Achieve Your Goals Through The Magic Of Consistency


 Achieve Your Goals Through The  Magic Of Consistency

Most people know the quote, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” What they don't realize is that this philosophy is actually a terrible way to achieve longterm goals. Missing a day on your new diet? Well then you might as well eat everything right now because you'll need to start over tomorrow. You can't do anything wrong today so might as well give up. Tomorrow never comes and all of the work you've done so far has been for nothing!

The problem with this strategy is that it's based on something that's not always true: Persistence pays off in the end only when you're persistent every day.

If you're not persistent every day, your persistence will never pay off. It will never manifest into something concrete and tangible.

Take, for instance, the person who saves just $20 a month. If they do this for ten years, they'll have saved $2000 by the end of it all. That's pretty cool and probably enough to buy a decent set of golf clubs or something, but it's not really that impressive. Invested properly and with a bit of luck, $20 a month would likely turn into more than that after ten years time.

Now, consider the person who's saving $20 a month, but every time they fail to do this over the next decade, they add $10 onto their goal and make it that much harder for themselves. They're basically saying that if an extra ten dollars is enough to get them to give in and not save on any given day, then it would take twenty dollars. So they save $30 a month instead of just $20. If they give up again and forget one of those months, then they move up to $40 a month. And so on and so on until after ten years they've saved over three thousand dollars – more than twice as much as the person who wasn't consistent.

Now let's say I want to get better at communication. Maybe I've been avoiding people ever since I had that bad experience in high school. It was pretty embarrassing and I don't want to feel like that again. So, I decide to go out and talk to many different people every day for a month. After doing this for a few weeks, it starts to feel like second nature – even fun! But then something happens and my commitment slips. Maybe it's family issues or work problems or whatever, but for some reason one day it just doesn't seem worth it anymore so I don't talk to anyone at all that particular day.

The first person I'll talk to that day will be an outlier – someone who is way more natural at communicating than me. (For instance, if I were working on improving my communication skills, I might want to talk to a lot of other professional writers on the Internet.) And as I look down at my new low "score" for that day, it's now no longer worth it for me to keep going. So I quit being consistent and end up giving up even though that day was the one time when talking more actually paid off more than less.

Some people call this process "plateaus", but it's not really. It's more like stone stepping: As long as you keep getting up and moving forward, then you're never truly "stopped" for long. And if you're just adding ten dollars a year to your goal every month, then eventually you'll get where you want to be.

But it won't pay off if you stop doing that. And it won't pay off if you stop being consistent with the work. Like my example of saving money, part of the reason people find it hard to stick to goals is because they lose sight of how much work they have yet to do – and of the fact that all that work will pay off only when they remain consistently tough on themselves every day.

The person who saves twenty dollars a month has just a little more than two thousand dollars. But the person who saves twenty dollars a month for ten years will have over $30,000. The person who adds ten dollars to their goal every single time they slip no matter how small the slip is also going to have over thirty thousand – and they'll have it in less time than it takes the first person even if that first person's consistency never wavers.

This is an important lesson for everyone. If you want to be stronger, more attractive, healthier, wealthier… whatever… but you're afraid that your desire won't last in the long run without some kind of external pressure pushing you forward every single day no matter what then here's what you need to do: Set a goal that's so far out of reach that it seems completely daunting and impossible. Then go ahead and add a little bit of pressure each time you slip up. Don't beat yourself up over it. Just continue doing the work and eventually – if you're consistent – it will become possible.

The goal I want to make my writing stronger is to be able to write more than the average person. There's a lot of work left for me to do there and I'm not sure if I can get up each morning and do it, but even so, knowing that it can be done makes me hopeful that I'll eventually succeed.

So here's my new goal:

"My goal is to write twice as much in the next year as the average writer." – Kellan Elliot

It was admittedly a pretty dumb goal when first written, but now it's one that I'd welcome. Because I've been working towards it for a very long time, I now know that it's possible for me to write twice as much as the average writer. My new goal isn't dumb because I set it incredibly high and impossible to reach. It's dumb because it isn't a challenge for me anymore.

So forget about how strong your desire is. If you want something bad enough, it'll stick. And if you're consistent and tough on yourself, it'll turn into an incredible achievement one day even if you didn't think it would right now.

Bonus article: This week I'm also releasing my new eBook called "The Think Big Manifesto." It's a short book designed to help people who don't know where to start with their goals. It shows them the exact steps to take in order to go from having no dreams at all to reaching those dreams in less time than most other people would take.

Conclusion: Instead of trying to kick your desire in the butt, be surprising with it. Be bigger with it. Go beyond what you thought was possible. It's only then that your desire will stick. And once it's in place, you'll never have to fear that it might not be strong enough – because if you stand firm and keep moving forward, your desire will always get stronger as well. Only then will there truly be nothing holding you back from whatever good things in life you've been wanting all this time…

Kellan Elliot is a writer and entrepreneur who lives just outside of Toronto with his wife and two dogs.

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