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Follow the Law of Consistency

I believe that consistency wins over intensity.

Here is what I mean.

Ever jump into a project, diet or other life-changing program with incredible determination and intensity; but after 5-10 days we find that it is more difficult than anticipated and we end up quitting. Allowing our previous habits to win out and overwhelm our new found passion? 

Ever say as a principal, I am going to get all of my observations (10) done this week. Then on Friday realizing you barely completed two. 

The feeling of guilt, disappointment or blame overwhelms the need for true reflection and growth. 

“Well, I got a lot done.” “Well, we had those issues with the angry parents.” “We had two birthdays, I couldn’t not eat the cake!” “It was a long week, exercise just didn’t fit in the schedule.”

We blame everything from the program to our genetics. 

At the end, choosing what is comfortable or easy over the change we so desperately desired. 

When what we need to do is take a look in the mirror, be gentle on ourselves, and learn to follow and implement the Law of Consistency.

In John Maxwell’s 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth, he stresses the idea that in order to make significant change, consistency has to be one of the main ingredients. 

He concluded that “Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”

There have been many times in my life as a college student (I’ll stay up all night and study), teacher (I’ll wake up early to get my lesson ready), dieter (I won’t eat tomorrow) as a principal (I’ll work through the weekend), marathon runner (I’ll double my miles next week), and business owner (I’ll send the family on a trip and work all week) when counting on INTENSITY rather than CONSISTENCY has caused more damage than achievement. 

Jim Collins, best-selling author of Good to Great, defines a breakthrough as a series of good decisions, diligently executed, that accumulate over time. 

To make significant changes in your life takes patience and a process. As a recovering addict, now over 15 years (2/12/2006), I had to learn to trust the process and live my the mantra, “One day at a time.” 

Sometimes this is one hour to one minute at a time. 

You see when it comes to creating a better result in your life, for your team, for your school consistency compounds! 

Researchers determined that in order to change learned behaviors it can take as much as a 16:1 ratio to replace a learned behavior or habit. For example, if the behavior you wish to change occurred 1,000 times in the past, it could take as many as 16,000 times of correct action for that learned behavior to change into a formed habit. 

Seems overwhelming I know.

You might be asking yourself, what’s the point? Or, I am successful enough now, no need for growth.

Maybe this is true, but you’ll never be the top in your field without consistent intentional actions towards creating a better result. 

Being consistent is what separates the very good from the great. 

Here are a few steps from John Maxwell’s Law of Consistency from his 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth that I have implemented that can lead you to the consistent habits you desire:

Know what you need to improve: Through reflection, it’s important to identify what areas do I need to improve in just as much as it’s is critical to know what is causing me NOT to improve. What’s getting in the way.

You can start by Identifying your areas for growth. By taking my DISC Leadership Profile I was able to identify my strengths (Creativity, Directing and Influencing) and Areas of Growth (Persisting, Relationships, Details and Processing) and do two things:

  1. Create a plan for growing in my areas of strength. 
  2. Surround myself with individuals who have strengths in my weaknesses. 

Many leaders make the mistake of working hard on their weaknesses, seeking to be great at everything. This is a mistake. The only reason to know your areas of growth is to manage them by avoiding this work in your life. Adding people to your team that have these areas as a strength in their life. 

Building a team that COMPLETES you. If you want to learn more our team is doing work with teams using two amazing tools. The DISC Leadership Assessment focused on Maxwell’s principles of leadership by Click Here to take one at a discounted rate. In 15 minutes you will fully understand your leadership, communication style, ideal working conditions and your strengths in leadership. 

the other tool is the Six Types of Working Genius created by Pat Lencioni. Both tools will assist you to identify where you should be focusing your time. Email me with a subject line (Workin Genius) to learn more and get your assessment ([email protected]).

Learn how to improve: Utilize a specific resource (book or proven program), find a teacher, mentor or coach to help you navigate your path and be your accountability partner. Develop a plan and start with the simple stuff. The strongest buildings began with a solid foundation. Most importantly, be patient and value the process.

We have multiple programs for personal and professional growth that will create new habits and lasting results. Check out our top leadership programs for yourself or email [email protected] for discounts and group rates.  

Know WHY you want to keep improving: Legendary football coach and leader Vince Lombardi said, “Once you learn to quit it becomes a habit.” You need to identify the WHYS for your improvement. The motivation and drive may not take you through every obstacle and distraction you encounter. Celebrate the wins, no matter the size, as those wins accrue overtime they will create radical difference in your life; and guide you towards the future you desire.

Know when you are supposed to improve: The answer is RIGHT NOW! Education professor Leo Buscaglia noted, “Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized.” So you need to get started if you haven’t already. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. 

Assess your environment: John Maxwell believes that if you find yourself at the head of the class, it’s time to change classes. If you want to be more you have to see more. Assess your environment, your followers. You are who you attract. Make sure you are surrounded by like-minded individuals, focused on the right things. Remember, we become the combined average of the five people we hang around the most. Below are the characteristics of a growth environment.  

If you are not in one, consider joining our Inner Circle for school leaders. (Inner Circle) We have mastermind groups running all year round. 

Changing your life can be daunting and scary, but when you identify your purpose, it is refreshing and rewarding knowing that you are taking steps to reach your maximum potential.

Life-enthusiast and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar emphasized, “You do not have to be excellent to start, but to be excellent one day, you will have to start.”

Just start with five minutes today working towards that new habit. If you don’t think five minutes is a long time, hold your breath for five. You’ll find out it is!

So GO!

Your friend,

Dr. Tom

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