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How to keep going with Lauren Tilden

Creative Business
min read
In this article

As a creative, you know how exciting it feels to have a new idea, right?

It’s intoxicating. It’s a rush. It’s why a lot of us do what we do.

But what happens when that initial high wears off? How do you keep going when the exciting idea becomes a project, a commitment, a responsibility?

In this episode, Lauren Tilden is going to tell us just that.

Lauren is a marketing coach for small business owners who struggle with showing up consistently to market their business and is also the host of the podcast, Making Good, which is on a mission to help small businesses do better marketing so they can make a bigger living impact on the world.

This week we are doing the ol' switcheroo and I am stoked to share an episode from Lauren's podcast on my podcast.

In this episode, Lauren talks all about how to keep going which is episode 2 of a 3 part series that she did on how to get started, how to keep going, and how to finish -  an area that a lot of us creatives need a little help in.

And as I share Lauren's episode on this podcast, Lauren is interviewing me over on her podcast! Once you’ve binged this episode, head on over to the Making Good podcast to listen to my episode with Lauren over there.

Hey everyone, Lauren here! Today's episode is so important and I am so excited to share it with you because my friend, keeping going is everything. 

Keeping going or being consistent is what separates the folks who meet their goals from everyone else. This is good news because it means we don't have to be special, we just need to show up every day consistently. 

So today is part 2 of a 3-part series here on Making Good, the podcast. Part one was about getting started, part two (this episode!) is about keeping going, and the final episode, part three is all about how to finish.

So if you wanna start with part one, how to get started, go check out that episode above and then come back here afterwards for part two, how to keep going. 

In part one, we dove deep into the challenge of taking that all-important first step toward achieving our dreams and goals.

We explored why starting can be so daunting.

Spoiler alert, a lot of this is related to fear. And I shared a bunch of strategies for overcoming that initial hurdle and getting started.

So we listened to that episode, we implemented it, and we got started. But… now what? How do we keep the momentum going? How do we keep showing up and not falling off the wagon? How do we remain consistent?

Let's be honest, consistently showing up for your business day in and day out is where the real magic happens.

If the word ‘consistency’ makes you cringe, and you have a less-than-stellar track record of following through, you are in good company. I have what feels like a lifetime of starting things, sticking with it for a couple of days or weeks, and then simply not continuing for most of my life. 

I would have never considered myself a “consistent person”. I have dropped more balls and fallen off more plants than I could ever begin to count.

However, in the last few years, I've come across some strategies that actually work when it comes to consistency.

Using what I'm going to share with you today, I've done things like show up consistently with a podcast episode every single week for over 200 weeks straight. I've also released a daily podcast episode in my membership program for two years.

This massive consistency has led to some pretty huge and exciting impacts on my life. For example, it brought you into my world! It has also led to some new revenue streams and opportunities that I only would have dreamed of a few years ago. 

The truth is… Every ‘success story’ you look at was only possible because someone kept going. Even when they had a challenge, even when they got stuck, even when they didn't feel like it, they kept going anyway.

I want you to keep that mindset top of mind when it comes to getting into the strategies about how critical consistency is.

8 Simple Strategies to Maintain Consistency Like a Pro

Strategy One: Drop perfectionism

Here's something that took me way too long to figure out…

Consistency doesn't mean you need to be perfect. 

If you want to post on Instagram consistently four days a week and you miss a couple of days a month, that is still consistent.

If you want to go for a 30-minute walk every single day and you miss, on average, one day a week, that is still consistent.

Before I had this revelation, I would set out a plan for what I wanted to be doing consistently (for example: send a marketing email every single week) and I'd feel good, show up consistently for a few weeks, and then inevitably something would come up and I would miss a week.

And at that point, my all-or-nothing thinking would kick in and my brain would say something like, “That's it. You missed this week. So you are all-or-nothing anymore. Let's just throw in the towel and quit!” And I would quit. It made no sense, but that’s what I would do (oh how our brains can be so silly sometimes!)

Consistency does not require 100% perfect adherence to your plan. It just requires sticking with the plan most of the time.

So if you're sticking with your plan at least 80% of the time, then you can let yourself consider that consistent and keep going. 

Strategy Two: Don’t break the chain

This is a very simple concept that James Clear writes about in his book, Atomic Habits (which we did a book club episode about if you’d like to listen to that!). 

Basically, you pick a habit or an action that you want to do every single day, and then you create some kind of visual tracker or calendar so that you have it visibly displayed for every day that you accomplish that task. Once you’ve done that task for the day, you mark it with an X, a sticker, or something to identify that it’s completed. 

In the beginning, this isn't super motivating, but imagine if you had 40 days of consistently performing that task. The idea of breaking that chain suddenly becomes a very unpleasant thought. We just naturally want that chain, sometimes also called a streak, to keep going. 

I think this strategy is most effective for tasks that are relatively easy and not that time-intensive to do, rather than the bigger, more complex tasks on your to-do list. 

So for example, to me running seven miles would be hard. So if my option was to run seven miles or break the chain, I would probably choose to break the chain.

But if my option was to go for a 20-minute walk or break the chain, I would do the walk because it's easy. 

Strategy Three: Build accountability

Let's talk about what I think could be the most magical, powerful tool there is when it comes to consistency: Accountability.

As I mentioned, I have a long track record of dropping the ball when it comes to showing up consistently, but there's a big caveat here. I struggle with consistency when I'm the only person involved or the only person who knows about my deadline.

Where I've never struggled with consistency, is where there were other people involved. Meaning that if I say I'm going to do something by a certain date, trust me, I'm going to do it. However, if the only person who knows about that deadline is me, the odds that I meet that deadline go down significantly.

Now, I like to talk about three main types of accountability that you can build into your tasks. 

  1. Accountability with your peers - this would be about getting in the community with other small business owners, committing to your goals together, and then checking in with one another. 
  2. Accountability with your audience and customers - for example, I often talk about the fact that this podcast comes out on Tuesdays, so I know that you're expecting it on Tuesdays and I pull out all the stops to make that happen. I know that people expect it and I don't want to let them down, so I make it happen. 
  3. Accountability with your team - if you know that your team members are waiting for something from you (and you're paying them in the meantime!) you're going to have a pretty good incentive to get them what they need so that they can do their job. 

And because I've seen what an enormous game-changer accountability can be. It is a huge part of the work I do with small business owners now.

My membership program, Making Good Happen, has a built-in way to track accountability with your peers through the community as well as a tracker and our deep work sessions. So if you're interested in some extra accountability, check it out by clicking the image below!

Strategy Four: Make it EASY

One of the biggest takeaways I got from Atomic Habits that I've been thinking about for years now is that if there's something you want to make sure gets done, make it easy. 

And sure, it might seem so obvious that you’re internally rolling your eyes, but trust me, this is worth noodling on a little bit.

Let’s say for example that you want to create a habit of writing every single day. To make that happen, you wouldn’t want to start by committing to two hours of writing every day right off the bat. You want to start by making it easy and committing to 10 minutes a day, for example, because that is so much more likely to happen. 

You can always build up [how much you work on that task] over time, but making the task manageable and easy when you start is going to strongly improve the likelihood that you will complete this habit day after day and remain consistent.

So whatever it is that you want to keep doing consistently, ask yourself this powerful question: How could I make this easy?

Strategy Five: Make it FUN

Another book that I love is Feel Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal (which we also did a book club episode on which you can check out). The takeaway here is that we need to make things fun. It's easy to be consistent in doing the things we enjoy.

Think about it… If you like to play video games, you don't need to hype yourself up to get motivated to go play. You just go do it because you enjoy it.

We can apply this to consistency in a pretty clever way by simply asking ourselves, how could we do the things that we need to do? How can we make those things consistently fun? 

For example, if you love listening to a specific podcast and you want to consistently paint a new watercolour painting every week, maybe you save those podcast episodes to listen to while you're painting watercolour each week.

If you want to write a blog post every week, maybe you make a date with yourself to write that at your favourite coffee shop every week.

Ask yourself, “What would make this fun? What would make this feel just a little bit better?” 

Strategy Six: Put it in your calendar

A short and sweet one here because it's so simple, but I promise you, you will be so much more likely to follow through with doing a task if it is on your calendar and has time reserved for it. 

Anything you want to do, put it on your calendar. Whether it’s posting on Instagram 3 times per week and so you add enough time enough week into your calendar for that to happen, or if you want to send a marketing email every Friday, so you book out 90 minutes for you to write that before Friday, put it in your calendar.

A simple strategy, I know. But this is how things get done. 

Strategy Seven: Create the right conditions

It is a lot easier to be consistent if when you sit down to work, you can easily get and stay focused. However, not all conditions are created equal. And chances are that there are some conditions that you will find it a lot easier to focus on and get your work done.

For me personally, I do my best, most focused work early in the morning. I'm able to work more productively at my desk or my kitchen table, but not from my bed as much as I wish I could. I also need my handy focus music in my ears to keep me in the zone (I use a tool called focus@will, but you can search for other focus music for free on YouTube too!) 

Think about the times that you've been [most] productive and then ask yourself what conditions were in place. Where were you? What time was that? Who was around? What were you listening to? And then try to create those conditions as often as possible.

Strategy Eight: Create a simple “no matter what” consistency plan

It is unrealistic to think you can be 100% consistent with absolutely everything you do all the time. That's just not feasible.

So what if instead of striving for 100% consistency in all areas of our lives, all of the time, we were a little bit easier on ourselves?

You can aim for consistency all around but have just a few things that you are 1,000% committed to. These are the things that you know are most important to your business results and growth, and then for everything else, you give yourself a break when life happens. I call this “no matter what consistency”.

I only have a few things on my “no matter what” consistency list which are: podcast episodes come out every Tuesday, my marketing emails come out every Friday, and the private podcast episodes for Making Good Happen (little mini-episodes that come out every single weekday, Monday through Friday) for members of my program.

Does this mean that these are the only things that I do? No, most of the time there are quite a few other things that are happening consistently, but these are the things that rain or shine, I nearly always make happen because they are my, “no matter what” consistency tasks.

So by now, I’ve hopefully convinced you that consistency really is the secret sauce to keep going, and hopefully, you’ve also learned some simple, yet concrete strategies you can start experimenting with!

Be sure to check out part one and part three of this 3-part series if you haven’t already, and head over to Making Good, the podcast to listen to Hollie’s interview she did on my show over there!

Where you can find and connect with Lauren Tilden:


Podcast: Making Good



No more staring at a blank page. Download Lauren's free workbook with 100 content ideas designed to help you connect with your ideal customer - 100 Content Prompts:

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May 22, 2024

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