Consistency Wins the Race

Posted by Todd Smith

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After being beaten by Tortoise, Hare reminds himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for slow and steady won the race!”

There’s wisdom for today in this age-old Aesop fable, and today’s lesson is about the power of being consistent when it comes to reaching your goals.

Whether you have committed to eating healthy, exercising regularly, or achieving an aggressive sales target, being consistent will play a crucial role in achieving your goals.

Why Strive to Be Consistent?

To illustrate the value of consistency, consider this amazing fact:

  • A single penny doubled every day for 31 days results in a whopping $10,737,418.24.
  • A single penny doubled every other day for 31 days yields just $163.84. That’s less than 1/100th of 1% of the ten million you would get if you doubled it every day!

The real value of being consistent isn’t about how to make ten million dollars. It’s much more practical and widely applicable than that. Consistency is about developing the persistence and patience necessary to stick with your goal until it is realized. I have learned repeatedly, throughout my career, that the fastest way to achieve any goal is by being consistent.

What Are Your Consistency Zappers?

The greatest challenges you must be prepared for are YOUR excuses.

  • “There are a million other things I have to deal with. It’s impossible for me to focus on just one.” (It’s too difficult.)
  • “It’s hard for me to be consistent because I’m just so busy.” (I’m overwhelmed.)
  • “Sure, __________ was important last week, but my priorities are constantly changing.” (I’m not in control.)

Do any of these sound familiar to you?  It’s ironic to think that our excuses are the biggest challenges we must overcome to be consistent in doing what is required of us to achieve our goals. Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s the excuses we allow that sabotage us from achieving our goals.

I have fought this battle of excuses enough during my career to know that the only way my excuses won’t keep me from being consistent is if the goal is important enough to me.

Consistency Is the Key

When I decided to begin a career as a residential real estate agent at the age of 23, my lack of experience put me well behind the ‘pros’ who had been making a living selling real estate for years. But I did have one distinct advantage: I was determined to succeed.

Because I had such a strong desire to become a successful Realtor, I was consistent and prospected nearly every morning (Monday-Saturday), whether I felt like it or not. There were always other things I needed to do (and would much rather have done), but I knew that doing this one activity consistently was key to achieving my goals, so I did it.

Within 4 ½ years, I was one of the nation’s top-selling Realtors, selling over 115 homes a year.  At age 28, I became one of the youngest Realtors ever inducted into RE/MAX’s Hall of Fame. As I look back, I credit being consistent in my daily prospecting efforts as one of the defining keys to my success.

Do you have a goal you want to achieve?  If so, start by making a list of those activities that are most important in helping you reach your goal.  Then follow my seven recommendations below.

Seven Ways to Increase Your Consistency

1.  Make a commitment. After you identify the activities you need to do to accomplish your goals, make a commitment to do them consistently—without fail or excuse.  Make that decision as to when and what you will do in advance, rather than waiting until the time you plan to do it.

2.  Set up routines. Establish a routine to do your daily activities. For example, if you are going to exercise every morning, set up a routine. Allocate the amount of time you will need to do each activity up to and including your exercise period—such as getting out of bed, dressing, morning chores, and travel time.

3.  Don’t allow excuses. Resolve right now that you will not permit yourself to make excuses.

4.  Take advantage of your peak energy state. When is your energy level at its highest? Whenever possible, use these times to devote yourself to the activities you need to be consistent about. It’s much easier to do what you know you should do when you have energy than when you are exhausted!

5.  Do the challenging tasks first. I have found it is always best to do the most important activities first. If the tasks that will drive your results and help you achieve your goal are hard, do them first. It’s too easy to put off the things we don’t enjoy.

6.  Review your goals often. After writing down your goals, consider writing a commitment letter to remind yourself why your goal is important and to list the reasons you want to achieve it. Review the letter anytime you find yourself procrastinating or rationalizing that something else is more important.

7.  Commit to 21 days in a row. It takes 21 consecutive days to make something a habit. Consistency will be easier once it becomes a habit for you. Will you do what is required of you for 21 straight days?

How to Win the Race

  • Look at your goals and decide what you need to do with consistency to achieve them.
  • Determine which of the seven suggestions above applies to your situation.
  • Put together a daily action plan.
  • Set a consistency goal that you can maintain over an extended period of time.
  • Be realistic. Biting off more than you can chew will only result in frustration.

You are in control of your life and how you spend your time.  You can achieve any goal you set if you will be consistent in doing the correct activities correctly.

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About the Author:

Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.

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