What is the real power behind incredible life transformations?
We’ve all seen it …
People losing huge amounts of weight and keeping it off.
Others coming from nothing and making millions.
Couples coming back from the brink of divorce and creating incredible marriages.
How does this happen?
How do you change the results you are getting in your life right now?
Why do some people seem to get everything they want, while others don’t?
A typical answer I hear all the time is, “Well those who struggle don’t know any better.”
The problem I have with this idea is it assumes that “knowledge” is the key to getting better results in life.
Now, of course knowledge is important but it’s not the the most powerful.
While many believe that knowledge is power, knowledge is only powerful when it’s applied in a very specific way.
Let me show you a couple of pics before we go on.
(I apologise beforehand should these offend you. That’s not my intention, but I need to get this point across powerfully)
Now have a look at this image,
Consider for a moment what these women have in common …
Here’s what I surmise from these images (and please, I know, I’m only guessing here so these are just my observations)
I think they have the following in common:
- They’re all women
- They all consume food
- They all drink something
- They all move around
- They are all able bodied (from what I can see)
So the question is, what is the difference that makes the difference here?
Why is one clearly unhealthily overweight while the other looks pretty lean and fit?
Let me show you two other images that have done the rounds on Facebook at one stage or another (I give credit where credit is due — these are not my images — I’m simply sharing them to make a point)
and another version,
Again the question is , what is the difference that makes the difference?
If you answered, “Action(s)” then that would be partly correct.
Any result we get in life is almost of all the time the result our actions or responses, but it’s very particular actions that get us lasting results.
They are “consistent actions.”
Consistency may be the most important component of success.
A small step forward each day adds up to a lot of mileage over time.
It is called the LAW OF COMPOUNDING.
Whatever we do consistently over time, compounds.
That means it adds up and expand.
WHATEVER you do expands.
So right off the bat, ask yourself,
“Are the little things you do each day adding up to something positive?”
Or “is the quality of your life slowly slipping away?”
With consistent action over the next 10 or 20 years, what could you accomplish?
Five cold calls each day / 5 days per week equal 1300 sales calls in 1 year!
Five small pieces of chocolate over the same schedule is roughly 25,000 calories, or the equivalent of over 7 lbs/3.2kg.
Are your consistent behaviours helping or hurting you?
Here’s the simple premise of this post,
You have to learn to use the power of consistency to increase your success and not your failure.
That’s the secret of super-achievers.
They do the right things consistent enough to get great results.
So, let’s look at a couple of principles to help you tap into the power of consistent action.
- If you re-lived today for the next 10 years, where would you end up?
That’s a powerful question.
If you saved just a small amount of money each day, you’d eventually be wealthy.
If you overeat slightly each day, you’d weigh 400+ lbs.
An effective way to predict your success is to examine your average day and project the likely outcome into the future.
An hour each night spent practicing the piano would give different results versus spending an extra hour watching television.
Your teeth aren’t clean because you brushed them for an hour straight. They’re clean because you brushed them for 3 minutes for 3,000 days straight.
Consider where your daily habits and behaviors are leading you financially, socially, spiritually, and physically.
What are the logical conclusions of your daily activities?
- Realise that many changes in life come slowly.
Many success gurus advocate taking massive action to see massive results, but that strategy is difficult to apply and maintain for most people.
Consider weight loss.
You can’t lose 25 lbs. in a day. Small changes occur to your weight each day. Those small, regular changes add up to impressive results.
You might know my story and how I lost 60 lbs, turned my health around, and became fitter in my 30s than I was in my 20s.
I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, this did not happen overnight.
It happened over time.
It took daily discipline, stretched out over months and years.
For some people that’s a problem, because they want an immediate result.
However, is going to take time to create a new result from a problem that’s been created over time.
Yes, of course you can change any result immediately by choosing to do so.
But, to see the result of that new decision, might take time.
Building a fortune, the perfect body, or a great relationship all take time and consistency.
- Consistency requires habits or discipline, and discipline is in short supply.
Use your discipline to develop useful habits.
Why is that important?
Because discipline relies on willpower.
And willpower is a limited resource which we use for all sorts of other “tasks” during the day, like decision making, dealing with stress, planning, solving problems etc.
That means willpower runs out after a while and needs to be refilled before tapping into it again.
This is a potential problem if you’re relying on willpower to feed your discipline to stay on track.
The fact is, relying on discipline day after day is a losing battle for most of us.
While discipline can grow with effort, having effective habits is a much more effective strategy and much less painful.
Because habits are automatic behaviour.
You don’t have to think about doing them; they just happen because they’ve been “programmed” into your unconscious mind through repetition.
The result is what experts call “automaticity.”
Automaticity is the ability to do things without occupying the mind with the low level details that are required; this is usually the result of learning, repetition, and practice.
When we’ve done something for so long it becomes an automatic response or go to behaviour.
It takes little brain-power to do, and that’s exactly what you want.
When you have to think about this too much, it depletes your willpower which erodes your discipline.
You get the point.
So, habits are what you want.
Create some habits!
- Learn to act in the moment.
The greatest barrier to consistency is the belief that you can postpone an action to another day.
When we apply this logic to every day, we end up pushing our goals further and further into the future.
The reality is each day has the power to bring you closer to your goals.
Each day you postpone is lost forever.
The only real discipline required is the discipline to act right now.
Parkinson’s Law states that: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
What this comes down to is that we will take as long as we give ourselves to complete a task.
If you give yourself a day, it will take a day.
If you give yourself a week for the same thing, it will take a week.
Choosing to act and finishing what can be finished, right now, should be done that way.
There is no point coming back to something that could have been completed now.
Consistency requires diligent action in the present.
When you act consistently rather than wait, you move closer to your goals much faster.
- Have reasonable expectations.
When your time horizon is unrealistic, it’s not easy to be consistent.
When you ask too much of yourself too soon, it’s just as challenging.
As people we tend to underestimate just how long certain tasks will take us.
This is called the Planning Fallacy.
It is is a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time needed.
Be positive and enthusiastic, but be reasonable.
Unreasonable expectations can easily lead to disillusionment and loss of motivation.
When our expectations are clear and reasonable, it is much easier to stay consistent.
Put your focus on regular and consistent improvement. Perfection isn’t required.
Do a little bit each day to keep moving forward.
- Use reminders or triggers in your environment to encourage consistency.
Think about the things that you do every day that could serve as reminders.
Getting dressed, starting your car, and turning out the light each night are a few examples.
Each night you turn out the light, you could visualise your goals.
After getting dressed, you could do five pushups.
Some experts call it “habit stacking.”
The premise of habit stacking is pairing one existing habit (behaviour/action) with a new desired habit (behaviour/action).
We all have certain actions we do regularly every day.
An easy way to introduce a new desired behaviour, is pairing it with the existing behaviour.
The easiest way to do this is finding two compatible behaviours and linking them, for example brushing teeth and drinking a glass of water.
Setting up a couple of “habit stacks” will hugely improve your consistency.
The reason for this is because you’re not relying on willpower but how our brains work.
What you do once in a while doesn’t impact your life significantly.
Rather, it’s what you do consistently.
Consistency is a major predictor of success in your life and business.
So the challenge is to develop habits and routines that guarantee success.
Consistent behaviours determine your outcomes, so choose behaviours that make sense.
If you really want to move the needle in your life and get great results, then you have to start tapping into the power of consistent action.
And you can thank me later 🙂
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