You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 257. I want to talk to you about consistency. How do you stay consistent in working towards your goals? Stay tuned.
Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.
Well, hello there. We are talking about consistency today. Why are we talking about that? Well, most of you listening, me included have things we want to accomplish, ways that we want to grow or change. And I received an email or a message actually from someone who said, “I struggle so much with consistency. I don’t like to micromanage my day but life always makes my plans all screwy. An activity takes longer than I thought. A kid derails my plans. My own mood changes the direction that I go.” So her question is, “How are we supposed to be consistent?”
I’m going to insert a little bit of gender differences here, sex differences here. Biologically men are in a 24 hour cycle. Throughout history the masculine energy or men have been compared to the sun. The sun rises, goes across the sky, it sets. It comes up in the east, it rises, goes across the sky and sets and so on, rise, set, rise, set, 24 hours consistent without fail.
The feminine energy, females, women, we are historically compared more to the moon, that’s why we talk about the moon cycle. I find it fascinating that the moon is on 28 day cycle just like the average female cycle is 28 days. So unfortunately society, culture has presented an idea that all humans, men and women should be like the sun. Wake-up, consistently do our morning routine, eat a green smoothie or a healthy protein filled breakfast and a salad for lunch, and feel amazing, high energy, to make a fantastic dinner at night and in bed on time, that is the ideal.
All while smiling and helping our kids with homework, and driving, and working an amazing career, maintaining a beautiful body, that is the ideal. Throw that nonsense out the window. We are women. Our cycles like I said are 28 day cycles. There are four parts of the cycle in fact. There’s the follicular phase, the ovulation phase, the luteal phase and of course menstruation. We feel differently not only in each of the four phases of our cycle but within days, sometimes even hours within each phase of that cycle.
I like to think that we women are like the moon. It’s mysterious. It’s always different. You never know what you’re going to get in the sky. So I share all of this first to help you understand consistency for a woman who cycles is going to look a lot different than society’s stereotype of what it should be, for one, and for a lot of men, for another. So put perfection aside right now, let’s take a deep breath and start by being okay with variability.
That said I have another analogy to help us, the stock market. The stock market is highly variable. You never know what you’re going to get there either. And here’s what we do know, if you start to invest in the stock market, let’s say a mutual fund, you’re spreading your wealth across a whole number of different companies, you’re spreading your risk.
And from the day you turn 18 and can open an account you invest a little bit every day. We know that that consistent investment of your money will grow, it will compound over time so that 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years later you have exponentially more than you ever put in because of synergy, and growth, and compounding, and all you had to do was start early and stay consistent.
So even if you’re sad that things are never the same and your kids interrupt you and your mood is different every day and something takes longer than you thought you can still be consistent even when your life doesn’t feel like it is consistent. The stock market is never consistent but if you consistently take action and invest you can still get the result. So there is hope for us. There is beautiful, wonderful hope for us.
So I keep a list of my top values on the wall of the bedroom and I like to look at it and repeat them often to remind myself what I am focused on to get the outcomes I want. Some of the outcomes I want are to be more patient, to be more loving, to have more fun and connection at home. I have other goals to reach lots of women through this podcast and have that connection with the Vibrant Happy Women world. I love all of you, you’re amazing. I love you even if we haven’t met. It fills my heart with joy. So I have goals around these things.
I have goals around my health. I have goals around all kinds of fun things. So I generate a list of values every year, sometimes twice a year, values that will support me towards achieving my desired results, my desired outcomes. And many times I have put health at the top, or love, or family. And you’ve heard me talk about the shift of my priorities over time.
Well, this year, 2021, I have realized something. I’m surprised. I never thought of putting this at the top, but this year I have put consistency at the top of my values list. Now, consistency doesn’t generate a lot of excitement, the word alone, it just sounds like a drag. Oh, I have to be consistent. Well, I consistently brush my teeth. I consistently do laundry. I consistently clean dishes, and toilets, and there’s a vibe around consistency that’s not exciting.
But bring it back to the stock market analogy. There is an excitement. There is a pride. There is an identity that can come to you if you are a consistent investor in the stock market because history has shown, no matter what, no matter what, in the history of the entire stock market, if you leave your money there long enough and you spread your risk out among enough companies and stocks, you will have an exponentially huge compounded growth of what you invested and it will be way more than you ever invested upfront. The same is true in our lives.
If you consistently do a little thing and do it often and start today and never stop — and it doesn’t mean it has to be daily, it could be weekly, it could be something you do monthly — you get to decide the frequency. I certainly don’t invest in the stock market every day. But I figured out my schedule and I stick with that. You can do the same thing.
So thinking about your desired outcomes, let’s say one of those is being super healthy in your body. Instead of having the goal, a vague goal of let’s say being rich. I’m going to be rich. I’m going to be rich, you think it every day but you haven’t figured out your process goals to get there. You’re just going to wish, and wish, and wish and never get there.
A lot of us do the same thing with weight, or with changing our careers, or fixing our marriage. We know what we want. We can feel the excitement of that end result. But we haven’t figured out the process, the consistent regular effort to get us there. So let’s think about it, let’s talk about weight. A lot of people like to think about losing weight or being healthier. You could focus on losing weight or pull it back.
What are the actions you can take consistently that will over time compound to a result you’re going to love? What are those? What habits can you establish today, habits that are doable, they’re not painful? Investing let’s say a dollar a day in the stock market from age 18 on is not painful but that will get you an amazing result by the time you’re 65. How can you do the same thing with your exercise? Maybe you can commit to consistently exercise seven minutes a day five days a week. Maybe that’s where you’re going to start. Can you do that consistently?
What about consistently doing your intermittent fasting where you decided, predetermined, that you’re going to only eat between the hours of 11:00am and 7:00pm for example. It could feel like a lot of pressure but how can you make that goal so easy and recognize that if you just did that every day or regularly for the rest of your life, just like the stock market and your investments it will compound. You will have a different result.
You see, consistent effort doesn’t need to be painful and awful. And I’m going to exercise an hour a day every day of the week. No, it just has to be steady. Steady, steady, steady over the long term. And to make it steady over the long term we make it a habit. To make it a habit it needs to feel doable, easy, not too hard, something you know that if you just do it for a very long time consistently on a schedule of some sort you’re going to get an amazing result.
So forgetting your goal for weight loss for example, what are the habits that you can consistently do, just like you might consistently invest in the stock market? Now, I’m going to add something to this. This alone is kind of mind blowing for me, being consistent with something is just like the stock market. But what if you add the element of identity? For example not everyone invests in the stock market. We know women tend to be way less likely to do this but it’s changing. And I’m proud to raise my hand and say I’m one of them, woo hoo! I’m an investor.
What does it feel like to say something like that? I’m an investor. When you add the element of identity, that consistency piece gets just a little easier because it’s not now just an action, it’s a part of who you are. So what identity phrase could you have towards your long term goals that makes that consistency easier? I’m an exerciser. I’m a runner. I’m a workout addict. I’m an intermittent faster and so on.
I have a mantra that’s similar to this identity piece where I really believe I’ve nailed my habits. Now, is that a 100% true a 100% of the time? No. But overall I have nailed my habits and that feels true and it feels a part of who I am. So what identity piece can you add to get closer to your goals? Focus on the long term. This is another hint. Stock market, you don’t think short term, no way, that’s silly. We think long term.
Are you willing to forego, if you’re investing in the stock market, that $5 frappuccino from Starbucks in order to be the investor, to get that long term growth of your dollars, similarly, thinking long term for your goals? Are you willing to forego that extra 10 minutes in bed so that you can be the exercise addict that you are and go do work your workout, whatever it is, a walk, yoga? Make it a part of who you are, think long term.
One more tip, write down that identity statement. Write down and kind of monitor your process goals, just like with the stock market you’re probably going to go in there once a month and see where your numbers are. Some people freak out when they’re not where they want and they pull their money out and then they’ve ruined their long term growth. We don’t want that. But check in once in a while, where are you? How are you doing? How’s it working towards your result?
Again back to our weight loss analogy, if your goal is to have a super healthy body when you’re 65 just like you’re thinking about the stock market, how are you doing? How much money did you put in this month? How many times did you exercise? How is your consistency going? How is your intermittent fasting schedule going? How many salads did you eat? No pressure, just think of these consistent small efforts, investing in yourself the same way you’ll invest in a stock market.
So that’s my thoughts today on consistency. To recap, it’s okay that your life is inconsistent. You can still take consistent action, just like investors do. It’s a great idea to create an identity statement around who you want to be. Maybe you want to be an intermittent fasting queen. Maybe you want to be the most patient mom on the block. Whatever it is create that identity statement around the action you’re trying to take. I’m an investor. I’m a habit rock star. I’m an exercise addict. I’m a fitness guru.
Whatever it is, identity statements think in the long term, never the short term. Think of the actions you can consistently take to give you that result you want when you are 65 for your health, for your career, for your marriage, for your parenting, all of it.
Finally, write down how you’re doing, check in, the same way you check in with your stock market portfolio and keep track, do the same. You’re investing long term toward a result, investing your time, investing your focus, whatever it is, consistency is the key. Just like your wealth will grow through compounding in the stock market, your health will grow through compounding of small and simple actions.
Your relationships will improve through the compounding effect of small and simple actions. Your career, your business, whatever you’re trying to do in the world will grow and improve through the compounding of consistent small and simple actions. My friends, it’s simpler than we thought and it’s kind of fun. So try it out, try these tips and send me an email. Let me know what you’re working towards and what process steps you’re going to engage in to be consistently moving toward that goal. What are you going to do consistently?
What habits are you going to create consistently and how often to get you there by the time you’re 65? That is my show for you today. Thank you so much for listening.
One more thing if you want to look to the future but instead of looking until you’re age 65, maybe you’re just looking ahead one year from now, go sign up for the Vibrant Happy Women retreat happening in Florida February of 2022, early bird pricing is ending soon and you should go get your spot. There are still a few spots left, you can learn more at jenriday.com/events. I think that’s really easy. I can consistently look forward to being in Florida in February of 2022, no effort. I can totally rock that consistency.
Alright my friends thank you so much for being here today, for listening. Go be consistent at the things that matter to you. It’s easier than you think. It’s all about small, doable consistent action and looking toward the future payoff of that action. Alright, I’ll see you again next time, until then make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.