I didn’t want to do it, but I did it anyway.
There was an unlimited number of excuses to pull from, but I stayed firm…I heard a voice tell me, “you have to write today, stay consistent."
I know you want to dive right into the Kardashians, but we’ll get there in a few, hang tight.
First, I’ve got to thank that little voice in my head for setting me straight, because I kept going, I continued to write.
The truth is I busted my butt yesterday to push out my blog post on schedule, and the LAST thing I want to do this morning is write.
Yet, I know my myself, and I know my process. If I don’t write every morning for at least 30-mins, whether it’s the day after my last blog post or not, I’ll be scrambling at the end to get push the article out on schedule, I can can count on it.
So here I am, Wednesday morning the day after I posted my last blog article (almost one week before you’ll read this)…writing again…and I ain’t gonna lie, it’s rough!
I didn’t write consistently every morning last week. I took at least two mornings off (that I can remember), because I “deserved” a break!
I deserve to give my future self a break! What I deserve is to fulfill my commitment and to write a weekly blog post stress-free. Instead, I sit here this morning burned out from scrambling at the end.
Consistency Wins, Every Time.
There’s always a consequence to inconsistency (tweet this).
Many times we operate under the false belief we’ll have time to blow off our normally scheduled routine for an urgent activity and still have time to complete the stuff we originally had scheduled in the future.
Relying on an unforeseen, unscheduled time to complete a task on any other day than the one that’s been earmarked for it is a fairytale.
Sure, we can take advantage of Parkinson’s Law and get things done quickly. We can always sacrifice our bodies and our sanity by scrambling at the last minute, staying up late and muscling our way through to completion, but at what cost?
Scrambling doesn’t work.
We need to find something that does work, something that consistently works, incentives that consistently incentivize…just having the knowledge of ill consequences isn’t enough.
So what do we do?
I turned to the Kardashians.
You see, consistency is my theme for 2016.
Whether I want to or not, I’m committed to following my morning ritual of writing because I know what I need to do to get things done without stressing my family, or myself out.
Nowadays, when 6AM rolls around and it’s time to write for 30 minutes, I write.
But it wasn’t always this way.
I needed that push…a piercing incentive to burrow itself into the marrow of my bones.
So without further ado, here are my top three tactics for hacking my way into a life of improved consistency.
#1 - Find Your Kardashian
Everyone has a preference for how they prefer to be held accountable. Some people find accountability partners, others place bets. For me, I make my commitments public.
Accountability partners are great, but what happens when your partner misses a day, or forgets to call you, or simply stops caring?
You’ll stop caring too, right?
Finding a way to make it sting is a great way to keep our eyes on the prize. When I wanted to start using a journal each day for 5-minutes, I made a public commitment over social media that if I did not journal consistently each day for one week, I would watch the Kardashians with my wife for one hour, without saying a word.
I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s because I view this particular reality TV show as the epitome of everything that’s wrong with the ideals of American society, but the thought of a focused hour of watching the Kardashians makes my skin crawl.
Sitting there with my mouth shut would exasperate the experience at least threefold.
Since being a man of my word is an incredibly important value to me, I found that telling “the masses” over Facebook, or through my blog, that I’m committing to something important is unusually effective for me.
Being thought of as a hypocrite or a liar is my way of putting skin in the game; it’s a great example of what I need to drive forward.
So combining the Kardashians with my personal need to maintain my word boosted my consistency to the highest level of excellence.
It worked for journaling, it’s working for my writing.
Thank you Kardashians.
#2 - Start Small
Personal development is such a critical, but underrated tool for entrepreneurial success. I’d love nothing more than to read a new book every week. Oh, the knowledge to seek, the content to create, the people to help!
Dream big, reach for the stars, give it your all and read that book every week...
yeah sure, I get it.
Shall we put pen and paper to this particular dream?
Ok, here we go.
I read quite a bit, so I’m familiar with what it takes for me to get through a book.
At my reading pace, I would have to read about 90-minutes per day, to finish an average size book of about 250-300 pages per week.
Personal development is a top priority for me in 2016; yet, just thinking about scheduling 90-minutes into my day to read more stresses me the heck out. Figuring out what to sacrifice at the expense of these 90-minutes almost makes me nauseous.
Is it reasonable to go from a 100% inconsistent reading routine to all of a sudden committing 90-minutes per day to personal development?
Of course not.
How degrading would it be if I missed a day?
What do I do after a miss, read 3-hours the next day to make up for it so I can stay true to my goal?
I’d quit after Day Two.
Creating consistency and developing new habits is about testing our ability to regularly commit to something new. For me, I started with just 15-minutes of reading per day, that’s it.
Even though I refuse to dedicate 90-minutes per day to reading, doesn’t mean it can’t still be my top priority for 2016!
Personal development is the second thing I do after I wake up, right after I spend time praying.
At exactly 5:25AM each morning during the week, I set a timer for 15 minutes. I then read for 15 minutes and stop.
I then set a timer for 5 minutes and take notes about what I learned during the previous 15, and jot down ideas for how I could potentially apply the content to my life.
I can do anything for 20-minutes, and knowing the fact that I can, and have wasted considerably more than 20-minutes in the past doing non-value-added tasks, it’s an easy commitment to fulfill.
20-minutes per day of personal development is a reasonable, achievable goal, and it feels great to fulfill a commitment to myself!
#3 Keep it Simple
Even our most complicated goals can be broken down into easy-to-manage parts.
Manageable parts can be attacked in bite-size chunks.
Bite-sized chunks can be worked over time, by adhering to a consistent block of time to work on the task.
I had dreams of putting together a training workshop to help people crunch through their e-mail inboxes in record time, process that big stack of paper and turn it into actionable steps, and to set achievable goals using their calendars.
I could have waited for 4-days of uninterrupted time without children to knock this one out, but instead, I’m blocking out a few hours per week to develop the content by following a structured plan.
The thought of developing a plan to complete a training program may seem daunting too. Yet, I’m using the same concepts to plan my content as I would to develop it...
By committing a few hours per week.
One week at a time.
It’s a manageable shift in mindset.
Goals can be achievable, even liberating, and the scary doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
What’s YOUR Kardashian?
What do you want to accomplish this year?
Does it seem overwhelming, even impossible?
Whatever your task at hand, I encourage you to think about your Kardashian.
What’s a consequence that would scare you?
- If you miss two workouts in a week, do you run for one mile on the beach wearing only tightie whities?
- If you hit the snooze button in the morning do you dis-reward yourself with a freezing cold shower?
What will you do to be more consistent?
Who will you turn to for holding your feet to the fire?
Leave your comment below and let me know what you want to achieve and what your personal “Kardashian” is.
If your story is compelling, I may personally hold you accountable myself!
(I certainly don’t want to see you in tightie whites…)