I’ve got some great news for you – achieving massive results only requires you to take a series of tiny steps, one at a time, over and over and over.
Isn’t that awesome? You don’t have to muster up some heroic strength and expend your greatest effort only to be left completely spent at the foot of another mountain.
Consistency is the key. Seriously, THE key.
Jim Rohn talks about this in his Challenge to Succeed series. Zig Ziglar illustrates it in his famous “Biscuits, Fleas, and Pump Handles” talk. Darren Hardy wrote an entire book about this called The Compound Effect (Affiliate links – highly recommend all three of these!).
Okay I’ll buy it. It sounds pretty smart to me. And that’s as far as I went for a long time.
But believing consistency is the key and practicing it are very different things. I believed it for years, but only started tracking it and practicing it about a year ago – BIG difference!
I’ve tried a number of different methods for tracking consistency as part of a goal-setting process, and I want to share the easiest process I’ve tried yet!
Here’s a look at one I’m using to track my time spent on Life Stoked (I just started using this on July 18th by the way – hence the black line).
So is this really helpful? Heck yes!
In Real Life
October started off pretty down for me. I couldn’t get motivated to work on Life Stoked hardly at all. Since it wasn’t growing and changing I was feeling even LESS motivated. It was a downward spiral really.
I was bummed I wasn’t getting things done. I was bummed I wasn’t growing and helping more people. I was just in a funk.
I took a look back at my Year In Review calendar (above) where I track the time I spent on Life Stoked. Any surprise I wasn’t making headway in mid October?
Of course not! I only spent about three hours on it in the first 18 days (22 days if you look back to September)!
This was a wake up call for me to get moving if I really wanted to see results.
If you wait for a feeling to start taking the action you will never be successful. Zig Ziglar taught me that and I’m a firm believer.
So there’s really only one thing to do if I want Life Stoked to succeed – get to work! And that’s what I did.
Since making this realization and being more focused these past three weeks I’ve been on fire! I’m having a blast writing new posts and connecting with other achievers.
All because of consistent action.
And in case you’re wondering, September started off similarly. And so did August.
What is it about a new month that kills my momentum?
I’m not sure yet, but you can be sure I’ve been diligent about starting November off better and I’ll be on high alert come December!
Why I Love This Calendar
I’ve tried a few different methods for measuring consistency.
I carry a moleskin where I track things like how much time I spend watching TV. It works pretty well, but it’s hard to get a big picture feel for how things are going.
I still use this quite a bit to track other things (I’ll share that in another post), but it’s hard to get a calendar like view of dates in a spreadsheet.
Year at a Glance
This calendar solves both those problems! One of my favorite features is that I can easily tell what day of the week. I do most of my writing on Wednesdays and Sundays. I can tell at a glance whether the time I spent working on Life Stoked that day was a regularly scheduled day or extra time during the week. Pretty awesome!
The 2012 calendar also has a month version that I really want to try.
Your Challenge (and Free Gift)
What behavior or activity could you be tracking that could dramatically change your results? Here’s a challenge for you:
There’s about six weeks left in 2011. Pick an action that done consistently would get you closer to your dreams. Here are some ideas:
- For health: Days lifting weights or running
- For bloggers: Number of articles written
- For smarts: Time spent reading educational books
- For attitude: Time spent listening to positive, inspirational material
- For the spirit: Time spent studying God’s word
Now start tracking it. George DeJohn from The Organized Life is giving the 2011 calendar FREE to Life Stoked readers.
[box type=”download” size=”large”]2011 Year at a Glance Calendar from The Organized Life
Download Now! [/box]
Do you track your efforts in key areas of your life? Has it helped you?