“Successful people do consistently what others occasionally do.”
-Craig Groeschel, Pastor-Author-Speaker
This quote has helped me remember that if I want to be successful, I must do the challenging task of remaining consistent in my work, even when the work does not yield immediate results. I want to share a story with you. In 2021, I received two beautiful orchids from my employees on bosses' day. I love orchids. However, I’ve never consistently cared for and watered my plants, so I’ve always admired them from afar. The gesture of presenting me with these flowers was beautiful. However, I was worried about taking care of them. Both orchids were in full bloom, and the flower buds were the beautiful colors of purple and the other yellow. Over time, I neglected to take care of them. I would consistently say I would water the plants weekly, but when it was time to water both plants, I would delay the task to the next day, and, over time, the plants never got watered. Putting off watering my beautiful orchids caused all the blooming buds to wither and fall off, and soon they no longer produced buds. In late 2022, I observed both plants and considered throwing them away. I told myself, “I’m not good at caring for plants, and there is no use trying to salvage them,” I thought The roots were probably dried up and dead anyway. But then I thought, “If I take the time to water and care for them properly, they could produce buds again. At that moment, I decided to keep both orchids and promised myself I would water them consistently, on the same day at the same time weekly. I then placed a weekly reminder on my phone to help me remember when to water my plants.
For months, I saw no progress. The plants produced no signs that the effort I was putting in yielded any results. And I wondered if my plants would ever bloom again. Should I give up and stop trying to work on something that no longer has life? But I remembered the promise and continued to care for the orchids month after month. I even started "positively" speaking to my plants (don't act like you’ve never done it), encouraging them that they could and would bloom again. After six long months of consistently watering, caring, and talking to my plants, I walked into my office one morning and noticed that one of the orchids was starting to bud again. My consistent work was beginning to pay off. Soon, more buds started producing, and one of the orchids was in full bloom. The other orchid soon began to grow as well. After months of not seeing any progress or success, the manifestation of my consistent, diligent work was starting to pay off. Why am I sharing this story with you?
To demonstrate that consistent work produces a harvest. Sometimes, we give up on our work prematurely because we don't see immediate results from our hard work. We may not get the likes on the social media content we worked hard to produce. We may need more clients for our new business, or we started working out and eating healthy, but we are not seeing a change in our physical health, so we give up and stop working. I want to encourage you today that even though we may not see immediate results, we must consistently show up for ourselves and our businesses. Over time, we can reap a harvest.
Here are some helpful tips to help you stay consistent:
#1. Set clear and concise goals. Create your goals using the SMART system. Make the goal(s) specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-abounding. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, include the number of pounds you want to lose, along with a reasonable timeframe to lose the weight, and have someone hold you accountable. Clarifying your goal(s) will make it easier to hit your mark.
#2. Establish a routine. Integrate your goals into a daily or weekly schedule. Use tools such as a calendar or planner. Merging your goals into your daily or weekly routine will help you stay consistent and build new habits. Recall the story I shared about watering my orchids and how I immediately set a reminder on my phone to assist me in remembering to water my plants. Also, we all have bad days, so if you miss a deadline, don't give up; just try again the next day.
#3. Stay Motivated. When you don't see immediate results, it can be discouraging to keep going. However, to keep yourself on track, find sources of inspiration to keep you motivated. This can be following an influencer you admire on social media or listening to a podcast.
#4. Celebrate the small wins. Regularly assess your small successes and celebrate yourself. Making lifestyle changes is difficult, especially when they yield immediate results. Celebrating small victories can keep you motivated and inspired.
As we develop new habits, we must become lovers of the process because the fruit of consistency takes time. When we don't see immediate results, we can lose courage and talk ourselves out of continuing the work. But as Galatians 6:9 NIV reads, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the appropriate time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. You never know how close you are to receiving your breakthrough. Even when you find it challenging to keep going, I want you to know that you are closer than you realize. Don’t give up on yourself; I hope this blog inspires and encourages you to keep going.