Success Key 1- Consistency

Jim Donovan One of the most important traits that we can develop if we are to continue to move towards our goals and aspirations is consistency. While this sounds like a pretty simple thing to do, in practice it tends to be allusive, at least to many of us.

Over the years I’ve observed both in myself and in my entrepreneurial clients, the tendency towards spurts of activity usually followed by long periods of inactivity. This by the way, is something we can apply to any area of our lives.

This is the time of the year when many people vow to “make the New Year different.” While this is quite good and admirable, in practice it often leads to disappointment.

Let’s take something simple like exercise for example. January first comes along and most of us vow to begin our exercise program and get back into shape. We may even join a health club or buy some expensive equipment. We have the best of intentions. Unfortunately, within a few months, or even weeks, our old habits return and we find ourselves exercising less and less.

Statistically, health club memberships drop off significantly by March. The question then becomes “How do we develop the consistency to maintain our commitment over the long term?”

One way, and this may sound overly simple, is to “just do it.” A habit can be changed after about 21 days of consistent practice. So if we just “bite the bullet” and do it steadily for a month, we’ll greatly increase our chance for success.

Another, more powerful method is to get leverage on yourself by writing, in great detail, everything that you will gain by sticking to your new program and, conversely, everything that it will cost you if you don’t. This “carrot and stick” approach, using the leverage of pain and pleasure, is a great motivator in any situation. Another way is to get a coach, mentor or buddy who will hold you accountable and help encourage you to stay with your commitment. Of course, this same processes can be applied in any area of your life or business.

Consistency in your relationships, business marketing, finances and personal development is the key to long-term progress and a happier, more full filling life.

By the way, a great commitment you can make as we start this New Year is to read a personal development or inspirational book for 10 to 15 minutes each day. You will be amazed at what that one simple habit will do for you. For some special offers to help you get started, see below.

Jim's Jems Newsletter is copyright 1991-2004 by Jim Donovan. All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced without written permission from the author. If you wish to use my articles in your newsletter or publication, please e-mail me and I'll do what I can to accommodate your request - jim@jimdonovan.com

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