In my experience, there seems to be one behavior characteristic that our most successful clients have in common. It’s one that is not talked about enough, probably because it can’t be marketed and sold. However, if you can nail this one down, you can almost bet on success. The behavior is the ability to remain consistent.
Consistency is defined as a “steadfast adherence to the same principles; persistency.” When it comes to diet and nutrition, there are going to be days when you don’t really feel like making healthy food choices and other days where you feel empowered to do so. When it comes to your workouts, there will be days where you would do anything to avoid going to the gym and and others where you feel so good in the gym that you could take over the world. Hopefully, more of the latter. Regardless, there are always obstacles in your way but I’ve found that staying consistent will help keep the train on its tracks, which is the ultimate goal.
Here are 5 ways to keep up your consistency with your fitness and nutrition plan:
Create Rituals. Your healthy habits can become as second nature as brushing your teeth. Create a routine for yourself that will guarantee success. This can include picking the same day every week to do your food shopping and meal prep, working out every morning before work, meeting a friend for an evening walk on the same day every week or having the same go-to healthy meals from local restaurants that you frequent.
Build a Healthy Tribe. If you have ever tried to be healthy around a group of unhealthy people, you know it is not always easy. They may not understand your food choices, criticize the amount of time you spend at the gym or even make you feel tempted by their bad choices. A great way to stay consistent is to be around like-minded individuals that value your health and fitness goals because they have the same priorities. They will make you feel empowered to remain consistent to the plan.
Keep Your Blinders on. In other words, do not be distracted by what other people are doing or by what other progress people are making. Once, we start comparing ourselves to others, we become susceptible to derailment from our own plan. There are hundreds of different diets and workout plans that will lead to success. That said, if we are constantly changing our approach to do what others are doing, we are lacking consistency and therefore not giving ourselves enough time to be successful. Stay your own course. Honor your own journey.
Focus on Small Steady Increments. We all know the person who started a hardcore diet and was doing well but quickly fell off. We all know the person who joined the gym, was going 7-days a week for hours at a time and then fell off. In order to avoid this, don’t over commit in the beginning. Start with things you know you can stick to and build off of that. Think about the impact of making a 1 or 2% increase every week -- whether its in effort in the gym or dietary improvements. This will lead to a huge, consistent improvements over years.
Don’t Sweat Your Slip-Ups. Often time we overestimate the impact of our “slip-ups.” This may look something like... being upset with ruining your diet for having one cookie so rather than stop at one cookie, you eat the whole sleeve. In reality, the impact of one cookie could have potentially be negligible but you didn’t stop there. There will be slip-ups. We’re all human. Part of being consistent is shortening the turnaround time between the feeling of “falling off” or not feeling like you’re doing doing your best. Hit the “reset” button as soon as possible. So that one step back is followed by two steps forward.
Lack of consistency is one common factor that leads to failure toward any goal. Implement the five above parameters into your life and watch your ability to succeed go up big time. One of the great side effects of doing so, you will see other areas of your life start to improve as well. As Tony Robbins said, “It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.”