Quick Fixes & Consistency

Sarah Rose

[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]

Photo byPexels

"This could change your life," said a man on the phone, who called me trying to sell me some sort of sales enablement tool that promised to find me new business leads who were searching for exactly the thing I am trying to sell. I didn't fault him for his overpromises. We've all overpromised something, sometime.

But I did highly doubt his promise that another piece of software might change my life. It felt like a commercial for Slim Fast circa 2001, or a radio ad for Tupperware in the 60's. Anything could change your life, but the degree to which a life can be changed is not entirely clear.

The sales guy was doing the opposite of what I do when I try to sell something; overpromising and under-delivering. I like to make promises I know I can keep, then go above and beyond what was promised. That way, myself and the thing I'm selling look really impressive. Or, maybe a better rule of thumb would not be to promise anything at all, since promises have a bad habit of being broken.

His promise got me thinking about how difficult it really is to change your life, and how the promise of a plug and play piece of software underestimates the complexities of human behavior. Someone might be searching for specific item online, and his piece of software may let me know that. But the software doesn't tell me why someone is searching for the item in the first place, or who they know in the industry, what their timeline is, what specific features they might need or not know they need, who the ultimate decision maker is, or which specific piece of information drives their decision-making.

Promises are easy. Change is really, really hard. A few months ago, I wrote about having my body composition measured. In just over a year, I gained 1.2 pounds of muscle and lost about four pounds of fat. Small numbers don't seem so impressive, but those changes were made over months of consistent weight training, running, proper nutrition, and rest. Consistency isn't sexy, but the results of consistency are, which is why I'm skeptical of any quick fix promising to "change my life."

I don't make New Year's resolutions because I find them sort of stupid, and because the idea of a New Year's resolution smacks of quick fixes and hollow promises. Everyone goes to the gym for a few weeks before it's empty again mid-February.

One year on New Year's Eve, a friend and I went to CVS and bought poster boards. We sat up late cutting out images from magazines that represented things we wanted to "manifest" that year. Very mid-20's white girls of us. We never finished our project, giving up before we even glued the ridiculous images on paper, to walk to a restaurant for sushi and cold sake. Another year, I wrote a list of resolutions on the back cover of my diary, each one as pithy and meaningless as the last, "be nicer," "wear more sunscreen," "sleep longer," "ask for a raise." They weren't bad resolutions, but I surely didn't need to wait until the first of the year to (try to be) nicer.

Resolutions are intentions, but intentions don't matter much if you never follow through with anything. The thing that resolutions aren't is action, and the only thing that produces lasting results is consistency. Consistent exercise, consistent work, consistent investing, consistent therapy, consistently showing up. The sales guy called me eight more times before I blocked his number, and then he simply called from a different one. He was consistent, I could give him that. "Please stop calling," I told him, so he started emailing instead. I wanted to throw my computer at a brick wall. Sometimes, consistency can be annoying as well, but maybe one day I'll need the thing he's selling, and I'll probably think of him.


Sarah Rose

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

Blogger | Poet | Freelancer | Ultra Runner Blog: The Prosiest IG: @mcmountain Email: sarahrose.writer@gmail.com

Dana Point, CA

More from Sarah Rose

Keeping The Promises You Make to Yourself

[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.] “Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes Today I'm writing about confidence, the polar opposite of desperation and wise older sibling to cockiness. If you close your eyes right now, I'm sure you can picture someone you know who is cocky and doesn't that just irk you? Confidence is something to be earned while cockiness is a symptom. One is showy, the other is self-assured. One is overstated and inauthentic and the other is poised. I believe that the best way to increase confidence is to consistently keep the promises you make to yourself. You can't grow self-assured about anything until you have proven your own competency to yourself, and you can't grow competent until you show up. I've known many people who make promises they never keep. Whether it's a friend making a plan they never intend to follow through on, a business not returning your phone call, or a workplace not fulfilling their end of a compensation plan, we all know what it's like to encounter flakey, inconsistent people. You probably don't like or respect them very much, right? It's hard to trust someone who doesn't show that they're trustworthy, which is why confidence comes from trusting yourself. When I was in school, I got straight A's, and not because I was that smart. I studied hard and told myself that I would do the absolute best that I could. Once I understood that I could achieve straight A's, that was the standard I held myself to. Once I knew what I was capable of, anything less was unacceptable. It's important to point out that nobody else would have been disappointed with a B. Nobody can ever be as disappointed with me as I can be because nobody else cares as much. If you let other people dictate what success means, you'll always end up disappointed. When I'm training for a race (my next race is the Kodiak 100, in Big Bear, CA), I have to put in a lot of miles and a fair amount of time in the gym. Some mornings, the last thing I want to do is wake up and go for a run, and hit the snooze button more than once. Some days, I don't feel the least bit inspired to train, but I do anyway. I don't know much but I do know that putting in consistent work is one of the best ways to see positive results. You'll beat out many people simply by not quitting, by paying attention, and adjusting when things don't quite work. The worst thing you can do though, is bite off more than you can chew. Start with something small, even if it's setting an alarm earlier than you're used to (and not hitting snooze). Your promise to yourself could be as small as making your bed every morning to something as large as reaching out to five new people every day to build a business. Stephanie Barros from Igniting Your Spark outlines the following ways to keep the promises you make to you: 1. Make reasonable promises to yourself. If you've fallen short of a particular goal in the past, adjust it to make it more manageable, then build from there. 2. Put your promises on paper. Thoughts aren't solid, and they're easier to ignore than something you've written down and look at every day. Nothing is as solid as words on a page. 3. Do you mean it? The reason many promises fall through is that we never meant them in the first place. I personally don't see the point in making a promise you don't intend to keep, so be brutally honest with yourself about whether or not you plan to even try to keep them. 4. Change how you think about you. It seems universally true that we're nicer to others than we are to ourselves, and we're more afraid to let others down than we are to let ourselves down. It should be just as unacceptable to let yourself down as it is to let down other people. 5. Accept discomfort. Change is uncomfortable, no matter how big or small, and keeping the promises you make to yourself might seem uncomfortable, too. Nobody ever succeeded by sitting quietly in their comfort, after all. "A dream is a vision, a goal is a promise. You can keep your promises to yourself by remaining flexible, focused, and committed." `~ Denis Waitley xoxo Sarah Rose.

Read full story

Comments / 0