Last Updated on September 16, 2022
Why is it important to be consistent? It’s so easy to be inconsistent. Most of us are pretty good at it without even being aware of what we’re doing, saying, and how we’re acting.
We can be one way at home with our families, and a completely different way at work. We might be friendly with people we meet on the street, but rude to the cashier at the grocery store.
You’re probably familiar with the type of person who is always on the go, never seems to sit still, and is always looking for the next new thing. They may be fun to be around, but they’re also usually pretty inconsistent.
One day they’re all about going to the gym, and the next day they can’t be bothered to get off the couch. They might make plans with you and then cancel at the last minute, or show up late for appointments. This type of inconsistency can be frustrating for both them and the people around them.
Inconsistency is normal for us as humans but it definitely has drawbacks. However, there are many benefits to practicing consistency, both personally and professionally.
Let’s explore what consistency means, how we can maintain consistency in our behavior, and finally, the advantages of leading a life that is aligned with our values and beliefs.
What Does It Mean to Be Consistent?
Collins Dictionary defines consistency as follows:
“Someone who is consistent always behaves in the same way, has the same attitudes towards people or things, or achieves the same level of success in something.”
When it comes to our personal lives, consistency is key in maintaining healthy relationships with our family and friends. It can be easy to slip into inconsistent behavior – we might cancel plans at the last minute, forget to return calls, or neglect to keep up with our hobbies. However, when we practice consistency, we send the message that we can be relied upon and that we value those relationships.
In our professional lives, being consistent can help us to build trust with our colleagues and clients. It can also create opportunities for career growth and allow us to become known for our expertise in a particular area.
From our personal lives to our professional lives, consistency is key in building and maintaining strong relationships, achieving goals, building self-confidence, and creating opportunities for growth. When we are more mindful of our actions and commit to being consistent, we open ourselves up to a world of possibilities that can make all the difference in our personal growth.
Why Do We Struggle With Consistency in Our Lives?
Let’s start with this question: why is consistency important?
We live in a world that is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up. When we are consistent in our behavior, it helps us to focus on what is important and not get overwhelmed by everything that is going on around us. It also allows us to build trust with others and ourselves, a key to our personal development.
When we develop consistency, people know what to expect from us and we become more reliable. Additionally, consistent behavior leads to better results. Whether we are trying to improve our health, reach a goal, or learn something new, being consistent will help us to see progress more quickly.
And finally, when we stay consistent, we develop deeper relationships. When people know they can count on us, they are more likely to open up to us and share their own thoughts and feelings.
Now let’s talk about how we can slip into inconsistent behavior.
One reason why consistency can be difficult is that little thing called instant gratification. We often want things right away and lose patience when we don’t see results immediately. This can lead us to give up easily or become frustrated and give up altogether.
Additionally, our busy lives can sometimes make it hard to focus on one thing for long period of time. We may start out being very motivated to achieve a goal, but then life gets in the way and we find ourselves veering off course.
For example, let’s say you want to get in shape. You start going to the gym regularly and eating better. But after a few weeks, you start skipping workouts and eating unhealthy food again. Soon enough, you’re back at square one.
Or maybe you’ve been meaning to start your own business for years, but you keep putting it off. As a result, you never achieve your dream of being your own boss.
Another obstacle to consistency is that we may not be clear about what we want or why we are doing something in the first place. We are not staying focused. Without a clear purpose or plan, it’s easy to become distracted or lost along the way.
Benefits of Living a Life With Consistent Behaviors
It’s easy to understand why consistency is important in theory, but it can be hard to stick with it in practice. As we’ve noted, life is full of old habits, distractions, and detours that can derail our best intentions.
However, there are good reasons to be consistent, both in our personal lives and in our professional pursuits.
Here are four benefits of staying consistent that may help you stay the course and maintain motivation:
1. Consistency helps us build momentum and achieve our goals. When we’re consistent in our behavior, we send a clear message to ourselves and others about what is important to us. This increases the likelihood that we will follow through on our plans and reach our objectives.
2. Consistency promotes cooperation. People are more likely to cooperate with us when they know what to expect from us. Conversely, inconsistency often breeds conflict and misunderstanding.
3. Consistency reduces stress. Trying to keep track of conflicting or ever-changing demands can be exhausting. By being consistent, we simplify our lives and reduce our stress levels.
4. Consistency builds character. When we stick with something even when it’s difficult, we develop qualities like perseverance, self-control, and self-discipline that will serve us well in all areas of life.
How Do We Start Living a Life That is More Balanced and Consistent?
It’s one thing to read about changing a behavior, but an entirely different experience to put it into practice with regularity.
We are easily overcome and overwhelmed when we think about huge (well, huge to us) life changes. So let’s take a look at the small steps and actions that we can take to slowly move toward a more consistent behavior and decision-making pattern.
Ultimately, these small steps will make a big difference and lead to significant life changes.
1 | Schedules and a to-do list
When we’re talking about consistency, what we really mean is creating habits. And habits are important because they help us automate our behavior so we can expend less energy making decisions and taking action. This frees up our brainpower to focus on other things, and it helps us stay on track even when we’re tired or feeling lazy.
Consistency also breeds success – the more consistent we are with our goals, the more likely we are to achieve them. And finally, consistency creates trust – both in ourselves and from others. When we show up consistently, we build trust with ourselves that we can follow through on our commitments, and we build trust with others that we’re reliable and dependable.
So how can we be more consistent in our lives?
One way is to create a schedule or to-do list that outlines exactly what you need to do each day. This takes the guesswork out of decision-making and makes it easier to stay on track.
2 | Small goals
One of the hardest things about being consistent is that it can feel like you’re constantly falling short. You set a goal for yourself, and then you miss a day (or two, or three). Soon, it feels like you’re back at square one.
But if you break your goal down into smaller pieces, it will be much easier to achieve.
For example, if your goal is to start exercising more, rather than vowing to go to the gym every day, start with something more achievable like committing to a 10-minute walk around the block.
Once you’ve made that a regular part of your routine, you can gradually increase the intensity or length of your workouts. By taking small steps, you’ll be more likely to stick with your goals and make lasting changes.
When you make your goals smaller and more manageable, you’ll find it’s much easier to stick with them. And as you start checking off those small goals, you’ll gain confidence in your ability to be consistent. So don’t be afraid to start small – it’s the perfect way to build consistency into your life.
3 | Pair it
Getting into the habit of working out can be tough. You may start off strong, but it’s easy to lose motivation and slip back into your old routine. One way to help you stay on track is to pair your new habit with an existing healthy habit.
Maybe you’ve been wanting to try a meditation practice, but every time you sit down to do it, something else always seems to come up. Sound familiar?
The problem may not be that you don’t want to meditate or that you’re not consistent, but that you’re trying to add this new habit in without changing anything else about your routine. And let’s face it – adding a new habit can be hard enough on its own!
A better strategy would be to find an existing healthy habit that you already do regularly, and pair the two together. For example, if you brush your teeth every morning, use that as your cue to meditate for just 2-5 minutes.
Over time, as the new habit becomes more ingrained, you can start to increase the length of your meditation practice. But by starting small and using an existing cue, you’ll be much more likely to stick with it. So go ahead and give it a try – your future self will thank you!
4 | What’s the trigger?
Trying to be more consistent in your habits and actions? It can be difficult to change long-standing patterns, but understanding your triggers can help.
A trigger is anything that sets off a series of events; for instance, seeing a candy bar might trigger a craving for sweets. Negative triggers can set off a cycle of negative behaviors; for instance, coming home to a messy house might trigger feelings of anxiety or depression, which might lead to someone seeking escape in unhealthy activities like drinking or binge-eating.
On the other hand, positive triggers can start a cycle of healthy behaviors; for example, going for a run first thing in the morning might trigger feelings of energy and well-being that last throughout the day.
By understanding your triggers, you can learn to avoid the negative ones and cultivate the positive ones. So next time you find yourself struggling to be more consistent, take a step back and try to identify your triggers. It might just be the key to making lasting change.
5 | Get back up
When you’re trying to be more consistent with your habits and goals, you will inevitably have setbacks. You might miss a day at the gym, or eat unhealthy foods even though you’re trying to eat better.
It’s important to forgive yourself for these setbacks, and not let them derail your entire plan. Instead of beating yourself up and feeling like a failure, remind yourself that everyone has off days and that you can get back on track tomorrow.
Focusing on your mistakes will only make it harder to stick to your goals, so cut yourself some slack and move on. You’ll be more likely to achieve your consistency goals if you’re kind to yourself along the way.
Final Thoughts: Why Is It Important to Be Consistent?
To be successful and achieve our goals, it’s important to be consistent in our actions, day in and day out.
This means breaking down our larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps, and pairing new habits with existing healthy behaviors. It also helps to understand our triggers – both positive and negative – so that we can avoid the latter and cultivate the former. By being consistent in our lives, we set ourselves up for success!