Parents sometimes find themselves wishing for a magic wand or a supernatural power to make things go more smoothly and get everything done. Great news! There’s a magical power we all possess and that should be a part of every parents’ toolbox.
This power: consistency.
Consider for a moment just how many aspects of life can be improved by simply acting consistently. From the cleanliness of our homes, to the character of our children, to the level of our fitness—consistency is key. By focusing on the ability to be consistent, you can improve everything.
A common roadblock on the journey to productivity is perfectionism. While trying to be “perfect” sounds lofty, it usually means that if it seems something can’t be done perfectly, it’s avoided altogether. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, this may sound familiar.
Focusing on consistency rather than a perfect outcome changes the requirements of the task at hand. Instead of focusing on the end result, focus on the work itself—showing up consistently, again and again, until it’s done. The outcome takes care of itself.
So, whatever your to-do list entails or whatever projects you’re trying to get off the ground, commit yourself to showing up for them consistently and see what happens.
Consistency may be the most important aspect of disciplining and teaching children. If you outline the consequences, then you need to follow through accordingly. Being clear and consistent about the standards and expectations of the household will provide predictability and security for your children. What’s more, you can model consistency to your children by living by the values you espouse. If you’re a good example, the message will be consistent as well.
You know that feeling when you’ve been busy with other things so the house cleaning has taken a back seat and then you get a call from a relative you haven’t seen in a while, saying they’re in town and thinking of stopping by in 10 minutes? Time to panic clean!
Consistency can help solve this problem. Rather than caring for your home infrequently in an emergency or when it’s gotten totally out of hand, consistently taking on small cleaning tasks every day is so much easier. Make daily tasks small and doable, pair them with enjoyable activities such as listening to a podcast or audiobook, or coupling them with a fresh cup of coffee or tea. The key is to show up each day and do the things that will make your home a more peaceful and enjoyable place to be—and one that can welcome guests at any time.
Perhaps the most obvious aspect of life that consistent behavior affects is our health. You can’t just eat really well once in a while and expect to remain in top shape. You need to consistently nurture your mind and body with a clean environment, nutritious foods, plenty of sunshine, and regular movement. To maintain a healthy state, consistency is key.
Perhaps less obvious is the impact consistency can have on your personal finances. Tracking what you spend, regularly saving and investing, maintaining a budget, and paying down debt all require consistent attention and action. If you’re not where you want to be financially, see if you can improve your consistency in that area.
Big goals don’t just achieve themselves. They call for consistent review and action to bring them to fruition. If you’re not consistently reviewing your biggest goals in life and consistently taking small actions to move them forward, you’re selling yourself short.
We’re all on a spiritual journey, whether we realize it or not. Consistently engaging in your spiritual practice or allowing yourself the time and space to ponder life’s biggest questions will enrich your life in unimaginable ways. The most profound benefits of consistency may come from consistently nurturing your inner spirit.