How To Be Consistent: 7 Steps To Get You Motivated Again
There’s a moment that comes when you’ve set a new goal where anything seems possible. Your motivation is at an all-time high. But then... it fades. That goal starts to feel further away. And you start to wonder if you’ll ever know how to be consistent again.
Whatever your plans are, there will always be a degree of consistency that’s required.
Whether it’s showing up at the gym to bring your fitness goals to life. Or sitting down each morning with your pen and your journal as you turn your new bullet journaling practice into a regular habit. Consistency is key.
But it’s also hard.
There are days when motivation is thin on the ground. That initial momentum has faded and now you’re wondering… is it really worth all this?
Here’s what to do.
Why am I not consistent?
When we’re not consistent, we usually tell ourselves a story about being lazy or unmotivated. But that’s not the case.
One of two things is at play here. Either you’re overwhelmed with too much on your plate. Or you might not actually want this thing anymore.
Remember, far more of your time is spent working towards your goals than that short moment when you actually achieve them. So it’s important to enjoy that process too. Rather than feeling lost along the way.
Before you start trying to be more consistent, ask yourself these questions:
- Does this process still bring me joy?
- Do I know why I’m doing this?
- Do I still want to go after this goal?
If the answer is yes, then it’s time to get your consistency back on track!
Step 1: Set realistic goals
Dreaming big is always a good idea. If you don’t dream big, you’d never know just what it’s possible for you to achieve.
But those big dreams need to be broken down into smaller goals. Otherwise, you’re going to be left standing at the start line feeling too intimidated to even take that first step.
The unique science-based system inside the Power of 3 goal planner guides you through the simple process of setting just three goals for your year. These are then broken down into smaller milestones to achieve along the way. Which are then broken down into even smaller tasks to complete each week.
By breaking your goals down into smaller bite-sized chunks, it becomes a lot easier to be consistent. You’re able to show up in a manageable way, rather than trying to do everything at once. Try it for yourself!
Step 2: Reduce the pressure
Brace yourself... you don’t have to be consistent every single day.
You’re not a robot. You’re not a machine. Your body will feel different each day. This means your consistency levels will do too.
Perhaps you actually work better in the evenings, yet you’re trying to force yourself to get up early like everyone else you see online. Or maybe you’re guided by your menstrual cycle and find that you’re able to focus better on different types of tasks at different times of the month.
So instead of forcing yourself through the same to-do list and the same amount of effort each day, take a more gentle approach. Tune into your body and ask yourself what feels best in that particular moment for you.
Step 3: Schedule rest days (before you need them)
If you’re already feeling burnt out, it’s too late. Your rest days should be scheduled into your calendar before you need them.
A rest day isn’t the most exciting part of the goal-setting process, but it is one of the most important. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has taken to Instagram to sing their praises. Your rest day is when you simply do nothing.
You don’t take any direct steps towards achieving your goals. Instead, you hit the pause button and put your feet up. You catch up on your favourite Netflix shows, get lost in a good book, go for a long walk and do whatever it takes to recharge your batteries.
That way, you’ll be able to show up when you need to. You’ll have the energy you need to be consistent, and the motivation it takes to get there.
Step 4: Allow time for joy
You’re more productive when you’re happy. According to research from Oxford University's Saïd Business School, happy workers are 13% more productive. This is exactly why so many companies have placed such a big emphasis on their “company culture”, bringing the notorious ping pong tables and free coffee bars into their offices.
They know that when their employees have time to experience joy outside of work, they’re going to be more productive and more consistent when they are working.
And that approach isn’t limited to the office. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, give yourself the gift of time. Follow your curiosity and start your day with something that feels good. Even if it doesn’t directly link to your current goals. You might just surprise yourself!
Related: How To Start Bullet Journaling (Even As A Total Beginner)
Step 5: Remove any distractions
The standard advice for a distraction-free workday is to leave your phone in a different room. But we know it’s more complicated than that…
Every single one of us has so many distractions going around in our heads 24/7. From grocery lists to aunt Vera’s birthday present, there’s a lot to remember.
But what if you could remove those distractions and get them out of your head before the day began? That’s exactly what Morning Pages helps you do. So you can focus on showing up consistently, without any unnecessary hurdles getting in your way.
Step 6: Get yourself an accountability buddy
“We do better when someone’s watching,” healthy habits author Gretchen Rubin told The New York Times. “Even when we’re the ones doing the watching!”
You’ve heard of an accountability buddy. We all have, it’s not exactly a new proposal. But finding the right accountability buddy is more of an art than most of us realise.
Look for someone who understands the area that you need support in. Ideally, you should both be working towards goals that are at least similar, if not the same. That way, you’ll actually remember to check in with each other on a regular basis. Try to create a system such as a daily WhatsApp group or monthly check-in calls to monitor your progress along the way.
Or, if a traditional accountability system isn’t your thing, you can also see results in your consistency by being your own accountability buddy! Use apps to remind you of your daily habits, create wall charts to colour in each week or tap into smart technology to nudge you at certain points throughout the day.
Step 7: Celebrate your achievements along the way
How many times have you achieved a goal, only to move on to the next one the very next day?
When you slow down and let the sense of accomplishment sink in, you’re going to remember that moment so much more.
So the next time you achieve a goal, don’t move right on to the next one. Take the time to celebrate with your loved ones and really digest that moment.
Then, the next time you’re struggling with consistency, you’ll recall just how good it felt to achieve your last goal. And you can use that memory as motivation to be consistent and keep moving forward. Because you know that you’ll get something good at the end.