In January, I asked you to get uncomfortable. I wanted you to think about something you wanted to change or make better about your health and fitness, then take action. This required getting out of your comfort zone.
Taking action also requires consistency – consistency in your daily choices to make that goal come to life and to stick!
Dictionary.com defines consistency as:
“steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.”
I like this definition as it implies that there has to be a degree of unwavering commitment to one thing.
It’s not just doing something for a week or two then giving up because things haven’t changed or because you just don’t feel like it.
Nothing is linear – there will be ups and downs – but any goal worth achieving will require time, patience and dedication.
Nutrition coach Brandy, aka “Coach B” of Motivateandbfit hits the nail on the head in one of her latest Instagram posts (she refers to weight loss in particular, but this can be applied to any health and fitness goals):
“If there is one thing I believe will get you closer to your goals it is consistency. I bet you have tried everything for weight loss but you feel nothing works. Have you been consistent? Or are you frustrated? You try one diet then hop to another. You hire one coach and then jump to another. You read about what the latest fad is and you jump right on it. And yet, nothing works. In fact, you are in a worse place than before. Seriously, how could you possibly reach your goals if you are not consistent with at least one thing? If you jump all over the place, you will never truly find what works for you. Think about all the wasted time, effort and money – and missed opportunities spent jumping from one thing to another when all you need to do is be consistent at one thing and be patient.”⠀
How will you become consistent with your chosen goal? Here are a few ideas that might help:
Choose something you know you can do and adhere to – ONE thing!
- Don’t overhaul everything and think that you have to change everything you do. Choose ONE thing to focus on and start making choices to support that.
- Make sure it’s something you know you can do 9 times out of 10. If it’s not too lofty a goal, you’re more likely to be able to do it and stick with it.
Make your “Why” clear:
- When choosing your goal make sure it has importance to you. The stronger your “why”, the more likely you are to stick with it.
- Why are these changes important for you? Why do they hold meaning for you? Deep down, why is it that you want to achieve this goal?
- Read more about this in the Sept 2018 newsletter.
- Tell someone about your goal and the actions you are going to take.
- Report to someone on a regular basis about your successes and failures about your goal.
- Sign up and pay for fitness classes (you’re more likely to go if you’ve pre-paid).
- Create a buddy system – train with someone; prepare meals with someone.
- Hire a coach who can guide you and keep you accountable (coach B of Motivateandbfit is AMAZING for nutrition work – she will create a program that is unique to you and keep you accountable – check out her website at www.motivateandbfit.com ).
- Try online strength classes – you can workout anytime, anywhere for a fraction of the cost of personal training. Check out www.becauseyoucanstrong.ca .
Stick with it:
- They say that you need to 21 days to form a new habit. This number comes from a widely popular 1960 book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon who noticed his patients seemed to take about 21 days to get used to their new faces. However, according to a 2009 study, the time it takes to form a habit really isn’t that clear-cut.
- Researchers from University College London examined the new habits of 96 people over the space of 12 weeks, and found that the average time it takes for a new habit to stick is actually 66 days; furthermore, individual times varied from 18 to a whopping 254 days.
- The take-away message here is that if you want to develop a new behavior, it will take at least two months, and you shouldn’t despair if three weeks doesn’t do the trick – for most people that’s simply not enough.
Track your success:
- Check off the workouts you’ve done on a calendar (something visual).
- Have some type of variable that you track that should change for the better if you are consistent with your choices (ex: the size of your clothes or how they fit, the number on the scale moving (be careful with this one!), girth measurements changing, BP numbers improving, blood sugar numbers improving, increased energy, sleeping better, less pain (on a scale of 1-10, the number is coming down), etc.).
- If the variable that you’re tracking isn’t changing, then re-evaluate what you’re doing BUT give it time! Things don’t change overnight.
Place reminders around your home, work space and other visible places:
- Write your goals or affirmations on post-it notes and place them on your fridge, bathroom mirror, car dash, computer.
- Put a reminder on your phone; set an alert at specific times of the day to remind you of your goal or tasks.
Be kind to yourself:
- Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or eat a burger. No one is perfect and heck, life’s too short to be strict all of time. It’s about getting back on the horse and giving it another go. Be gentle and kind but also firm in your resolve to find your way again.
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally; it comes from what you do consistently.” -Marie Forleo