Consistency Over Drive
The energy, determination, and enthusiasm that we develop and invest in order to reach our goals is a powerful thing, and certainly much needed.
But what if consistency – our capacity of repeating the same behavior over and over – played a bigger role when it comes to working towards our goals?
Drive is not the only strength to have. Instead of pausing or giving up when your drive slows down because of exhaustion or weariness, remind yourself how inaction is likely to pull you away from your goals. Start implementing consistency instead.
Practicing consistency is like doing one small step after another without stopping. Small but regular. The repetition of one small action, day after day, requires less energy in the moment but provides bigger results in the long run.
It is like preparing for a marathon: training consists in running shorter distances on a regular basis, instead of running 42.195 km once in a while.
Sure, you definitely need the drive, the will to achieve such a goal – crossing the finish line under a certain time. But that is consistency in your training that takes you closer to achieving the objective you’ve set for yourself.
And talking about running and the parallel with achieving work goals, the lawyer and 15x marathoner Meredith Simmons well describes in her article what marathon running taught her about long-term goal setting and achievement.
Start by establishing how much time you are willing to invest in your pursuits – which often the time and effort you feel comfortable and capable of investing is closely related to how important those goals are to you.
Fulfillment Over Consistency
It is a fact that I am sure we can all agree with: we are willing to work harder for the things we enjoy doing. Why is that?
Because they’re fulfilling, they bring joy and satisfaction, so they naturally require less effort from us.
Drive is necessary, consistency is essential, and fulfillment is certainly sine qua non to success.
That is one of the things that the recent Olympics Games events have shown: athletes work very hard for many years, they do a lot of sacrifices, they practice regular and intense training sessions. Representing their nation and getting a medal is the ultimate goal. But whether they win or not, it is because they continue finding fulfillment in their sport that they’re able to keep going.
This is through fulfillment that drive keeps being fueled.
What about methodology then?
When you set personal or professional goals, drive, consistency, and fulfillment are essential and bring you strength at different levels. To that, I’d like to add ‘methodology’ as part of the path to success – because having a framework, having a system in place will support your pursuits.
Covered in previous blog posts, we’ve already discussed how structure and productivity techniques such as the time-blocking strategy help achieve goals successfully.
Let’s use an example: you have this new career goal at work, which is to get a Management role by the end of the year.
First, you want to make sure that you fully understand what new responsibilities you’ll be taking, and you evaluate how likely you’ll like them.
Then, planning should come into place: what skills do I need to strengthen specifically for the role? What training and courses should I attend to support my goal, and how often? What team meetings should I organize to support my ambition? How can I collect feedback from my team and learn from it? Etc.
Your drive is up, and you are ensured that such a new role is likely to fulfill you. It is then worth using some planning and methodology, to help you be consistent with your progress.
You need a tool to store and track your goal-related tasks, and a space where you can evaluate how much time you’re going to spend working on them.
By planning your goal-oriented tasks in your calendar and keeping track of time, not only you make yourself accountable but you’re also able to picture how close you are to your final goal.
Everyday KosmoTime helps its users schedule their tasks and achieve their goals. The recent Connected Accounts feature – which allows you to display all your personal and work calendars in one place – is very soon going to be completed by an even more powerful feature: the Multi Calendar Sync.
Consistency Over Drive