How predictable are you? Being consistent is an important key to accomplishing more of the right things. While “predictability” might seem boring, mundane, and unoriginal for some, there are some definite benefits to being consistent. We are able to plan days, weeks, and even months and years. Being consistent in also allows us to improve ourselves over time. What we do consistently can be measured – and improved.
Being spontaneous and unpredictable might be fun, but it doesn’t help us accomplish much. Many times, the only thing we accomplished was being inconsistent. Some people say, “I like being unpredictable and spontaneous.” That might be true. However, you don’t really like that in others. You might say, “Sure I do! I love spontaneous, unpredictable people.”
Consider your last hotel stay. Were your expectations met? Think about the last restaurant you visited. How was the food and service? Your children went to school this morning. Did you expect his or her teacher(s) to be there? How about the last doctor’s visit or church service or trip to the grocery store? All of a sudden, when taken out of the context of “me,” spontaneous and unpredictable becomes a nuisance.
The Value of Priorities
Anthony Robbins once said, “In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It is not what we do once in a while that shape our lives, but what we do consistently.” What do you want your life to look like?
Once we figure that out, we can then determine what things need to be done consistently. Is it important to do this? I can’t say “YES” loudly enough. Your life will be the sum of your habits, whatever those are. If your habits are being spontaneous and unpredictable then your life will be spontaneous and unpredictable.
Prioritizing things makes a difference if you stick to your plan. Sticking to the plan is key to being consistent. In writing this blog, it’s the first thing I do when I get to the office in the mornings. If I have other important things to do in the mornings, I adjust my schedule, not the activities, to accommodate that. Basically, if there was something important enough to put on my schedule early, then I get to the office even earlier so there is time to write. This helps improve my consistency because it is important enough. Incidentally, I am actually at a hotel this week. I had to schedule myself accordingly to allow myself the time to write.
It is not what we do once in a while that shape our lives, but what we do consistently.
Allowing for Spontaneity
Okay, I get it. We all want to have fun. We all get bored. We all get tired with the same old, same old. How do we allow for spontaneity while making sure important things remain important? I think there are a few things that can help.
Add in some variability with things that aren’t critical and add in some fun with those things. Put off going to the bank to go have lunch with your spouse. Take an extra few minutes at lunch to play with your kids a little longer. Take a spur of the moment night out with friends. The key to allowing for the free spirit side of us is to limit it to things that are less critical. I don’t want the free spirit, spontaneous side of myself to design my schedule or determine my priorities.
What you do consistently will shape your life. So, how is yours looking lately? Are you being consistent with the things that are most important? Are you letting the right things shape your life?
What are some things that have kept you from being consistent in the things you do? Feel free to comment. We would love to hear from you!