How To Stay Consistent (To Be Your Best Self)
How To Stay Consistent On A Daily Basis In 10 Simple Steps
Ready to set new goals but you are wondering how to stay consistent? Feeling overwhelmed by everything you think you need to do? It’s a long list, right?
Consistency can be a tricky thing. How many times have you come up with big goals, a plan, and starting tomorrow you are going to kill it! Then tomorrow comes… your’e overwhelmed by this long to-do list. Nothing gets done. Then you tell yourself you will start tomorrow (or next week, next month, next year…).
Well, I am here to tell you the first step and best way to stay consistent is to start small.
My Personal Struggle With Inconsistency
I am not perfect, but I can tell you a thing or two about how to stay consistent. In the past I have struggled with an all or nothing mentality. I am either going all out or doing absolutely nothing. Not the best for becoming consistent. I would fight off all the recommendations of starting small and would go ALL IN. Which quickly became overwhelming and then I did nothing at all. Not great, right?
Finally, I tried taking small baby steps. Literally 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there. And you know what?? It actually freaking worked! I was able to build 5 minutes upon another 5 minutes and eventually I was finally able to be consistent with my goals. I knew even if I didn’t have all day, I have 5 minutes to stay consistent.
The biggest impact on my journey with becoming more consistent has been working with an accountability coach. I will chat about that more later, but that was a HUGE part of my success.
Why It Is So Important To Stay Consistent
Motivation isn’t always going to be there to get you to do the hard stuff. Your why and healthy habits will be the things that push you through! When you are doing something day after day, week after week, your brain will begin to automatically do those things without even thinking. Effort in the beginning will lead to ease for the long road.
Staying consistent means doing something MOST of the time. Life happens. We are not looking for perfection, but we are looking for most of the time. That is what will pay off.
10 Steps To Stay Consistent
I have come so far in my own journey that I knew I needed to share with others in a blog post what I have done to make it work. My lack of consistency was so frustrating. I knew what to do, but just wasn’t doing it.
In no particular order, here are 10 steps to stay consistent, create new habits, and meet your long-term goals!
Find An Accountability Partner
This one was HUGE for me. Possibly the most important thing I did. Finding someone to keep you in check will really help you push through any discomfort and avoidance you may be feeling. I tried using a friend and my husband as an accountability partner and they ended up being enablers, ha! So make sure when you find your accountability partner, they will push you out of your comfort zone instead of letting you get away with stuff!
I have been lucky enough to work with Ashley from Better Health By Accountability and it has been a complete game changer! Ashley checks in with me everyday via text, voice message and calls to ensure I am being consistent with my goals. We began with a primary focus on my health, but we have begun to include accountability around my social life (building and strengthening relationships) and my business. I tell her my plan and goals and she makes sure I stick to them!
I highly encourage you to find yourself an accountability coach to really push you to become your best self. It works!
Create a morning routine
Mornings are so impactful! No matter what time you wake-up, the morning is a new, fresh start to your day. Utilize that precious time by looking inward and setting an intention for the day. Your morning routine should be custom to your own individual needs.
For example; I love waking up before the kids to have some time for myself to work on my blog. When I let the kids wake me up, it’s really hard for me to come back from that. If you know, you know… 😉
Create An Evening Routine
Some may argue your morning routine begins the night before, and I do agree. Set yourself up for success by doing a quick 15 minute clean-up before heading to bed. Have things tidy so in the morning you can focus on your morning routine, instead of playing catchup from the night before.
“One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top.” –James Clear.
Brush your teeth every morning? Great! Leave your notebook by your toothbrush so you remember to create a to-do list every morning.
Drinking coffee every morning? Perfect. Leave your water bottle next to the coffee machine so you remember to start your day with a large glass of water.
I walk my dogs every morning. To build upon that habit, I began whitening my teeth at the same time. The established habit was walking the dogs. My new habit I am trying to become consistent with is whitening my teeth.
Incorporate a family member
Tell your family members the goals you are trying to be consistent with. Can they help? Would they be a good accountability partner? Even just telling them your plan will help you be more accountable to yourself.
Create a daily routine
You know I love routines! Having similar daily habits will make it easier to keep it going. I suggest doing a brain dump and using my time audit worksheet to help you create the perfect daily routine for yourself.
Take Consistent Action
5 minutes a day folks! That’s all we are asking for. Are you sick of me saying “5 minutes a day” yet? Ha! But I say it because it is true.
When you go for 5 minutes a day one of two things will happen. You will be consistent with your goal (who ever said it needed to take forever anyways?) OR you will gain momentum and work a little longer. You don’t have to do this, but often it is a snowball effect.
Put on your workout clothes? You are more likely to workout. Set a timer to clean the kitchen for 5 minutes? Once you are at it, you are likely to go for a few more minutes because that momentum has been built.
Getting detailed about your goals and your why will be the backbone of staying consistent. Do you think I want to workout most days of the week? Not always. But I know it is the best thing for my mental and physical health, so I do it. A little bit every day.
Take a little bit of time to write out your goals. Be specific! How will you achieve them? What are the small steps you will take that will lead you to the bigger goal? Write it all out!
Ignore bad habits
Instead of taking away bad habits, add in good ones. Eventually there will be less room for the bad habits. Let’s not focus on the bad, but build up the good.
Focus on good habits
As I mentioned above, don’t worry about your bad habits. Add more good, and the bad will begin to taper off.
I LOVE Diet Coke. However, now I am drinking so much water that the thought of drinking Diet Coke sounds awful because I can’t imagine drinking any more liquids during the day. I didn’t stress over the Diet Coke, but I did focus on increasing my water intake. Now, I don’t think about Diet Coke that often and have it about once a week.
Track your habits
Tracking your habits is a great way to measure your progress over time. Check out my free weekly planner with a built in habit tracker here.
Try Different Things
Everyone’s approach is going to be different. If you try something a few times and it doesn’t feel right, change it up!
Little Things Add Up
5 minutes here, 5 minutes there really start to add up.
The Only Way To Be Consistent Is To Show Up
Show up day after day! You can show up for 5 minutes and still make progress. Small steps work!
The Reason You May Be Struggling To Stay Consistent
The number one reason you are struggling to stay consistent is because you are not in it for the long run. Creating consistent habits for a healthy lifestyle, work, or personal goals does not require much time, but it does require consistent effort.
Small steps will eventually yield to large results. Focus on one small thing at a time (I encourage you to go back to my list of 10 for some helpful ideas) to get back on track. Remember, this isn’t a race and good things take time.
How To Stay Consistent To Meet Your Ultimate Goal
Remember, the key to success to meeting your life goals is not drive or motivation. It is being consistent.
Consistent hard work pays off!