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.”
Many times in life we jump into a project, diet or other life-changing program with incredible determination and drive. But, after 5-10 days we find that it is more difficult than anticipated and we allow our previous habits to win out and overwhelm our new found passion. What was the problem? Was it that we tried to do too much, too soon? Was it the program’s fault? Poor teaching? Genetics? I believe it was that we have a difficult time following the Law of Consistency.
Jim Collins, best-selling author of Good to Great, defines a breakthrough as a series of good decisions, diligently executed, that accumulate overtime. To make significant changes on your life takes patience and a process. Researchers determined that in order 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, maybe we shouldn’t continue?
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.”
Here are a few steps from Maxwell’s Law of Consistency from his 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth that can lead you to the consistent habits you desire:
Know what you need to improve: Identify your areas for growth. You can utilize the leadership assessment from Maxwell’s 21 Laws or Ziglar’s Wheel of Life to identify your one to two areas for personal/professional growth. Know your passion and write your legacy sentence today.
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.
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. Be intentional. You can correlate the success of any man to his daily agenda.
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. Who is in your inner circle?
Changing your life can be a 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.
Your time is valuable, we all have the “History of our Future” to write: