Wanting something and working for something are two different things. We may all want something, but not all work for something. That’s not to say we don’t want to work for it, but sometimes it is a whole lot easier to give up than it is to keep going.
The difference between succeeding and not succeeding usually comes down to two words: consistent action. In working with people over the years I have often found myself wondering what the key difference is between reaching a goal and falling short. Once all of our basic needs are met, we can essentially achieve anything we desire if we work for it consistently.
To get the results that clients desire, it's important to re-iterate that consistent action is essential.
I recently had the opportunity to work with two clients who demonstrated how the concept of consistent action works.
Client number one
Sally is in her late fifties. For the last six years, her New Year’s resolution was to run a 5k. This year she again vowed to run a 5k and became more focused than she had been in the past. She downloaded a Couch to 5K app on her phone, selected a 5k race and committed to training three days per week. Each morning, she trained and took a picture of her final time on the treadmill. As the first month of serious training came and went, she noticed she got faster and her endurance improved. She also realized she enjoyed the new routine. She completed her first 5k in April, and signed up for another in May. Sally has made a new goal to complete a 5K every month of the year. Not only this, but as a result of her consistent training she is at her healthiest weight in years—an unintentional, but welcome outcome of her 5k training.
Client number two
John wants to lose 50 pounds. He decided to work out three mornings per week. He mentioned his biggest hurdle is the fear of failing. He got through the first week well, but after the second week, he missed two workouts, and by the third week he had stopped going to the gym altogether. At this point his goal has slowly faded out of sight.
The same amount of time has passed for both Sally and John but the end results are vastly different. Sally has met and surpassed her goal whereas John hasn’t really yet embarked on his. There is nothing wrong with either scenario; rather, this is an opportunity to observe.
The difference between Sally and John is their consistency with taking action. Action is not always easy. It is one of the reasons many people struggle with achieving their goals. Falling off the wagon is normal, but the key is whether you choose to get back on.
It might take someone seven days, seven weeks, seven months or seven years to reach a goal. Regardless of the timeframe, it boils down to this: consistent action. No one said it was going to be easy, but acting consistently to reach our goals is empowering. Empower yourself, create your own journey, get back on the wagon, take action and be consistent. The rest will fall into place.