They may be consistently inconsistent but that’s still being consistent.
Mostly, the word consistency gets spoken about in a positive light. “Someone is consistent with doing X.”
However, we can be consistent at being rude, consistent at never returning messages, consistent at showing up late for every meeting, etc.
I created a simple formula to articulate it more and how to determine if we can change it or not.
Consistency = patterns / priority
What patterns have we established that are tried and true and won’t change without a ton of work? Think about what our friends or colleagues are “known” for. What labels can we put on them? Those are their patterns.
What are we known for?
Now, people can change. It’s true. And that is where priority comes in. The patterns never change until the priority level rises.
Once we can reprioritize what is important then we have the opportunity to alter our patterns and build consistency with new habits or routines.
That’s the only way it works.
It starts from the inside. From the belief that we can change and we want to change. Whatever the motivator it generally won’t matter until we make the tough decision to prioritize first.
When it has more priority it gets done. It gets focused on. There is a chance it can change.
But, let’s not forget. Consistency isn’t always good if it’s for the wrong things. If we prioritize things that are unhealthy or detrimental to our life then it can work in the other direction as well.
We have to continually focus on managing our priority list and making the most important things higher. We have to build better routines and habits off of those priorities. We have to be consistently good at sticking to those newly formed habits to create change.
That change can build a new foundation for us. One we can build consistent patterns off of going forward.
By creating this avenue for change, we have a better chance to become the person we want to become and it can help us change the “labels” that society puts on us, especially if we don’t agree with them.
If you sit on a beach long enough you notice the water levels rise and fall, waves crash into the land, and the wind swirls around. It’s never the same but it’s always in unison.
It’s like motivation.
When you are motivated everything flows together; your attitude, your words, even the spring in your step.
When you are unmotivated it feels sluggish and stagnant. We feel stuck.
But unlike the unpredictability of the ocean, we can be more predictable when we get into these ruts and get out of them quicker.
We just have to recognize the patterns.
This is where journaling or other forms of documentation might be helpful. We need to understand the patterns and how we can create that spark again, and keep it going longer.
As an example, I learned that I get a ton of motivation from feeding off critiques and feedback from trusted friends. When I start to feel unmotivated, I trigger myself to have a conversation with one of them. They give me that spark. It resets my brain and I can get unstuck much quicker.
Your spark could be anything so the first step is to recognize when you begin to feel motivated and analyze how you got there. What got you there? That’s a great place to start.
You want to recreate that feeling whenever you start to get into a low spot.
It’ll help you return there more often and get you out of a rut much sooner.