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A Key to Success: Be Consistent

Over the years I heard the best way to learn something is toto teach it. Well, this week's topic, practicing consistentbehavior, is definitely something I need to learn and practicemore effectively.

When I made the commitment to refocus my energies on writingagain, I had the best intentions. I planned to have a new columnfor distribution every Tuesday morning. Early morning. Whichmeant the actual column needed to be written by Monday night.

I spent a great deal of time considering how often to publishthis column and I thought a weekly deadline was doable. Iwrote the first two columns in an afternoon and actually hadthree weeks before the next column would be due.

"Plenty of time!" I thought.

The days went by and so did the first week. I promised myselfthat I'd write this week's column the next week. But each daysomething came up that required my time and attention. I wish Icould tell you it was something that truly had a higher prioritythan this personal and professional goal I had set for myself,but I can't.

Solitaire and e-mail were the two big time stealers. Yikes! Ithurts to admit it to myself, never mind share that truth with you.But there it is.

I was defeating my business and personal goals by wiling away thehours playing solitaire and checking my e-mail.

Monday, the day of my deadline, arrived and I tried to getfocused. I had worked the night before and slept until noontime.I had signed up for a teleclass that lasted from 12:30 until 3p.m. I had another conference call at 4 p.m. I had promised totake my daughter to a musical performance at 7 p.m.

We arrived home at 9 p.m. and while I wanted to get this articlewritten, I was too tired to focus on anything except my bed.

"No problem," I told myself. "I'll write a column tomorrow. Ican still get it sent out on Tuesday."

But Tuesday morning I was meeting an associate for a breakfastmeeting. I ran a few personal errands and got home aroundnoontime. I needed to tidy up some coaching loose ends and knewthat once I finished those I could concentrate on writing.

I did those things, and was feeling better.

"Ah..." I thought. "I'll just play one game of solitaire beforegetting down to business. This will be my reward for all that Iaccomplished today."

An hour later my son came home from school.

You know where this is going, don't you? You know that this columndidn't get written yesterday. You know that I felt terriblebecause I let myself down.

Looking back over these past three weeks, I can tell you exactlywhat my downfall was. It was lack of consistent behavior. Or evenmore accurately, you could say it was consistent poor behavior.

I made the wrong choices over and over again. And because I didthat my goal to have this column written for Monday night didn'tget met. I also didn't take advantage of writing columns for thefuture so that I would always be several columns ahead.

This week look at your life and your goals. What do you want toaccomplish? What actions are you taking on a regular basis tosupport or defeat your chances for success? What can you do tochange your focus or establish your priorities so that you canprovide the time, energy, and resources to consistently do whatyou need to do?

Playing solitaire is fun, relaxing, and let's my mind go totallyblank. I have vegged out in front of my computer for hours at atime playing this game. Some days that is okay. Some days Iwant and need to drift away into a mindless activity.

But when I do that too often, when I do that because it iseasier than doing what I really want to be doing, I am doingmore than wasting a few hours of my time. I am actuallyundermining my chance for future success. I'm establishing apattern for dealing with things that may challenge me. I'mtelling myself that my desire to write is not important.

Jim Rohn says: "Neglect starts as an infection and spreads,then it erodes your self-value. To stop the spread take action--discipline yourself to accomplish something."

If you want to achieve something--anything--in your personalor professional life, then do something. And do it consistently.

Copyright 2005. Donna Doyon, Activities Coordinator for Your Virtual Retreat is the author of GLOW: Renew Your Spirit & Release Your Inner Beauty. She offers information, inspiration and encouragement to people who want to say goodbye to self defeating attitudes and behaviors and hello to greater success, healthier relationships and more joyful living. Get inspired at her website:

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