September 13

The Power of Consistency: 4 Strategies To Make Change Easy, Effective, Sustainable


I think most of my friends and most of my clients would describe me as disciplined. Probably overly disciplined. I am that person who exercises without anyone forcing me to, I am that person who passes on dessert and chooses an extra vegetable over french fries, and I am that person who wakes up before the alarm and goes straight to work despite the fact that I have no boss and no time clock. 

Now that would be obnoxious or sound like bragging if I didn’t tell you the back story. I am also that person who could not make it to an 11 o’clock class in college, I am the person who was 50 pounds overweight because I always chose french fries, and I am that person who was ready with the “traffic” excuse, or “my alarm did not go off” excuse because I could not get to work on time even though I had a boss and a time clock. 

So, what changed? I discovered the power of consistency. The secret to making small changes, when done repeatedly, has a compounding effect.  I discovered that my problem wasn’t change; it was that the change that I thought I needed to make was too big, too overwhelming. 

For instance, I did not want to always choose vegetables over french fries, and getting up early was not something I wanted to do every single day. The way that change was presented to me was always an all-or-nothing. Either make the change and succeed or don’t make the change and fail. For me, failing was just easier.

Then one day, I was listening to an elite athlete talking about working out and getting in shape. She said her secret was not an amazing trainer, a brutal routine, or lucky genes; it was simply consistency. 

She was committing to do smaller, shorter workouts done on a regular basis. By creating a workout routine that was achievable, she was more drawn to it and motivated by it. That everyday commitment created a compounding effect. That compounding effect motivated her to push a little harder, do a little more, and create more dramatic and, more importantly, more long-lasting results. 

I was intrigued, so I started to make this shift in my life. Rather than give french fries up completely, I would give them up one day a week. Not ready to commit to getting up at 6 a.m. every day, I could commit to twice a week, and what if three times a month, I committed to being the first person in the office? Could I do that? 

By creating small achievable goals, I made a change that was comfortable for me, easy to do, and, most importantly, easy to become successful. That success lead me to want to do more and more of it, putting me in a position eight years later to go from someone who could not get to work on time to someone who has more hours put in before most people get up. To go from someone who never chose a healthy meal to someone who rarely skips one.

The path is easy, and the results speak for themselves. So, where do you start, and how do you begin the process of consistency in your life and business?  

4 Strategies You Need To Make Change Easy, Effective, Sustainable

1. Choose a change you want to make – start somewhere, anywhere. It doesn’t matter what you choose first, because eventually, you will want to do this in all areas of your life and business. You may choose to eat healthier, spend more time with your kids, or increase your work performance. 

2. Break it Down – now make it easy. What are one or two small changes you make in that area? What seems easy to commit to? Maybe once a month, you will spend a Saturday doing whatever your kids want to do, or once a week, you’ll leave the office at 5 and make it family pizza night. Maybe you will start every Monday morning with 20 minutes of exercise. What is one small change you can add and create a consistent strategy for it?

3. Create The Time – now schedule the time. Whatever small change you choose, you need to determine when you will do it and calendar it. For instance, when  I decided not to eat french fries once a week, I chose Thursdays as my day. I opted for broccoli on Thursdays. It was easy because I knew I could have french fries again on Friday, but I calendared Thursdays as my day.

4. Just Do It – and last but not least, just do it. This is probably the most challenging part of this (and believe me, this is not hard), but you have to jump in, you have to start, and commit to making these small changes according to when you created the time to do it.

Think about this, if you improve just one area of your life by a small margin, the compounding effect will surprise you and build your confidence. Take me, for example; By the end of the year, I had eaten 52 fewer plates of french fries – how good is that for me? When I realized I could actually get up at 6 am, two days a week, you know what happened? That’s right; I was up before six every single day. It just seemed to happen. 

So what do you have to lose? Put these strategies into place and tap into the power of consistency.

Meridith Elliott Powell

Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

Related Posts

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to Receive Meridith's Updates & Insights!