consistency and discipline


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Consistency and Discipline: The Foundation for Action

Many men desire change in their lives but struggle to achieve it. They often fail to grasp the power of consistency and discipline. These two concepts are foundational for true transformation, especially for men on a personal growth journey and pursuing a life filled with purpose. However, “consistency and discipline” don’t need to feel like restrictive chains holding you back. Instead, embrace them as tools to shape the best version of yourself.

I’ve witnessed the transformative power of consistent action firsthand after being immersed in disciplines such as fitness, tactical training, Bible study, and the construction and law enforcement career fields for over 15 years.

It’s not about sporadic bursts of effort; it’s about steady dedication that compounds over time. Men who seek strength, both physically and mentally, must master these principles. 

Before we dive any further I should mention that we have done a deep dive into building better discipline, setting goals and more in our exclusive men’s community. You can learn more and access all of these resources at the Men of Strength Collective.



Understanding the Relationship between Consistency and Discipline

Some view consistency and discipline as interchangeable, but there’s a distinct interplay between these two forces. Discipline acts as the self-imposed guiding framework, the set of rules and principles that dictate your actions.  Discipline involves the strength of will to push through even when motivation dwindles.

This is what allows you to say no to the siren call of indulgence when you know a grueling workout or tasty treat awaits. Consistency then becomes the steadfast execution of that disciplined framework. It’s the daily grind, showing up day in and day out, regardless of mood or circumstance.

This consistency births the compounding effect—those small daily actions gradually accumulate into significant results. Consistently training for 30 minutes extra each day equates to 182 hours over a year.

Think of building your strength. One workout might not seem like much, but the unwavering dedication to those workouts, week after week, yields undeniable gains.

When you look and discover human stories of transformation you’ll find that this compounding effect is behind all of them. This is the effect we want for you to achieve long-term success, stay focused, and overcome obstacles. All of this requires consistency, and certain rules for yourself can help with that.

The Power of Consistent Rules

Think about this. You have rules for a reason, right? We have traffic laws to keep us safe. We have rules in sports to make sure there is fair play. It’s the same with our own lives. When we have rules for ourselves, we are much more likely to reach our goals, whatever they are.

Maybe your goal is to get stronger. Maybe you want to be more prepared. Or maybe you just want to be a better man, a better husband, or a better father. Rules help you do that. This is because when you have rules, you stop relying on willpower or motivation, because let’s face it, sometimes those things just disappear.

Let me give you an example. I used to struggle with being consistent with my Bible study. I had the desire, but I wouldn’t follow through. I decided to make a simple rule for myself. Every morning, the first thing I do is read one chapter of the Bible. That’s it. It’s not a lot, but because it’s a rule, I do it every single day. And over time, it’s had a big impact on my life.

Training Your Inner Self

Let’s use parenting as a parallel to training your inner self. “You” are the parent and your “inner self” depicts your children.

Consistent rules are crucial in establishing boundaries and expectations, for families raising kids. Consistency provides predictable environments for kids to thrive in. If rules change from day to day, children will grow confused and potentially challenge your authority. The same goes with your inner self.

Think of it as establishing a firm foundation for your household. Clear, unwavering rules provide security for your kids. If one day kids can jump on the couch but the next they are reprimanded, children lose that sense of dependable structure. 

Likewise, your inner self becomes accustomed to what you allow yourself to do. The dependable structure you build for your inner self comes from the rules you set for yourself and whether or not you follow them.

With your inner self and your children, if smaller transgressions are consistently addressed, it establishes a pattern of obedience.  This pattern translates to bigger, more critical situations.

Children quickly learn patterns of behavior, and that includes manipulating inconsistencies in your actions and rules. Your inner self will do the same thing and take advantage of your inconsistencies to excuse you from sticking to the plan.

It’s essential to establish consistent rules in parenting to provide stability and clarity for children.

All of that is to say that your inner self without direction is like a young child without direction. That’s where discipline and consistency have a huge impact.

It All Starts With You: Mastering Self-Discipline

We must acknowledge that achieving true consistency hinges on the mastery of self-discipline. And it is perhaps the hardest aspect of self-discipline: the fact that it needs to be exercised daily.

There is no cramming in self-discipline. You can’t make up for months of unhealthy habits with a single week of strict dieting or suddenly turn into a skilled marksman with one trip to the range.

Think of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. No serious practitioner rolls in for a match after weeks of neglect, hoping they will magically remember the moves. Consistent training is required for the outcome you desire.

Dedication and consistency over a long period are required. This holds true for achieving physical fitness, nurturing relationships, and learning new skills. It’s required for every endeavor where success and true growth are desired. Setting specific goals is crucial for staying focused and measuring progress as well.

The Domino Effect of Building Good Habits

This unwavering commitment to daily discipline does something truly powerful: it cultivates good habits. Each disciplined act, each small step taken consistently, contributes to forming positive habits that eventually become second nature. It transforms willpower into automatic behavior.

A “keystone habit,” as discussed by Charles Duhigg in his book “The Power of Habit”, has a particularly interesting impact. It refers to a central habit that triggers positive ripple effects across other areas of life.

Starting an exercise routine might lead to eating healthier and waking up earlier. Embracing meditation on God’s Word might encourage deeper introspection and more mindful daily choices.

Here is an illustration of how this can work, laid out in a straightforward table:

Keystone HabitPotential Positive Habits
Regular ExerciseImproved Diet, Better Sleep, Increased Energy
Daily Prayer/ MeditationIncreased Mindfulness, Improved Focus, Enhanced Emotional Control
Consistent Bible StudyGreater Patience, Stronger Relationships, Enhanced Perspective, Better knowledge of Christ

The impact extends beyond your personal growth. Those around you witness your unwavering integrity and therefore trust naturally grows.  Consistency becomes your unspoken promise of reliability—your actions prove your dedication. Staying motivated is essential for maintaining consistency over time but motivation is not always present.

Strategies for Achieving Success

But achieving and maintaining this consistency can, admittedly, be difficult.  This is where we must employ a multifaceted approach, starting with identifying and solidifying our anchors—our values, purpose, passions, goals, and skills. These elements provide purpose and intentionality to our efforts, offering fuel when self-discipline wanes. Start small and gradually increase the difficulty or duration of tasks to stay motivated.

When aiming for goals, don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the final outcome. Embrace the “1% better every day” philosophy—celebrating the smaller milestones as stepping stones to that grand achievement. Visualizing yourself successfully executing the day’s goals, from conquering a challenging workout to having a difficult but necessary conversation, can build momentum.

It’s also beneficial to be mindful of your motivators—the elements that spur you on. Recognize what causes stress and strategize to mitigate those triggers. Surround yourself with individuals who embody those qualities you aspire to—their consistent discipline and success fueling your own drive. Think of your social circles as support networks on your journey.

Ultimately, men who seek growth must understand that it doesn’t lie in occasional feats of willpower but in the daily practice of consistency and discipline. You’ll stumble; life will throw curveballs. Embrace the imperfections as learning opportunities and rededicate yourself. This is where true strength is forged, where you mold yourself into a reliable, disciplined man capable of achieving extraordinary things.



FAQs about Consistency and Discipline

Does consistency lead to discipline?

This isn’t always the case. You can be consistently bad at something, like consistently choosing unhealthy foods. The key is combining consistency with a disciplined framework focused on positive actions and goals. It’s the strategic pairing of both that breeds success.

Is consistency similar to discipline?

While often mentioned together, they are distinct forces. Discipline creates the structure and rules, setting the foundation for positive action. Consistency is the steadfast execution of that discipline—showing up and implementing those actions day after day.

What comes first, consistency or discipline?

Discipline is the starting point. It defines your values, establishes the “rules of the game,” and allows you to strategize how you’ll pursue your goals. From that discipline, consistent action flows, ensuring your commitment and dedication drive those positive outcomes.

What is an example of discipline and consistency?

Imagine a man aiming to improve his physical fitness. Discipline leads him to establish a workout regimen and nutrition plan, cutting out unhealthy habits and crafting rules for himself. Consistency then dictates that he executes that plan day in and day out, sticking to those guidelines despite possible fatigue, distractions, or shifting motivation levels. This blend of structure and commitment eventually leads to him achieving his fitness goals.

Conclusion

This journey to becoming a man of strength and purpose is not a sprint but a marathon fueled by dedication and self-mastery. The key is understanding and harnessing the interwoven power of consistency and discipline.

Remember, discipline lays the foundation with structure and self-control, but it’s a consistent, determined effort, practiced day after day, that produces enduring results.

These are not restrictive burdens but the chisels by which you sculpt your best self. Embrace the grind, men. This is where true strength is forged.

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