A Key to Success: Be Consistent

Over the years I heard the best way to learn something is to to teach it. Well, this week's topic, practicing consistent behavior, is definitely something I need to learn and practice more effectively.

When I made the commitment to refocus my energies on writing again, I had the best intentions. I planned to have a new column for distribution every Tuesday morning. Early morning. Which meant the actual column needed to be written by Monday night.

I spent a great deal of time considering how often to publish this column and I thought a weekly deadline was doable. I wrote the first two columns in an afternoon and actually had three weeks before the next column would be due.

"Plenty of time!" I thought.

The days went by and so did the first week. I promised myself that I'd write this week's column the next week. But each day something came up that required my time and attention. I wish I could tell you it was something that truly had a higher priority than this personal and professional goal I had set for myself, but I can't.

Solitaire and e-mail were the two big time stealers. Yikes! It hurts to admit it to myself, never mind share that truth with you. But there it is.

I was defeating my business and personal goals by wiling away the hours playing solitaire and checking my e-mail.

Monday, the day of my deadline, arrived and I tried to get focused. I had worked the night before and slept until noontime. I had signed up for a teleclass that lasted from 12:30 until 3 p.m. I had another conference call at 4 p.m. I had promised to take my daughter to a musical performance at 7 p.m.

We arrived home at 9 p.m. and while I wanted to get this article written, I was too tired to focus on anything except my bed.

"No problem," I told myself. "I'll write a column tomorrow. I can still get it sent out on Tuesday."

But Tuesday morning I was meeting an associate for a breakfast meeting. I ran a few personal errands and got home around noontime. I needed to tidy up some coaching loose ends and knew that once I finished those I could concentrate on writing.

I did those things, and was feeling better.

"Ah..." I thought. "I'll just play one game of solitaire before getting down to business. This will be my reward for all that I accomplished today."

An hour later my son came home from school.

You know where this is going, don't you? You know that this column didn't get written yesterday. You know that I felt terrible because I let myself down.

Looking back over these past three weeks, I can tell you exactly what my downfall was. It was lack of consistent behavior. Or even more accurately, you could say it was consistent poor behavior.

I made the wrong choices over and over again. And because I did that my goal to have this column written for Monday night didn't get met. I also didn't take advantage of writing columns for the future so that I would always be several columns ahead.

This week look at your life and your goals. What do you want to accomplish? What actions are you taking on a regular basis to support or defeat your chances for success? What can you do to change your focus or establish your priorities so that you can provide the time, energy, and resources to consistently do what you need to do?

Playing solitaire is fun, relaxing, and let's my mind go totally blank. I have vegged out in front of my computer for hours at a time playing this game. Some days that is okay. Some days I want and need to drift away into a mindless activity.

But when I do that too often, when I do that because it is easier than doing what I really want to be doing, I am doing more than wasting a few hours of my time. I am actually undermining my chance for future success. I'm establishing a pattern for dealing with things that may challenge me. I'm telling myself that my desire to write is not important.

Jim Rohn says: "Neglect starts as an infection and spreads, then it erodes your self-value. To stop the spread take action-- discipline yourself to accomplish something."

If you want to achieve something--anything--in your personal or professional life, then do something. And do it consistently.

Copyright 2005. Donna Doyon, Activities Coordinator for Your Virtual Retreat is the author of GLOW: Renew Your Spirit & Release Your Inner Beauty. She offers information, inspiration and encouragement to people who want to say goodbye to self defeating attitudes and behaviors and hello to greater success, healthier relationships and more joyful living. Get inspired at her website: http://www.donnadoyon.com.

In The News:


Don?t Wait for the Perfect Plan

1. Don't Spend Too Much Time PlanningWhen you are entering... Read More

The ABCs of Fundraising

There are many little details that go into making sure... Read More

How to Get Maximum Results With Minimum Effort

Get maximum results with minimum effort. Sounds great doesn't it?... Read More

Top 10 Record Keeping Mistakes Business Owners Make (and How To Avoid Them)

If you interviewed business owners of failed businesses, a majority... Read More

How to Create an Employee Manual

Large corporations use employee manuals to both educate employees about... Read More

Do I Have to Do EVERYTHING Myself?!

The air in my client's office nearly crackled with her... Read More

Janitorial Cleaning Service: Getting Started

A janitorial cleaning service is one of the best businesses... Read More

Take a Break - Have a Pity Party

Pity parties are nothing new. In fact, we do it... Read More

Solving the Late Paying Customer Blues

Nothing can drive a business down faster than customers who... Read More

Cabinet Refacing Business Opportunities

With all the cabinet refacing business opportunities out there, you... Read More

Why Internet Shopping is the New Mall of the Future

Last year, trillions of dollars transferred hands on the internet... Read More

7 Reasons To Take Control Of Your Small Business? Checking Needs

Business checks are available in many styles and varieties. They... Read More

The Power of Why: Your Psychological Ally To Marketing Success!

Here's why 'WHY' is such a profit-making marketing trigger."Stop taking... Read More

Professional House Cleaning - The Dirty Little Secret

Are you tired yet of all the books out there... Read More

Two Types Of Business Plan Cover Pages ? Which One Are You Using?

This is the tale of two business plans with very... Read More

Get Approved for a Franchise

Deciding to start your own franchise is just one of... Read More

Online Search: Small Businesses Level The Playing Field

Seventy percent of US households use the web when shopping... Read More

Survival Tips For Your Small Business

No matter type of business you operate you've got to... Read More

How to Remove Stress from Owning a Business... Forever!

I meet and talk to hundreds and hundreds of business... Read More

Three Small Business Secrets to Getting More Billable Time

As small business owners we're in business to make money... Read More

Is This The Way Its Always Been Done?

Let's face it, we all tend to get stuck in... Read More

Job Costing - Do You Know How?

What's your job profitability? I meet with business owners every... Read More

Why is My Restaurant Not Full Every Monday Night?

In a quest for customers and to keep those customers,... Read More

The Game Plan ? The Difference Between Small Business Success And Failure

It is an American dream to own a business. But... Read More

Advertising - For Small Businesses (Part 2)

How to do itPeople skim through newspapers and magazines and... Read More