According to dictionary.com, the definition of consistency is 1) a degree of density, firmness, viscosity, etc; 2) steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc; 3) agreement, harmony, or compatibility; 4) the condition of cohering or holding together and retaining form. My thoughts on the term differ, but I could make the argument in my favor for each item listed. When I think of the term consistency, I think about routine. I think about repetitiveness. I think about things more inline with the second definition. The steadfast adherence. I think about people saying, “Well, at least he’s consistent.” Regardless of what other traits he may or may not have, “he” has a steadfast adherence to whatever process in which he is involved.
Take that idea and apply it to various areas of life. It could be work, the gym, or relationships. In any area of life there are three main reasons why consistency matters.
Why Consistency Matters
Consistency creates better habits.
When you stop to really think about someone who is consistent, isn’t really the fact that they have created a habit of doing, x, y, or z? Many people have a desire to change but not the equal desire to put in the work. The work is hard, long, and most times very unsexy. To get the desired results, most look for an easy way out. Whether be diet, exercise, promotions, advancing relationships, ext., the real payoff comes from the work. By being consistent with those small tasks needed to meet your goal, you will create new habits.
Consistency creates dependability
Once you have the reputation for being consistent, people take notice. If it is known that you will put in the work, regardless of the task, dependability is created. For example, I can depend on you to get this project completed because I’ve see you complete x,y, or z.
Consistency cultivates small wins
As those tasks become completed, leading you to the desired results, you will have small victories in the process. Those small wins build upon themselves. A war isn’t won with one win of a battle , it’s won by many small ones. They all add up. As James Clear mentioned in his book, Atomic Habits, getting 1 % better isn’t much (small win) but over the course of a year, that’s nearly thirty-seven times better; however, you can’t get there if you aren’t consistent.
Doing things you don’t feel like doing, doing things that no one else want to do, builds those small wins; therefore, 1% better. In the workplace, no one wants to keep the minutes of the meeting, but by consistency in doing so, you will become the one in the know. No one wants to work on tempo lifts to get stronger ( typical slow controlled movement down and then back up); they just want to move quickly or lift heavy, not realizing the extra work that goes into it. This means there will be days that you must grind. You must push past the mental hurdle. You won’t be motivated all the time. The cold wet morning sounds a lot worse than the cozy bed, but that bed won’t get you to that marathon. And what if race day is cold and wet? Guess who is better prepared….they lady who got up and ran in the cold rain or the guy who slept in?
Consistency. Everyone will have a different definition and usually a person comes to mind as the epitome of the word. Why is that? What can we learn from that person? There is work that needs to be done. The flame needs fanning. The fire needs stoking. No one is going to do it for you. You must do it. And then tomorrow….do it again.