I wax on about consistency. And….I am a wholehearted believer that consistency trumps intensity every single time. Meaning, those that just plug in and do the work, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day, will ALWAYS get ahead faster than those that beast for 6 weeks and then fall off the wagon.
Because they have committed to something everyday, they have set themselves up for a powerful chain of events. Picture it as rolling a tiny snowball at the top of a hill. The tiny snowball seems meaningless. But as you roll it down the hill and it adds layers and layers of snow, and pretty soon doesn’t need help getting rolled down because it’s getting huge….well, you get the idea. It’s the powerful chain of events.
The thing that I see that trips most women up is that we try to make this part TOO DAMN HARD. “A little something everyday” seems to end up being “Annihilate your body everyday” or “I have to workout an hour everyday” or it doesn’t count. You see, it is easy to mess up the intensity of consistency. Making it….not so attainable everyday. It’s sexy to say “I’m gonna KILL my workout everyday from here on out, no excuses”…..but it isn’t actually DOABLE. Because life, somewhere, will pop up along the way, and throw you off your game, and you’ll miss a day. For many women, missing that day then sets off a guilt chain, which sets off yucky feelings, which makes it easy to either bail on the NEXT workout, or feel icky about oneself.
These emotions, surrounding something healthy and empowering like workouts, are just completely useless. They don’t solve anything for us. They don’t make us better. They just make things harder.
So, I wanted to lay down my three biggies for helping you flex your consistency muscle. Said another way, here’s my no-glam, real talk approach to getting your rear end from canceling on yourself 50% of the time to hitting your workouts 90% of the time.
- Accept that in the beginning, and sometimes overall, that you won’t actually feel like working out. It’s the most unsexy advice out there. But…to be honest, the most useful. We want to do things we feel like all the time. We want everything to be fun. Welp, the hardest part about making a change is that…it’s NOT always fun. It’s just not. In order to build the size of your consistency muscle, though, you must flex it frequently. Your consistency muscle doesn’t grow in size if you don’t work it. Said another way, you can’t develop consistency if you don’t put forth the effort. And the beginning, well…that is HARD sometimes. The first few days are exciting, and that quickly wears off and forces you to confront that workout consistency hasn’t been in your life, and real life with pop up at you and try to throw you off your new workout game, and you will have to tell it to eff off and stay the course. I don’t want to be Negative Nelly here, but it’s just how it goes. The people who are doing the damn thing are the people who do it even when they don’t want to sometimes. End of story. This is you at the top of the hill beginning to roll the snowball. To get it going on it’s own, you have to help shape it first.
- Insist upon committing to less, and over-flippin-delivering. Ever look at a to-do list that is a mile long and you feel so overwhelmed that you just give up because what’s the point? Flexing your consistency muscle is absolutely no different. It’s easy to bail when you feel like the flex you are about to make doesn’t make much difference in the overall picture so why start today? In order to get that snowball bigger and bigger, we need a streak of winning weeks under our belt. Commit to MUCH less when you begin setting your sights on a bigger consistency muscle. MUCH less. Think 2 workouts per week here, and make them workouts that you will actually DO. Solidify them in your calendar, execute them when they pop up. Whatever happens on the other five days of the week happens, but nail those two workouts. In my experience, those that commit to less, tend to show up a little extra for themselves during the week because the insane pressure is gone. I operate no differently. I commit to less, and usually over deliver like a boss. When you do the two workouts you’ve said you would do this week, you’ve just given yourself 100%. When you do the two workouts out of the six you said you would do…well, that rate plummets to 33%. Which would you feel good about? Go back to the snowball. When you are in the early stages of shaping that snowball, which do you think would help you build faster….100% focus or 33%? The clients that I work with tend to feel pretty damn jazzed at 100%, and therefore think it’s not so hard to sometimes toss in an extra workout for the week, or do another empowering action that nudges them forward (er….builds that snowball a bit bigger).
- Be incredibly stingy with the number of changes you make at one time. Hey ladies, go back to #2 and that to-do list that can always be a mile long. I’d like to encourage you here to keep only ONE of those things about change. In this case, your workouts. Most often, we struggle with consistency because we lose track. We get lost in the shuffle of too many changes. We don’t laser beam focus on it. We try….to change too many things at ONE time. An example here would be trying to change how you eat AND how you workout all in the same. You can definitely do both, but we need to focus on one first to get the snowball shaped and formed, before we focus on the other. In order to build our consistency muscle, we need to flex it A LOT. A great rule of thumb is get a streak of weeks under your belt where you focus on only ONE change, and can execute that change 90% of the time….before adding another change. Meaning….pick your change, and rock it for a few weeks, and get to at least 90% consistency before adding one more thing to work at changing. This will help you build and shape that snowball and get it rolling down the hill by itself…before you focus on a second snowball. Said another way, you are flexing the hell out of the consistency muscle, and now you are finding yourself standing in front of your bathroom mirror doing ALL the flexing and admiring that new muscle.
You guys, NONE of this sound sexy. Absolutely none of it. Which is why we don’t read this stuff on social media, because it doesn’t sell. Big Fitness and Big Diet don’t sell this stuff because they can’t generate revenue from it to keep them in Big Fitness and Big Diet.
So, sometimes when you feel frustrated and like you know exactly what to do but find yourself consistently….NOT….doing THAT, it’s time to try a new approach. What I’ve just talked about above actually won’t line the pockets of Big Diet and Big Fitness but it WILL vaccinate you against their bullshit. Because you will have just built insane CONFIDENCE by doing the thing that trips so many up.