I was sending a training plan off to a new client and my email notes to her said, “Remember this takes lots of time and consistency to see change. The more consistent you are, the more results you’ll see!” After typing that to her, it really struck me that this truly is the root of so many people’s issues with making progress. Consistency is where it’s at!
People are smart. They know where to go to get results. They have access to information and experts all around them. We have time to get to what we want to in a day if we really admit it, and most of us have a desire to want to do and be better in life in general. So what gets in the way of our progress, specifically our wellness goals?
I hear people say, “I’ve been working out, but I have not been very consistent at it” or “I know the calories I should be eating, but some days I keep track and other days I just don’t want to give it the time.” So the bottom issue is not willpower or discipline or education. It’s consistency.
For me personally, I don’t make any special claims for a magic system or easy button, a special product or top secret workout. I’ve seriously just turned up my consistency factor and allowed it to develop over time.
With that said, here are seven tips on consistency that have helped me get to where I am today, since my start in October 2009, now 74 months down the road:
Consistency Tip #1: Set up a time in your calendar for your weekly workouts. I put place holders in my calendar so that way when something else comes along like a kid’s event, business event, or social outing, my workouts are in there saving their spot. I do, however, train first thing in the morning, so not much is going on at that time of day, but in the times I trained midday or in the afternoon, this was how I saved my training a spot. I took it seriously and then it got to the point that it’s part of my routine and habit and not something I ever have to talk myself into. The power of the compound effect is huge!
Consistency Tip #2: Be realistic with your expectations. THIS is really one of the biggest downfalls I see as a Coach. People who have been inactive for years are literally coming out of the starting gate expecting to cross a finish line with a huge transformation just a few short weeks later. The body needs LOTS of time. Years. Be realistic with what you expect of yourself and for sanity’s sake, bounce it off of a friend or spouse and see what they say. Slow and steady wins the race!
Consistency Tip #3: Be willing to explore, learn, fail, and find new ways and items to stay the course. This is about getting uncomfortable. If you want change, you cannot stop when you get out of your comfort zone. You are not born knowing how to do everything. You’ll have to take time to learn new ways, at any age! Meet new people at the gym, join a new class and get to know the instructor. Introduce yourself to the front desk greeter at the gym. You’d be surprised how you’ll respond when they get to know you and expect to see you there!
Sign up for a cooking class at the local health food store or grocery. Attend a class of an activity you have never tried. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it. The bottom line is this is the time to learn how to do new things, buy different foods and see how your body responds, try new food items on the menu. If you stick to what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Change it up!
Consistency Tip #4: Once you’ve met some new people, find ways to be around like-minded folks who are in a journey similar to yours or find someone who is ahead of you on their journey and request to have a mentor. This is known as accountability. Some people prefer to be alone, but for those that are just getting going, accountability is key. Set up a workout group to meet you at that early AM gym time. Pay a little more at the gym to be in a group strength training class where the instructor can teach you new moves. Create or join a Facebook group of people who want to share recipes, gym memes, progress pictures or set a common goal like a race or goal weight on the scale. Don’t go at this alone. Online fitness coaching that I offer is also an excellent factor to this equation. There is progress in numbers and we as humans were created to support each other!
Consistency Tip #5: Get territorial, say “No, thank you” more often. This is our family’s goal for the upcoming new year. I realized we were waaaaay over-committing on so many fronts and there came a point where we had to reel it in. I turned down an offer to be on the PTO for another year. I did not sign up to volunteer in my kids’ class, but found other ways to still fill their tanks. I turned down an evening dinner with a church group because I saw that it was getting me home close to 9PM and that would set me back for the next day. Overall, I decided to get territorial with my time. Too many “Yes” answers did not make me wonder woman. They made me a worn-out woman!
In doing that I in essence created MORE time to do less things BETTER. This impacts consistency because you’re not so worn out across the board and likely to skip out on your training or make impulsive decisions on your fuel choices. You have time for your wellness because you’re NOT saying yes to everyone else (a few selective yes’s of course!), but you’re allowing YOU to be on the daily agenda!
Consistency Tip #6: Change it up! Let’s admit it, we can all get in a rut, so change is good. If you’re having trouble staying motivated to just keep going, it’s your body and mind’s way of saying it’s time to try something new. Again, seek out a different class, try a new weightlifting routine, train for an event like a 5k or triathalon with others around you. There are many ways to keep it fresh and exciting. Make sure to stave off boredom!
Consistency Tip #7: Watch your mindset, monitor your self talk. THIS is your biggest fan and also your biggest enemy. If all else above is in check, you’ll likely be your greatest cheerleader. If, however, something or things start to go array, it’s easy for your mindset to shift to the negative as well. Keep it positive, believe in yourself, and celebrate how far you’ve come. It all goes back to point number 2 about being realistic. Too many times I see people fall off or fail simply because they were unrealistic with themselves and in turn their self talk told them to quit or give up or “I’ll worry about it later, or “I don’t have time.” Those are lies! Don’t believe it.
You’re worth every effort that you put into this journey. Truly, your best self awaits. Not just someone who wants to look and feel better, but someone who knows they’re giving it their all, glorifying their creator, and bettering themselves so ultimately they can be best suited to live out the calling placed on their life.
To me, this is power enough to stay consistent and as I always say, #justkeepgoing!
To your wellness,