Consistency Trumps Commitment: Focus on Loving the Results, Not The Activity
Written by Lisa Montanaro | March 21, 2013

Recently, I was preparing the garbage and recycling to bring to the curb for pick up, and my husband was watching me and chuckled “It’s so funny. You really like doing the recycling, don’t you?” I stopped and thought about it, and then replied, “I don’t necessarily like the activity, but I love the results.” And then it hit me like a ton of bricks! This simple statement can be applied to so many things! Whether it is getting organized, doing chores around the house, working on a big business or work project… you name it! There are many tasks, activities, and responsibilities that we do day in and day out, or even once in awhile, that we may not necessarily like. So why do we do them? Because we love the results!

resultsAt home, I like the results I get from keeping a clean house and keeping up with the chores that entails. I may not love the actual tedious task of emptying the dishwasher, but I know I will be happy to have clean dishes in the cabinets when I go to grab for them. Likewise, doing the laundry isn’t the most fun activity in the world, but I love having clean, fresh smelling clothes and a wide variety of outfits to choose from at any one time. I delegate the larger task of cleaning the entire house to very competent house cleaners that come in every other week, but it is up to my husband and I to maintain it in between, and keep up with the daily tasks that the house cleaners don’t handle.

When it comes to my business, there are some tasks that are more boring, tedious, or time consuming than others. Some of them I am lucky enough to delegate to one of my team members, like my Virtual Assistant or Webmaster. But yet, there are still times when I must do some of these tasks myself. And I do. Why? Because I enjoy the results that they bring to my business, and realize that they are necessary for my business growth and development.

I had the pleasure of attending the National Speakers Association (NSA) Winter Conference this year held in San Francisco. It was a wonderful event, as almost all NSA events tend to be. The fabulous speaker and former NSA President, Mark LeBlanc, delivered the closing keynote. He made one statement that struck me to the core and made me realize it is the crux of almost all personal and professional development. He stated: “Consistency trumps commitment every time.” Wow! We can be as committed as we want, but unless we follow that with consistent action, nothing will change. This is really where the rubber meets the road. People ask me all of the time, “What do you think motivates people to do the things they do, even if they don’t want to do them?” I think it is that some people are able to look pa st the activity itself and focus on the results.

When you are able to view the actual task or activity as the means to an end, you will be a lot less focused on it. Using the popular “glass is half full” adage, you can look at it like this: Focusing on the task or activity is viewing the glass as half empty. Focusing on the results is viewing the glass as half full. Our commitment or resolve may be strong. We may want certain things. We may wish for them, think about them, vent about them, and spend a lot of time and effort committing to them in the sense that they are on our radar and we know we should focus on them and make them a priority. But unless we do something about them, and take real action, we will not get results. And it’s not just doing something once in awhile, when the stars are aligned in a certain way. It is taking action on a consistent basis that makes the real difference.

So next time you are faced with a task or activity that you don’t necessarily like, focus on the results instead. Will you love the result? If so, let that be the motivation to take action. And remember, consistency trumps commitment every time.

Meet the Author

Helping others be the best versions of themselves gets me jazzed!

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime—often at the same time—while enjoying fulfilling careers. I’ve been a performer, teacher, sign language instructor, lawyer, career counselor, law professor, coach, consultant, mediator, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, writer, and author. 

I’m an eternal optimist and life-long learner, constantly researching ways to improve personal and professional effectiveness. And it brings me great joy to then pass on the results of that persistent curiosity to my clients and audiences. 

Of all the career hats I’ve been privileged to wear, my favorite is owner of this business since 2002. Why? Because it provides me the opportunity to work with wonderful organizational and individual clients. On any given day, I get to connect deeply with audiences, work with dedicated teams, improve workplaces, watch clients have a-ha moments, and know I’ve made a difference in their lives and careers. And that is very satisfying.