Consistency Over Intensity

Alex Nottingham JD MBA discusses the importance of consistency over intensity for achieving long-term success. Using insights from James Clear’s “Atomic Habits,” he emphasizes regular, repeated actions and small changes to build habits and goals, avoiding the unsustainable bursts of intense effort.


About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.


This is Dental All-Stars, where we bring you the best in dentistry on marketing, management, and training. Hi everyone, I’m Alex Nottingham, founder and CEO of All-Star Dental Academy. When we identify a problem, we either procrastinate or go after it massively and then we stop. We have poor results and low motivation. So what do we do about it? I love the book Atomic Habits and in the book, James Clear, the author, says the following.



Most people need consistency more than they need intensity. Intensity makes a good story. Consistency makes progress. Here’s consistency defined. It’s regular, repeated action towards a desired outcome. It is the cornerstone of habits and goals. You have short bursts, which are intensity, versus sustained progress over time.



Consistency. So let me go over some examples with you. Intensity would be you’re running a marathon, or you write a book in 30 days, or you do a silent meditation retreat, or you do your New Year’s resolution, which is usually very short. Consistency, on the other hand, is you don’t miss a workout for two years. You write every week in your journal, and you do a daily meditation. So you have intensity versus consistency.



Now there’s a wisdom of consistency. So the core principles behind consistency are small changes, marginal gains, and the power of compounding. You’re gonna use systems, processes, routines to sustain consistency. Now there’s a fallacy of intensity, this myth of the overnight success, or they got lucky. Typically it’s working really, really, really, really hard and risking burnout.



And we don’t want that because they are unsustainable bursts. The benefits of consistency are you have stability and predictability. You lower the risk of overwhelming yourself or fatiguing and ultimately burning out. You don’t want that. And you have a cultivation of discipline and resilience. These are qualities we want to maintain over time. Now there are practical strategies to accomplish this.



realistic goals and expectations, break down the tasks into steps, bite-sized steps, create routines and rituals that will help you follow through, and leverage accountability and support. Coaching can be a big helper when it comes to staying consistent. Now, how do we overcome the challenges of staying consistent? Well, we have to find a way of how do we deal with setbacks and obstacles because they will occur.



How do we stay motivated during plateaus? And what I would say to you is stay with the small. Practice self-compassion and celebrate these small wins. Small wins are greater than a big win. And I’m gonna give you some case studies, some examples. Let’s say financially, if you invest $1 million in the S&P 500 and you leave it alone for 20 years, it’s $5 million.



And I can go over multiple scenarios, but the idea is if you invest little by little over a long period of time, that compound benefit, that consistency yields big results. What do I do? Well, I invest in the S&P 500 and I did a whole video just on that. When it comes to calories, I have to track my calories and my weight, otherwise I’m going to go over. And if I just stay within the range for a long period of time, I’ll maintain weight and be healthy.



I exercise with purpose. So whatever exercise I’m doing, it has a reason for growth and longevity. I do a podcast and it’s little by little the podcast over time. I have a business that’s doing very well. Why isn’t overnight success? I would like to think that’s the case. No, it’s staying power. Part of it is showing up. Part of it is staying because if you stay long enough, your competitors don’t and they leave. So just staying and sticking with a good plan.



is tremendous. Mindfulness, every day a little bit of mindfulness and daily fun. I do a little daily, every day I look for joy. Where can I find joy? Where can I find some daily fun in my schedule? Because that is going to sustain me more than one or two vacations a year. Every day is a little mini vacation. I want you to cultivate a consistent mindset. Embrace can I, which is continuous and never ending improvement. We’re always improving.



little by little over time. Focus on progress, not perfection. Build resilience through your practice, through your rituals. I joke with many people, including my dentists, which are my clients, and I say, I wish for you to have a boring life. I want you to have a boring practice. You go into your practice, you love what you do, you love your team, you take care of your patients, and there’s no drama, you make plenty of money. And you’re just doing little by little by little. And you’re very sustained, and you’re growing.



an upwards curve, right, versus this, this, this, this, this. You know, we’re trying to avoid the up, down, up, down, up, down. We’re looking for a slow and steady growth and curve. Embrace the small, consistent actions towards your big goals. And remember, and this sounds cliche, but it’s the journey, not the destination. If we race to get to the end, then what? There’s nothing to do. Enjoy the process. That’s the consistency.



have joy in the consistency. Even if you achieve everything, then what? Are you happy? So enjoy the process, enjoy the consistency over the intensity. Sometimes we have to be intense, but we want to make consistency our number one ally. And make sure to follow, subscribe, comment and share. And until next time, go out there and be an All Star.



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