I just watched my brother play his most difficult and last varsity soccer game of his sophomore year. It was against the number one ranked team in the state. And, what I saw from my brother was the best game of his career. From the first minute to the last, he was the most electric player on the field. He had a focus on always making the appropriate play and a concentration on giving his best effort on every opportunity. It was very inspiring and reminded me of my best sports performances.
I remember winning a youth hockey tournament via a shootout, with the puck on my stick. I remember pitching a one-hitter in a single elimination baseball playoff game. And I remember shutting down some of the best athletes for entire games in one-on-one match ups.
But I also remember important sectional games, playoff games, and championship games where I was almost non-existent. I remember games where I played lazy and with little effort. And games where I couldn’t understand my own actions. Even post-game, upon reflection, I couldn’t understand why I didn’t perform at the top level I knew I was capable of.
And this doesn’t just apply to sports. I remember my workout programs fading halfway through. I remember my great business ideas ending after the first few weeks of effort. I remember my perfectly planned diet not lasting more than a month. And I remember work presentations where I just wasn’t prepared and fully present. And what I realized is that there was one main trait setting me apart from achieving those top notch performances, and being a top notch performer. And that is consistency.
Consistency is your ability to perform at a high level, every time it’s required. It’s about being at your best when it matters most, every time. And it’s even about being at your best, when it doesn’t matter, in preparation for the moments that do.
I’m eating healthier today than anytime previously. This is because I’ve meal prepped for 8 out of 10 weeks. I’m more fit today than I’ve ever been. And it’s because I haven’t missed a workout in three months. And this blog is the best thing I’ve created outside my career. And it’s because I’ve worked on it almost everyday since March.
The soccer players that make it professionally, likely practice more often and harder than those who don’t. The people who are fit, likely workout and eat healthier more often than those who aren’t. The one’s who are wealthy, likely invest and learn about investing more often than those who aren’t. Consistency is about doing things often, with effort and focus. And that consistency is what can make that one great soccer game, into one great soccer career.
Here are the things I’ve learned to help me become more consistent, and achieve greater success.
Set Yourself up for Success
Curating a plan, environment and well-being to begin has made a big impact for me.
Here are a few examples of the plans I develop first:
- To Eat Healthy: I plan my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks before the week starts. So, when the hunger arises during the week, I already know what to make or eat.
- To Workout Everyday: I’ve selected a workout routine to follow and scheduled a time to do it. So, when it’s time to workout, I already know what I’m doing.
- To Grow Wealth: I know how much money I’m going to invest, and where I’m going to put it once I receive my paycheck. Therefore, when I get payed, I already know what to do with it.
Here are a few examples of the environments I setup second:
- To Eat Healthy: I stock my kitchen with the necessary ingredients for all my meals over the weekend (fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, etc.). I get rid of any junk food. Therefore when I’m hungry, I’m forced to eat the only food I have… which is healthy food from the plan I created.
- To Workout Everyday: I setup my laptop to play the workout program I am doing beforehand along with my gym clothes and equipment. Therefore, when I walk into my apartment and it’s time to workout, it’s just as much work to put away my workout setup rather than just complete it.
- To Grow Wealth: I setup automatic deposits from my paycheck, into my investment accounts based on my financial plan. Therefore, it’s harder to prevent myself from investing rather than to maintain it.
Lastly, I want to make sure I focus on my well-being throughout the week. If I’ve slept well, I won’t be too tired to cook. If I’ve followed my nutrition plan, I won’t be too hungry to workout. Make sure you’re living a well-balanced, healthy life or things go off the rails real quick.
So, set yourself up for success by creating a plan, curating an environment, and focusing on your well-being. With these three things, you’ll surely start off consistent.
Quantity and Quality Matters
If you want to get better at something, you need to do it often and with great effort. Like I mentioned earlier, if someone is better than you at something, they’re likely practicing harder (quantity) or smarter (quality).
To get good at something, you really need to practice it often. I got to a point with my 5k running where I wasn’t getting any better by running 3 days a week. No matter how hard I was pushing myself, the results weren’t there compared to when I started running 4 or 5 days a week. Increasing the quantity of whatever you’re trying to achieve, will likely increase your results.
But, going through the motions won’t help either. If I’m reading a book without focusing on the content and how it applies, it doesn’t matter how much I read, I won’t learn. If I’m playing brain games, I won’t improve if I’m not continually pushing myself to get better scores. Whatever you’re doing, focus on the quality. Don’t go through the motions to get it done. Practice everything like it’s your last soccer game of the year.
Learn to Love the Process
No matter if you’ve set yourself up for success and focused on both quality and quantity, it’ll be very difficult to maintain your consistency if you don’t love the process.
Many people are goal-oriented. Which isn’t always bad but can have negative effects. If your end goal is to have 6-pack abs or a $10,000 savings account, you’ll either lose motivation very quick or be disappointed with the results. Because getting a 6-pack or saving $10,000 can be a long, time-consuming process. And during that process, the changes in your body or wallet will progress very slowly and likely won’t provide that much motivation. And then if you do end up getting 6-pack abs or $10,000, you realize it’s really not as great as you expected it to be. And that feeling of accomplishment subsides rather quickly. It’s like if you’ve saved up money to buy a Ferrari and then you finally end up buying it. A week or two later, you kind of forget you’re driving a Ferrari.
That’s why you should learn to love the process because that love doesn’t fade easily. Kobe Bryant still shoots tons of basketball shots everyday even though he’s a retired NBA player because he loved to practice. If you learn to love working out, the sweat all over your body, the sense of accomplishment and endorphin rush immediately after, that’s what’s going to drive you to continue. If you love looking at every paycheck and watching your investment accounts jump up just a little, you’re more likely to stick with it. Learn to love the process and not the end goal. The process happens everyday. The end goal is few and far between.
Being consistent in life is extremely hard. Do your best to set yourself up for success, focus on quality and quantity, and learn to love the process. And even if you follow all of these things, you’ll still skip a workout, eat junk food, and blow some money every once in a while. And that’s ok. But get right back on that consistency train and just keep chugging. Because…
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Hey, I am Brandon Zerbe
Welcome to myHealthSciences! My goal has always been to increase quality-of-life with healthy habits that are sustainable, efficient and effective. I do this by covering topics like Cognitive Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Sleep, Financial Independence and Minimalism. You can read more about me here.
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