Everyone knows what they should be doing. That's easy. Doing it is the hard part.
The other day a reader and friend told me his biggest struggle. He said: "My biggest struggle is that I can't maintain any sort of consistency with my habits. I know exactly what I should be doing, I just can't get myself to stick with it long enough to see results."
After analyzing 913 days of data from tracking my habits.... I've discovered that that are 5 things and only 5 things that help me to be consistent each day. When I follow this simple formula, I'm productive and make progress towards my big goals (health, wealth, love & happiness). When I fail to follow it i'm not productive.
I'm calling it The Consistency Formula! When all 5 are working for you, you can dominate any goal.
The 5 parts of The Consistency Formula look like this:
- Promotion Mindset - Are you seeing the opportunity and abundance around you? Or are you getting in your own way?
- State - Is your brain, body and spirit all working together to move you forward?
- Intentional- Are you setting clear goals? Or are you confusing yourself with mixed signals?
- Catalyst - Are you doing the little things that allow you to do the big things (success habits)?
- Environmental - Is your environment set up for you to succeed? Or is it holding you back?
You can use this framework to stay consistent with any habit that allows you to achieve a long term goal. Want to lose 30 lbs? Start a 6-figure business? Have an impact? This formula can be used to help you make incremental progress towards those big goals.
So for the rest of this article, pick one of your big goals and let's work through it together. But first...
An Example from The Most Consistent Person I Know
As a kid, I used to watch my dad do push-ups each morning. I would stumble down to our kitchen, grab a bowl of cereal and watch him. He would pound out push-ups like a man possessed and I would sit there and eat. It didn't matter if he was tired or running late, he always did his push ups and then went off to his job.
This didn’t strike me as strange, because he was my dad and it was all I knew. I thought every dad did push-ups before work -- that's just what dad's did. That was until I realized all of the other dads were not doing push-ups.
One day I finally asked him "Dad, why do you do push-ups every morning?"
He stopped and looked at me puzzled -- unsure of how to answer me. Finally he said "It makes me feel good" and went back to doing push-ups.
Push-ups were a catalyst habit for my dad. This small win early in the day allowed him to go out and tackle bigger challenges later in the day. That's the power of taking this type of approach.
Let's dig deeper...
1 - Promotion Mindset: Take 5 Minutes First thing in The Morning To Be Grateful.
It's hard to work on the things that matter when your mind is clogged. Being grateful removes the mental weeds that cloud your judgment and make you too pessimistic.
I used to think that gratitude didn't affect the rest of my day, but each time I've forgotten to do it, my day has been significantly less productive. For me it's a measurable difference.
How to start: Take out and pen and write 3 things you are grateful for, 3 things that would make today amazing and 1 affirming sentence.
2 - State: Visualize Your Big Goals for 5 Minutes.
I first wrote about the Maltz-Schwarzenegger Technique (I have a thing for names) a while back and still use it every day. This technique takes the best visualization strategies from Schwarzenegger, self-image enhancing methods from research psychologist Maxwell Maltz, neuroscience and biofeedback technology from the HeartMath Institute.
It's simply awesome and a great way to get you into peak state to start your day.
Here’s how to it: You create a specific, clear and compelling vision of the life you want. Clarity is power.
Who do you want to become? What do you want to do? What do you want your legacy to be? Be vivid and visualize yourself already as achieving the goals you want. Allow the moment to motivate and compel you to do the work that's necessary.
If you do this with enough intensity you can get yourself into peak state for the day. From there, you're ready to attack the day.
NOTE: If you're new to binaural beats technology for enhancing your visualization practice check out iAwake's starter pack (aff link). Their product is the best I have tried and is 4-5x cheaper than the competition.
3 - Intentional: Goal Setting and Review For 10 Minutes.
Your brain is like a heat seeking missile and needs to lock onto a target. Without a target it wanders aimlessly, looking for stimulation and brief moments of awakening.
To keep yourself focused and consistent, each day set and review your goals. Ask yourself "what can I do today that's going to have the greatest effect and take me one more step closer towards my goals?".
10 minutes of intentional goal setting and review removes 2+ hours of wasted time each day. If you're not doing this, you're wasting a lot of time and energy on tasks that don't matter. Following this approach allows you to remove the ambiguity and take a clear path towards your target. If you falter, you can correct course and get back on target.
4 - Catalyst: Review Your Daily Success Habits For 5 Minutes.
There are certain actions you take each day that move you closer towards your goals and ones that move you away from your goals. The ones that help you progress are your success habits. Your objective is simple, spend as much time, energy and effort doing the things that move you forward and as little time as possible doing the things that hold you back.
One of the best ways to stay consistent is by tracking, recording, and reviewing your daily success habits. Like Peter Drucker said "What gets measured, gets improved". You can use my method of tracking them in an excel spreadsheet or use one of the many habit tracking apps such as Momentum.
5 - Environmental: Build A Success Environment That Supports Your Efforts.
It's hard to lose weight when you have a house full of cookies and your gym is 1 hour away. It's easy to lose weight when you live in a gym and only have access to salad and chicken.
Our habits are triggered by cues in our environment that cause us to act and behave in a pre-programmed way, sometimes without our conscious effort. For example, when your phone vibrates, you instinctively reach for it without thinking.
A huge part of consistency is creating triggers or cues in your environment which cause you to do the habits you want. Take a hard look at everything in your environment and ask "is this helping me consistently work towards my goals or or is it getting in the way?".
If you want to read more books, have more books lying around, get an audible subscription and listen to an audio book when you're in your car. If you want to start flossing, buy the preset flossing picks and set them next to your toothbrush. Make it easy on yourself.
Each time someone asks me about consistency I think about my dad pounding out push-ups every morning. That was a catalyst in his life and allowed him to consistently go out and do the work that's necessary.
This type of slow and steady approach to success takes time, but those who are willing to slug it out one day at a time, are the ones who can change the world.
This Article Was Inspired By Awaken The Giant Within By Tony Robbins!
- Maltz, M. (1960). Psycho-cybernetics: A new way to get more living out of life. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
- Oka, T., Yamamura, Y., Ichikawa, J., Yokoyama, Y., Oka, T., & Kurachi, M. (n.d.). Influence by Psychological Effects on 1/f Fluctuation in Brain Waves (.ALPHA. Waves). Nihon Hotetsu Shika Gakkai Zasshi, 612-616.
- Alpha brain-wave neurofeedback training reduces psychopathology in a cohort of male and female Canadian aboriginals. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23341412
- Hall, K. S., Crowley, G. M., Bosworth, H. B., Howard, T. A., & Morey, M. C. (2010). Individual Progress Toward Self-Selected Goals Among Older Adults Enrolled in a Physical Activity Counseling Intervention. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 18(4), 439–450.
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