This article first appeared on my Medium blog
Last week my YouTube channel surpassed 1000 subscribers. Now, I know numbers don’t really mean anything, what really matters is how many of those 1,000 subscribers are active participants in the channel, but reaching 1,000 subscribers in a little over 6 months made me want to analyse how that happened. After quite a bit of thought, I realised that the key to the success in anything is really down to consistency.
Of course, there are a lot of other factors involved. Things such as the quality and relevance of the content are also important, but none of those would be relevant if there was no consistency. Posting one video every 3 months, no matter how good the quality, would not result in 1,000 subscribers unless you were already a household name, or had a large following somewhere else.
This train of thought moved me towards looking at other areas where consistency made all the difference and I realised that if you want to be successful at anything, the key ingredient is always consistency. Want to learn a new language? Then you need to consistently practice the new words and expressions you learn. Want to get fit and run a marathon? You need to get out and run consistently. Want to get the promotion? You need to consistently work hard. Although there are other factors involved in all of these, the common factor is always consistency.
And this leads me to productivity. Whatever method you use to become more productive and get more important things done, the key again is consistency. When writing a book, you are not likely to be able to write a 60,000 word book in one sitting. It takes time and it takes consistency. Of all the books, seminars and courses I’ve written over the years, it has always been the ability to be able to sit down for an hour or two every day (or nearly every day) and write. Do that for 3 months and by the end of it you will have a book, a seminar or a course. There will of course be good days and bad days, allowing for some flexibility always keeps the process going, but you will have something. Then, in my case at least, a process of editing for three months will follow and at the end of that, you have something publishable.
Another good part of consistency is that after a few weeks, whatever it is you are trying to achieve will become a habit. Habits, particularly good habits, enable you to move forward consistently. If I go a few days without any exercise, I feel dreadful, both mentally (guilt) and physically. Exercise is a constant in my life and has been for many years. It is almost like a foundation on which my life is built. But it was not always like that. There was a period when I was not at all healthy. I spent most of the day sat at a desk, not moving. I very quickly gained 10kgs in weight (22 lbs) and found just walking a couple of miles difficult. Starting out running again, something I had not done for many years, was difficult. But consistently going out running every other day soon got me into the habit, and this soon led to me losing 13kgs and feeling both mentally and physically fantastic!
For those of you wise folk out there, you already know there is no such thing as an “overnight success” Even the Kardashians did not become successful overnight. They consistently produced material to build a community, they created interest and over time their community grew to a point where mainstream media became interested and then the TV contracts came rolling in. Musicians, sports stars and celebrities took time to consistently hone their skills to become the successful people they are today. It did not happen overnight. Likewise there are many examples of celebrities making it big with one song or one TV show and then disappearing from our screens and speakers. Why? The most common reason is they lacked the consistency to continue producing work. They sat back erroneously believing they had made it. But one of the wonderful rules of life is once you get to the top, you have to consistently work hard to stay there.
So, for you guys, if there is anything in your life you want to change or something you want to build or create, then you can. All you need is a consistent application of whatever it is you want to do. Whether you want to become better organised, learn a new language or get fit and lose weight, you can do it. All you need do is create a plan of action, and then break that down in to manageable daily tasks. Then apply a little consistency and make it happen. This is not advanced physics, but you do need to create a plan that is achievable and a plan you can do every day and then consistently go and do it.