I’m somewhat of a novice runner – part of the tribe aptly called the “weekend warriors”. The message I keep hearing from runners who have been at this more years than me is that – consistency is the key to improvement. All of a sudden it seems – the same theme keeps popping up over and over again. Not only in running but in life. Consistency is defined as “The quality of achieving a level of performance which does not vary greatly in quality over time”. Weldon Long calls consistency “a force so powerful it can move mountains and completely transform the fortunes of men, yet so subtle it’s easily and often overlooked”.
The magic of consistency lies in Momentum. Momentum is built by small individual repetitive actions that build onto one another and lead to progress and improvement. The question is, in the quest of success or improvement just how important is consistency?
1. Consistency allows you to measure progress Because the performance of a task is consistent and ongoing – it’s easy to see and measure progress periodically, whether it’s weekly or monthly. If you are consistent at carrying out a task you are steadily working with some sort of regularity and uniformity – therefore it is easy to measure present performance against past performance and progress can tangibly be measured.
2. Builds up a reputation in the business environment, with friends, family, and associates If you are consistent in business – associates and customers can know what sort of standard to expect from you, which makes you a reliable person both in business and with friends and family. This sort of dependability builds trust.
3. Helps you achieve goals Everyone knows that goals are achieved by sticking with it – aka Consistency. Big goals are achieved by cumulative small steps – so consistent work helps achieve large goals by working steadily on daily tasks. By being consistent and working steadily daily at a task – big goals can be achieved.
4. Allows for steady improvement over time Consistency leads to improvement over time. I’ll use running as an example. If you run a certain distance this week your body becomes stronger and the following week you can increase your weekly mileage by 10%. Your body gets stronger with each week and your running efficiency improves too. Steadily improving.