One of the most boring words in the English language is ‘consistent’. It’s dull, it’s sensible, it’s monotonous. It’s bland, reeking of filing cabinets and sensible shoes.

However, in all of my infinite and grown up wisdom, I’ve decided that I like this word. It’s a strong word, it’s a determined word. This word ‘consistent’ might also be the reason that your hard work isn’t paying off. Here’s why.

There is No Such Thing as An Overnight Success

Successful people get all bashful once they’ve hit the big time. They play down their success by saying things like ‘Oh and I just auditioned and got the part, I didn’t even really try’ or ‘Well I’d been there the longest so I was the obvious choice for the promotion’. Successful people don’t just sit around waiting to be discovered, as much as they would like for you to think that. People who are top designers, elite athletes, CEOs, famous singers, accomplished writers or award-winning scientists didn’t just stick their hand up when the Career Gods were handing out awesome jobs. They quietly and consistently honed their appropriate skills and then they put their hand up. Don’t spend weeks working on your resume, spend years working on the stuff you put on your resume.

You Work in Short Bursts

Short bursts have their time and place but they need to be an increase of existing activity, not a flash of hard labour when you started at zero. The point is that you can’t ever completely stop what you are doing. You can cut back to the bare minimum, but every time you stop dead you’re losing all the valuable momentum that you gained in your last short burst. If you own a small business and you went hell for leather for 3 months stocking your online store, designing stationery and gaining a customer base, all your hard work becomes completely null and void when you lose motivation and your shop is sitting there empty for months. Do little bits, consistently. No amount of short bursts will lead you to success, I can promise you that.

You Only Work When Other People Succeed

How many times have you been inspired to get fit when your friend is flaunting a new banging bod? Or decided to ‘get back into writing’ when someone you know nabs a book deal? If you care enough about your goal you need to be consistent. Work at it every day. Don’t let the success of others be your motivation reminder. Let the daily habit of working towards your goal be your motivation reminder.

So what are you going to be consistent with? Singing practice? Exercise? Eating well? Being on time to work? Cleaning your house? Persuing your dream job? Do share! I’ll hold you accountable.