A long time ago, in a galaxy that didn’t have streaming video (or even DVDs yet), I had a workout video where the host would say, “Consistency is the key to results. See you tomorrow.” I still think about that video now whenever I hear the word consistent! Also, I am thrilled to discover that said workout video is actually still available for sale! It’s worth a watch simply for the hilarious wardrobe choices for everyone involved. Moving on… 

We tend to dismiss the importance of consistency, but if I learned anything from that ancient workout VHS tape, consistency really is the key to results. Isn’t that disappointing? We can’t do something once and expect to see major change. I know I consistently (see what I did there?) struggle with that very real fact. I can’t eat one salad and be considered healthy. I have to consistently choose the salad over the french fries with a side of mayo (try it before you judge!).

If you’re trying to grow a business, you can’t sporadically work harder at it. You need to consistently work toward that growth. It’s the same if you’re trying to change the direction of your career. Sure there are easy things you can do in 5 minutes or less, but you also need to consistently (aka regularly) work toward the change that is your aspiration

Here’s something to consider. Consistency is also a promise to yourself. Once you’ve got your aspiration, that dream worth chasing, you’re making a promise to yourself that you are willing to make the dream happen. It means you show up and do what you need to do. It means that you schedule the timeline to “30 days from now” (not “someday”) and stick with it. 

Unfortunately for many of us, we deprioritize what’s important to us in favor of doing something that is important to someone else. Sometimes that’s generous, but more often, we’re afraid of doing what we need to do and use busy-ness as an excuse to never get around to our own aspirations. If you’re struggling with this, you may want to get the help of an accountability partner to move forward! 

#PositiveAction What promise do you need to make to yourself to bring some consistency to your dreams and resolutions? It’s time to regularly work toward what you want!

Consistent is the second element of ACTION, part of a series focused on positive action. If you’re new here, welcome! You may want to start at the very beginning with positive action

 

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Last week, we talked about making progress and assessing if you’re getting closer or further from where you want to be. Today, let’s look at one of the ways you can make progress happen faster. It relies on at least one other person. 

Some of you are going to say, “Wait a minute, Ally! If I’m relying on another person, won’t it slow me down and keep me from making great progress on my own?” But here’s the thing, it actually helps you speed up and stay on track. That’s the beauty of having an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is a simple concept: it’s someone that you tell about a change you want to make and they help hold you accountable for making those changes. Basically, they are a checkpoint, a cheerleader, and sometimes a source of tough love as you go through your journey. 

Since change is hard, especially on your own, the more systems you can put in place to help you be successful, the better off you’ll be. This is one of those systems. It’s an achievement hack. I use it for generating progress on big dreams as well as small tasks, because it’s so effective. And if I’m being honest, it’s pretty fun too!

Here’s how it looks in real life.

As an entrepreneur, I have the freedom to decide how to spend my time, which is wonderful! But it also means I need to make sure I’m spending time on the most important things and not chasing after every squirrel-idea that crosses my path (which by the way is a LOT!). Enter my accountability partners! I meet with a group of entrepreneurs monthly to check in and hold each other accountable for making progress on those things that are most important to our respective businesses. None of us wants to show up to that meeting saying we made no progress, so we are each taking action over the course of the month to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Another example: as a career coach, I recommend to my clients that they update their career story (resume, LinkedIn, portfolio, etc.) every quarter. But let’s be honest, when left to our own devices, most of us aren’t going to do that. Unless you’re into the desperate place where your job has become soul-sucking and you are doing everything in your power to get out of there, in which case, I know a great career coach that can help! 

So instead of dreading making updates to your career story, schedule drinks or dinner (or both!) with a friend. Start out the gathering by taking 10 minutes to update your respective stories and reminding each other of the great accomplishments you’ve had over the quarter. Then kick back and enjoy dinner, knowing that you and your accountability partner have completed that task and that should your dream job open up next week, you’re completely ready for it!

Most people have tasks they dread, but love dinner and hanging out with friends, so feel free to employ this strategy for the variety of things you have a tendency to avoid. It’s an amazingly effective (and fun!) way to make progress.