What is consistency really? Does consistency simply mean regularity? How can I tell if I’m consistent or not in my pursuits?
In the previous episodes of this series, we considered:
- The origin and definition of the word consistency.
- 10 reasons why consistency is important
- 8 things that consistency is not
In this article, we shall consider the eleven things you need to know about consistency. I try to outline the 11 things that are essential ingredients of consistency.
11 things about Consistency you must know
So, below here are the eleven elements or ingredients that define consistency. These elements have to be present, not just time and output. So, let’s briefly look at each element.
1. Consistency is Taking action:
You neither talk nor dream consistency; you practice consistency. Consistency is doing a thing when you’ve set out to do it, how it should be done, the number of times it needs to be done, where it needs to be done and showing that it was done by the results you produce. So, you can’t be said to be consistent if you are doing nothing. There must be an action.
2. Consistency has Regularity:
This is an important element of consistency. If the action you perform isn’t regular and repeated, then you aren’t consistent. And by regularity, I mean a pattern that has been determined at the beginning of the goal which you must necessarily keep to. If I decide on how and when to work on the goal at the beginning of a goal, that pattern has to be kept. Consistency can be cyclic but it’s still overall regular.
3. Consistency is Measurable:
You can only tell if you’re consistent in a thing when there is a measurable output, with parameters to measure the quantity and quality of the output. For instance, consistency isn’t about going to the library to study daily, which is good. Consistency is going there and studying a given number of pages/chapters of that book. So, there has to be an output and that output needs parameters to measure it. Churning the same amount of output isn’t enough, quality is important too.
4. Consistency is goal and results-driven:
Although it focuses on the little daily things that birth the result, consistency also has the ultimate goal in mind as it goes about ticking off the small daily results. This is important because most times, it is the big ultimate goal that pulls you to be consistent despite the hiccups you face along the way to its accomplishment.
5. Consistency is firmness/togetherness irrespective of feelings:
It is implicit in something consistent to be firm or together. If clay soil is consistent, it simply means that it is together, well kneaded, without air pockets and other unwanted elements in-between. So, consistency doesn’t permit air pockets in-between because the air pockets are responsible for the cracks that develop along the way. Therefore, the togetherness of purpose, firmness in pursuing an objective are essential elements in consistency. Even when there are adjustments because of new understanding or contingencies, the pursuit of purpose isn’t compromised.
6. Consistency has direction and focus on the target:
Therefore I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight like I am beating the air, said Apostle Paul. As earlier stated, there must be a target in consistency. It is the target that will serve as the compass, giving direction along the way. Without targets, there can’t be focus. And without focus, nothing will be accomplished no matter how capable you are.
7. Consistency is a Habit:
Consistency isn’t a once-in-a-while attitude but a habit that is formed over time of doing certain things repeatedly. It is not based on how you feel today or will feel tomorrow; it goes beyond that. When done over time, the necessary steps that need to be taken to accomplish a goal become a habit. Habit, therefore, is a necessary element of consistency. I guess this doesn’t require much explanation.
8. Consistency has Predictability:
Where there is consistency, the behaviour and outcome are predictable to a great extent. A consistent person’s behaviour and response in the face of circumstances can be predicted because it has become a habit. I can’t tell for sure if Barcellona will get to the finals of the Champions League this season, but I can tell that they’ll strive to win a triplet this season. Why? They’ve been consistent with their accomplishments for several years. So, you can tell that their results this year will be consistent with those of the previous years.
9. Consistency is Reliability of results
This is both an element and a product of consistency. Consistency entails reliability, consistency also breeds reliability, not just on the results but on the individual. This stems from the point above on predictability. You become consistent when your results can be relied on. And reliability on your person stems from your consistency over time. David in the Bible was consistent in his results; his defeat of Goliath was simply consistent with his defeat of the lions and bears that came to take his sheep. And such consistency is what made dejected and fearful men follow him to form one of the fiercest crops of soldiers of his days.
10. Consistency is a pattern of coherence or harmony:
If a heart is good, its sound is normal, the contractions will be good, its beat will be normal, rhythmic and her electrical activity normal when monitored with the Holter. A normal heartbeat isn’t flat. It goes up and down when viewed on an electrocardiogram. Despite this up and down movement of the waves, a doctor expects it to be that way because that’s physiological. Consistency has a defined pattern because it’s an action that is done repeatedly over time. So, you can tell when the pattern is normal or altered.
11. Consistency has Uniformity of events:
Consistency is having uniformity, not contradictory actions. The things you do have to be uniform over time because they’re all geared towards hitting a particular target. If you’re training to become an Olympic gold medalist, I’d expect that your actions will be geared towards becoming fit physically, mentally and healthwise. You can’t be trained for that and still smoke, engage in excessive alcohol intake, poor diet, and other risky lifestyles. Those actions will be inconsistent with what you profess to be your goal.
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