Consistency is required for any measure of true success. If we are sporadic in our efforts to be healthy, we will consistently backslide into bad habits and make little to no real progress. Setting and achieving goals will increase consistency. Decide what you want to achieve and then set small, achievable goals to get there. In striving to meet those goals, you will become consistent.
Be specific about what you want to accomplish and it will be easier to make the exact adjustments to do it. Plan your course of action by writing or logging it in a digital format. Set aside enough time to devote to your goals. Planning and wishing alone won’t magically make your goals materialize. You have to plan your work, but then you have to work your plan!
Remind yourself of your newfound goals. Write your goals down and put those reminders everywhere. Put sticky notes on your computer, refrigerator and the dashboard of your car. Set your phone to alert you throughout the day with reminders to stay on course.
Reward yourself for staying on track. Even small rewards can give you great initiative to work hard. Buy something you want but hesitate to spring for normally. Have a spa service that seems like an indulgence. Looking forward to these rewards will help you focus on the task at hand.
Keep going even if you mess up! No one is 100% all the time. Do your best and just keep doing that over and over. But, don’t deceive yourself, make sure that it is your best. Pretending to be on program and willfully and regularly slacking won’t create success, but when you really just have a moment, or a day, when you fail, pick yourself up and keep going. Never quit and you will get there.
Take rest days. Sometimes we have to relax and unwind. This is not an excuse to undo our progress. It is 1-3 days of rest. In strength training rest and recovery is mandatory to consistently build muscle. In those days we repair the “damage” of lifting which translates to new muscle. Every system in our body needs recovery time to avoid burn out.
Use personal motivational tools to prod yourself to keep going. Remind yourself of why you’re doing this. Visualize the outcome. Bask in the glow of the success that is to come. Press in and focus on what is important.
Be accountable. Keep records. David says what gets measured gets done. Record keeping is a form of measure. Record every bite that you eat and the calories, the amount and quality of your sleep, the time and intensity of your workouts and the state of mind that you’re in when you work out. The more detailed your records, the better your progress.
Give yourself time to see changes in whatever area you are trying to become consistent. True progress is a tedious process. As David says, “Trust the process.” Sometimes you won’t see changes for a while but you are still changing. Do what you know to do and do it again. Lasting change is carefully wrought. Keep working. It usually takes about three weeks of doing something consistently for it to become a habit. Don’t quit.
Strengthen your resolve. Avoid anything that might make you backslide. If walking through the bakery at the supermarket is a land mine for you, then don’t walk through it. Get enough sleep because when we’re sleep deprived our resolve can weaken. Remind yourself that this is a long term goal when the going gets tough.
Control your thoughts. Whenever you begin to have a negative thought about your goals, stop. Change the thought. Instead of thinking about how much you hate making changes, think about how good it will be when these new behaviors become habits.
Consistency is key to all good, creative processes in your life. Work on it. If you fail at times just pick yourself up and do it again. That in itself is a consistent behavior in that you refuse to quit. Dig in. Latch on. Push. One day the hard thing that seems impossible today will be your area of specialty and will enrich your life.