Maintaining Consistency with Our Performance

We have all heard at one point or another that Consistency is the secret to long-term success. Yet, with knowing this we still struggle with trying to lock it down. Well, to be very blunt, there is no long lost secret to achieving Consistency, it is something that we must embrace and ACT upon everyday.

Being Consistent lies in our daily habits. Many successful people also understand that being Consistent is hard work and take discipline – two things that we don’t usually like to hear, but come to realize as a basic truth for reaching our goals and continuing to be productive.
Through self-reflecting on my own personal experiences and the numerous conversations with athletes, coaches, and support staff (not just in sport, but any context where we need to perform at a high level regularly), I have come to observe that being consistent can be boiled down to a simple equation:

The Consistency Equation:
Proper Preparation + a Confident & Focused Mindset = Consistency

This equation in its simplest form transcends age, competitive level, and context. This equation is an on-going thing that we must be aware of and act upon so we can create and establish productive habits that we no longer have to think about, and in time, we simply behave in a consistent way.

To begin this process to achieve a more consistent pattern of behaviours, here a few things to consider:

1. Establish what You need to be Prepared & make a list

2. Evaluate Your Effort – the amount of effort we put in is our choice. It is the choice we have for every workout, training session, performance, etc. Make a commitment to yourself that you will bring all you have at every workout, training session, and performance. Putting in your maximum effort might be uncomfortable, but it feels great knowing you gave your absolute best effort.

3. Engage in Regular and Productive Self-Talk – we must constantly be reminding ourselves on what needs to be done in this very moment. Our minds will naturally wander, but by reminding ourselves what our purpose is, we can help ourselves stay on task.

4. Understand that there will be some Obstacles – this is normal, there are many things that are outside of our control. By understanding that our thoughts and feelings are subjective and temporary can help us work through our anxieties and doubt. With this in mind, we must remind ourselves to direct our attention to the things that we can control over in the moment.

5. Pay Attention to the Little things – our ability to pay attention to the details will add up and work in our favor. Success does not come from what you do occasionally, it comes from you do on a regular basis. **Tip: start every day by making your bed as soon as you get up, it may seem like a little insignificant act, but it starts you day off with already having completed something in the first 30 seconds of being awake. Take PRIDE in the little things.

6. Set Short Term Goals – document something that you want to accomplish everyday, every week, every month. Your daily accomplishment will feed into your weekly accomplishment, which will fuel your monthly accomplishments. These shorter term goals can help us keep our mind on track while working toward our long term goals. **Note: more on goal-setting to come in a future post**

7. When in Doubt, lean on these helpful phrases to instill consistent habits:

  • If you are “not feeling like it”… do it any way.
  • If you are “feeling down”… do it any ways.
  • If you are “busy”… do it any way.
  • If you are “tired”… do it any way.
  • If you are “feeling good”… do it any way.
  • If you are “too stressed”… do it any way.
  • If you are “unmotivated”… do it any way.
  • If you are “on vacation”… do it any way.
  • If you are “unsure”… do it any way.
  • If you “find yourself making excuses”… do it any way.

Lastly, be patient, it takes about 8 weeks to form a habit, and conversely about 8 seconds to ruin one. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? But, to end on a more up-beat note, what lies behind our ability to be consistent lies in the choices we make regarding our attitude, our effort, and our belief that we can make a each day a little better than the one before.