I want to share with you one of the most important lessons I learned this year. If you apply this principle in 2012, you’ll find it has an amazing power to transform your life and bring you success.
It’s the secret that finally got me to successfully adopt an exercise routine that I could stick to longer than any other time in my life. Usually I would only last a week or two with my knew fitness habit, and then it would fall to the wayside.
But this time I did one thing differently and it made all the difference. What was the secret?
I worked on my goal at least a little consistently every day.
You see, previously I would start small by setting a goal to work out 3 times a week. After all, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I figured if I got that down I could then up it to 4 and then 5 days.
The problem is it was too easy to lose momentum. Every day I would have this little conversation with myself about whether not that day was one of my exercise days or now. Even if I set specific days (e.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday) it still wasn’t enough to reach critical momentum.
I needed to be more consistent.
Consistency leads to habits. Habits for the actions we take every day. Action leads to success.
It’s like when they launch a space shuttle. Most of the fuel is burned early on to move against gravity and the friction of air. However, at a point the shuttle finally reaches a point where it doesn’t have to burn nearly as much fuel to escape the atmosphere.
When you first begin changing your behavior (i.e. exercise more, eat less, read more books, etc.) it takes a certain momentum to overcome the patterns that you have set previously. At first you have to expend more energy to escape those old patterns. But as you consistently focus on behaving in a new way, the pathways in your brain literally begin to change.
Over time it becomes easier to maintain that momentum. A body in motion tends to stay in motion.
So rather than just hitting the “rocket boosters” three times a week, I tried hitting them every day.
I told myself that even if I just put my exercise clothes on and got on the elliptical, then that counted as achieving my exercise goal for that day. It didn’t matter if I was on there for five minutes or forty-five minutes. It didn’t matter if my average heart rate was 135 or 165.
At first my goal was just to take action every day. Then with time I could focus on the effectiveness of my actions — the results of my workout.
When I went into the gym every day, I quickly started to feel momentum. It was a lot harder to skip a day when I had done it every day for the previous two weeks. It was a lot harder to rationalize my way out of it. Plus the pressure was off because, again, I was focusing on consistency, not results at first.
And, as they say, within a month the new habit had formed.
So how can you apply this to your internet business?
We teach our coaching students to do at least one thing every day to build your business. As long as you sit down at your desk and take one action that day, then it counts. It doesn’t matter if you did the most important action or even if it produced results. What matters is that you took consistent action.
Soon you will find that momentum kicks in. Working on your business becomes a habit. You will see more results working on your business for 30 minutes a day then if you tell yourself you’ll do two hours a week…at least at first. That’s because you need to form a habit. Habits only come from consistency.
If you want to get even better results, even be consistent with the time of day that you do it.
So, as you think about the goals that you want to set in 2012, remember the following.
- Success is reached one habit at a time.
- Habits are formed through consistent action.
- At first, focus on consistency not results. Later you can work on the effectiveness of your action.