Nothing valuable can ever be created without consistent efforts. To build a great piece of art the artist has to tirelessly work for months or even years. Same for any scientific experiment. Same for building a good business or profession. The list goes on.
Rare but most essential prerequisite for being successful is being consistently motivated to bring this consistency in our life. So, how to stay consistent in life.
However, don’t get upset if you can’t keep yourself motivated to work on something day after day for months or years. Especially when you don’t enjoy doing it or when you don’t see immediate results. Like reading, blogging, jogging, meditating and so on.
Psychologists tell us that the supply of our willpower is limited. Will power or self-control is like a muscle. Like muscles, it gets tired or depleted when we over use it. This phenomenon is named as Ego Depletion. So we can’t rely solely on motivation or willpower to work on something for months at a go.
However, the good news is there are ways in which you can still bring in the consistency in your life without pushing yourself too hard.
The Mantra – A Little Everyday
Whatever big you wish to do and lack required motivation, tackle a little everyday. This will ensure that you don’t have to use your limited supply of will-power.
If you wish to read, read a little everyday. If too much reading is not your cup of tea, make it a point to read at least a couple of pages everyday.
Building a routine or habit is necessary. That will help you overcome the most important impediment i.e. to start everyday. As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Once you start you will automatically build the momentum to continue and increase how much you do everyday. Time will be gone anyway. Why not do a little value addition everyday?
How to stay consistent in life? – Have Routine & Rituals
The biggest problem is lack of routine.
Say, you wish to journal everyday. Set a routine that will help you overcome your forgetfulness, lack of motivation, tendency to dabble around with unimportant activities.
We mostly waste time in the name of being socially responsive, checking our phone or just relaxing. I am not saying that these things are not important but often they stretch and eat up all our time and you’re left with no time for quality work. There lies the problem.
How to get out of Comfort Zone?
Our mind is extremely effective in suppressing any thought which tries to go even slightly out of the way and this might create a possibility of cognitive burden on your conscience.
All such thoughts are pushed to some inactive corner of our mind. Biggest tragedy is all of this happens without us realizing. Often the mind creates a web of justifications (mostly false) to keep you away from physical and cognitive discomfort.
This is the time when we should start realizing that we are letting something go but we don’t. We succumb even without a fight and at times without remorse too.
The mind tricks us all the time. To create something meaningful we need to start delving in the ways our mind tricks us, to trick our mind.
How to Build a Habit?
There are powerful mind hacks which can help you form habits i.e. being able to do something everyday without draining your will power. I am listing some good ones inspired from the highly recommended book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Here you go-
Firstly, doing things at the same time everyday and for the same duration gives your mind auto suggestions that this is what you do everyday and hence it’s in your comfort zone. A mental hack you see.
Secondly, to make routine or habits stick, do it around an already established habit. For example, going for a run immediately after brushing or planning your day immediately after you open your laptop for office work.
Thirdly, have visual cues to show your progress when you’re trying to build a routine. You feel good when you see ticks day after day on your habit tracking calendar. If you skip the task for more than 3 days in a row, chances that a habit will stick goes down significantly. Don’t let that happen.
Fourthly, we need to tackle only a little everyday things which are not coming to us naturally. Over a period of time, tasks like journaling, blogging, exercising, etc. become natural. Basically we need to hack our mind to make these activities part of our daily life.
If we don’t make conscious efforts i.e. creating effective hacks to ingrain this way of life, the brain will do what it does best – save you from all discomfort. It will trigger a thought chain which will work behind the scene to remove even the slightest discomfort which can arise out of breaking out of your comfort zone.
Thus the question of how to stay consistent in life needs to be answered as that’s stopping us from achieving something big in our life and meeting our goals. Add in comment what else we can do to bring in much required consistency and perseverance.