this month.” As a new coach with only one or two paying clients at the time, his goal was simply too big and unrealistic. He never achieved even one new client a month. Specific and realistic goals...even goals that seem “too easy” are far better in the long run than crazy, over-the-top goals. 

3.) Create (And Stick To) An Ideal Week or Schedule

This is one of the absolute keys to becoming more consistent over time. Leaving your schedule to chance is a recipe for disaster because it relies on you to continuously choose what you will do next. This constant task-switching uses up extra brainpower and depletes our precious willpower. A regular routine helps us not pile on tasks and promises that are unimportant to our goals because we don’t schedule a time for them. 

4.) Surround Yourself With Reminders 

In my office, I have three posters that remind me of what the important things are to remember regarding my work. The first one says, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” It reminds me that there will never be a perfect time to do anything. The second says, “There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something.” Which is a reminder to not get caught up in the “shoulds” of life and business and to simply focus on the goal. The final poster is self-explanatory, and my favorite of them all. It simply says, “Get Shit Done.”

5.) Make Promises Only If You Can Keep Them

Consistency often involves making commitments and keeping them. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you make too many promises. If you think a request may be difficult to honor, just say no. An unfulfilled promise, no matter the excuse, is significantly more damaging than rejecting the request in the first place. 

6.) Make Mistakes and Keep Going

Perfectionism is the bane of the entrepreneur’s existence. It keeps us from finishing what we start, or in some cases from even starting because we are afraid to make a mistake. Instead of shying away from mistakes —we do this because we put too much weight on each individual action — embrace action as the goal instead of the outcome of the action. Mistakes give us a chance to improve upon our last effort. You didn’t walk the first time your parents put you on the floor, did you? 

7.) Rest

Consistency doesn’t mean that you are working all of the time. In fact, if you give yourself time to recover, you’ll improve your productivity and avoid burning out. Schedule in time for yourself, and don’t let anything get in the way. Many of the entrepreneurs that I work with used to believe that it took 60 to 80 hours a week (or more) to be successful. It doesn’t. Taking time off to reflect and recharge will allow your brain to get excited about your next period of action. 

8.) Create External Accountability

One of the great challenges of being your own boss is the fact that you are responsible to no one other than yourself. While this is one of the reasons that you chose this life, it’s also one of the reasons that entrepreneurship is so hard. To be consistent you have to make sure that you recognize when you don't reach the standards and goals that you've set. External accountability is great. A coach or mastermind group can help you with that. If you don’t have a coach or a mastermind group to hold you accountable, consider going to and search for an “accountability coach.” You can hire a coach like Kellie Parker for as little as $25 per week, including unlimited in-app messaging with Kellie, Daily check-ins, and personalized advice to overcome your biggest obstacles.

9.) Train Out Negative Thinking

Negative thinking is the bane of consistency and of willpower. When you think negatively you are making yourself less likely to be able to hold to your consistent actions. Pay attention to negative thought patterns that will hinder you in the future. Catch yourself if you start thinking "I can't do this" or "I'm stupid." When you do notice these negative thought patterns, turn them around or introduce a more positive or neutral thought. So for example, if you find yourself thinking "I can't do this," turn it around and think, "I'm going to practice doing this, even if I'm not great at it to start with."


My weekly email of things I'm reading, listening to, thinking about, buying, or just plain paying attention to. I hope you get something out of this, but if you don't and you decide to unsubscribe, I'll buy you a coffee for wasting your time.