Let’s talk about how you get results.
Whether that’s weight-loss, weight-gain, getting fitter, getting healthier, getting unhealthier, getting better at what you do or getting worse.
We all have goals. But why is it that some people reach them and not others. Here comes the separator – why there will always be people who are successful and people who are not –consistency.
Consistency can help break what seems like a never-ending cycle of wanting to lose weight: join a gym, quit the gym because “it doesn’t work”, try a diet, quit diet because “it doesn’t work” and then repeat.
You are what you consistently do, day in and day out (our habits). Of course, you will also reach your goals if you have days when you are consistent and days you are not. It will just take more time. Consistency is about doing our daily habits over and over again.
Our habits are what made us who we are today!
Consistency isn’t just going to the gym 5 times a week. You also have to be consistent with your nutrition and recovery (sleep, bodywork, mobility, etc).
Let’s focus on health and fitness.
Going out to eat with friends, having a few donuts, eating McDonalds, having a beer, eating processed foods every now and then won’t derail you from long-term success. (80/20 rule)
Now, if you were to do these things every other day (even daily), you will gain excess body fat. Even worse, you might develop preventable medical conditions.
Let’s take a bigger view on progress. So you “only” lost 5 pounds in one month. You thought you should have lost 15 pounds because you were eating right and working out. DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. You should be proud of the 5 pounds you lost!! Multiply the 5 pounds you lost in one month by 2, 10 pounds lost in 2 months. Multiply that by 6 months, 30 pounds lost!
Don’t quit! Keep chipping away at making slow and steady progress.
I can’t do “X” movement/weight and it’s been 8 months of me working out.
Well, are you taking the time to develop the strength and skill needed to perform that movement or weight every other day? Are you following a training program designed to help better “X” movement/weight? Have you sought out help or personal training for “X” movement/weight?
If you were to work on your “weaknesses” everyday or every other day, even if it was for 5 minutes…you would see significant results in a matter of weeks/months. Instead of doing nothing about it. Same thing goes for rehabbing nagging injuries. They’re not going to go away if we do nothing about it.
Use your progress as validation that the steps you are taking are working and continue to refine them so that it’s sustainable.
What can you do today to help build better habits and get consistent:
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The first few days might feel like you’re “forcing” it but the more you do a certain activity, the higher the chances are of you continuing to do that activity naturally instead of it feeling “forced”.. Just make sure it’s an activity that will positively impact your life and goals.
- Schedule your gym sessions. Put it in your calendar and make it happen. Don’t make up excuses or find a reason to miss your training session. No one has ever regretted going to the gym!
- Create a bedtime routine. Sleep is just as important as nutrition and training. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Try to give yourself at least 7 hours of quality sleep.
- Meal Plan. Most of us get take out or go to drive-thru’s because they’re quick and convenient, but we are more likely to make poor food choices and spend extra money this way. People that meal plan have said time and time again how much money they’ve saved by meal prepping.
- Strengthen your willpower. Develop the power to say no. You will face plenty of peer pressure from friends and co-workers. Friends will pressure you to have a drink or to eat a second slice of pizza. You will even face internal pressure. Your old habits will be whisper at you to just go home and watch TV. The more you say “no” to temptations, the easier it gets over time.
- Eliminate negative thinking. We can sometimes be our own worst enemy. Be sure to catch yourself when you’re thinking negatively and start thinking positive thoughts. i.e. “I can’t do this.” Turn it around to, “I will try my best today”. Think about what positive actions have gotten you this far.
- Create accountability. Ask your friends to help keep you on track. Create a support system with friends and family. Find a fitness and/or nutrition coach that can guide you and keep you accountable.
- Sign up for an event. There’s nothing like a deadline to help keep you motivated. For example, if you sign up for a marathon, you need to train for it. If you sign up for a weightlifting meet, you need to make sure you are at the weight you plan on competing.
- Place reminders at work and at home. Want to lose weight? Purchase a dress that you would like to wear in the near future and hang it up somewhere you can see it everyday. Visualization is a powerful tool. Leave yourself sticky notes that will remind you of what you are working towards.
- Reward yourself. Did you just go a full 5 days of eating healthy, well-balanced meals? Reward yourself to a special dinner. Don’t worry, that one meal won’t derail your whole week.
- Accept that mistakes and setbacks will happen. Don’t beat yourself up and just quit. Just because you went off the rails for a weekend (or even a week!) doesn’t mean you should give up. Plan for setbacks and get back on that horse.
- Look back. Take pictures, write down your workouts, take body measurements, write down notes in a journal, and document your life. We sometimes forget how far we’ve come and the progress we’ve made.
What do your habits say about you?