“It had long since struck me that people who have achieved something rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. “
Leonardo Da Vinci
One of the biggest and most common problems in improving your life or desired success is that you may not take consistent action over a long period of time.
Consistency is not the sexiest or most exciting word.
But along with time it is what will bring you real results in your life.
Sticking to the program and doing something consistently – and not just when you feel inspired or something – is very, very powerful.
This is something I have struggled with a lot in the past. And on some days I still do it.
But over the years I’ve found some things that really help me with that.
1. When you take action, just focus on the process.
I use it for example when I train and write. I am not responsible for the results in my head.
I take responsibility for showing up and doing my training / writing. That’s it.
The results come from this consistent action anyway. And that makes this action easier for me because:
- I know that’s all I have to focus on. So my energy and attention is one-way and I’m doing a better job.
- I feel a lot less pressure on myself. And so I’m more relaxed and more inclined to go on than when I’m staring blindly at the possible results that never come as fast as I want, and when I’m on an emotional roller coaster every day.
2. Remember why you are taking action.
Find your top priorities and why you are doing what you are doing.
It could be caring for your family, saving on travel, getting the job you really want, or improving your confidence. Or something else.
In order not to lose track of why you are taking action and to stay focused:
- Write down your main reasons. Take a few minutes, sit down with paper and a pen and write down the top 1-3 reasons why you should take action and do it in your life.
- Place this note where you can see it every day. Like in your work area or near your bed so you can see it every morning when you wake up.
3. Reminder: You don’t want to hurt yourself.
When you disappoint yourself and don’t think and do as you do I really want you to hurt yourself by lowering your self-esteem.
Whatever you do during your day sends back signals of what kind of person you are. Do the right thing like effective, friendly, go to the gym or just rest and you will feel good.
Become lazy, negative or just mean and feel worse after a while.
You can’t get away, there is no escape. And there is always a price to pay.
4. Take smaller steps on the days when the big ones seem daunting.
On some days it can seem daunting to start with one of the most important tasks. And so you start to hesitate.
When that happens, one thing that worked for me is being friendly.
To push me forward instead of thrashing myself.
So at such times I take:
- A small step. I can do a deal with myself to work only 5 minutes on part of a bigger and more difficult task.
- An even smaller step. If this little step feels too much and I start to hesitate, I’ll do a deal with myself for 1 or 2 minutes of work.
Sometimes this results in a few dents becoming a big task, a few minor tasks being done, and taking many breaks during the day.
And sometimes just starting or restarting the day is all I need to get going again and have a good and very productive time before the evening comes.
In any case, I go forward instead of standing still.
5. Celebrate what you did today.
If you appreciate your good work, you will feel even better in your life and in yourself.
And over time, it becomes possible to take more action with less inner resistance, and you combine action with more positive emotions than at this point.
- At the end of the day, take two minutes to think about what you can appreciate about what you did today. Or write a few confident things in your diary.
- Have a tasty treat or a bigger celebration.
- Tell someone how beautiful something has becomehow you learned a good lesson, or how proud you are of something important that you did today.
Reward yourself for the things you did right today to strengthen your habit.
And remember to be kind to yourself for the things you may have missed or not done.
There’s no point in beating yourself up. There is no point in trying to be perfect.
See what you can learn from it and maybe try another solution tomorrow to see if that works better.
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