Many people always ask me the key to staying fit and lean. Almost all expect me to answer with some secret workout formula or the perfect meal.
The reality is that the only silver bullet to good health is consistency. Although it sounds simple, it is usually the hardest thing one will ever do and thus the reason for such poor health in America.
A lot of us shy away from consistency because we live in a society where we have ‘quick fixes’ to everything. Once we implement this quick fix, we move on to the next problem. Consistency is not a quick fix. It is a life long commitment to a goal, objective, direction. It is counter to everything we get bombarded with in movies, TV, radio and ads.
We are taught the quick fix to a headache is a pill. The quick fix to losing weight is the latest fad diet book. The quick fix to anything is via medicine, self help book or what have you. All these solutions are short term, short sighted and take zero long term will and commitment.
In order to achieve life long health, one must have life long goals, visualize it now, and then set the path towards that goal.
Consistency is what keeps you on that road towards the end in mind. Inconsistency are the side roads that many people take, sometimes even get lost in, that keeps you from getting to that goal in a timely manner if at all!
Consistency and Plans…
So what does consistency mean in the context of good health? Consistency is intertwined to having a plan. Most audacious plans are not reached in one leap or step. A plan is usually broken down into a series of steps that gradually lead to the end result. This is done for a couple of reasons.
First, plans are broken down into steps in order to have a clear path to where you are going and to be able to identify the opportunities that exist in each step as you execute the plan. You just can’t eat an elephant with one bite, one must have a plan!
Secondly, plans are broken down into steps in order to not get discouraged along the way. It is necessary to have a vision of what your plan will look like at the end but it is tough to punish yourself if you haven’t achieved it immediately. One climbing Mount Everest should not get upset because they haven’t gotten there after you have taken the first 20 steps towards the summit!
So define consistency…
So just like in plans, consistency is composed of a series of levels. So let’s look at one example so you can see what I mean.
You want to get in shape. You already have set up a plan on how to do this. It consists of two plans. One plan is eating healthier, making better food choices. The second plan is starting an exercise routine. To make your exercise routine successful you need to have a series of consistencies. They would be as follows:
- How many times a week can you consistently make it. This has to be realistic otherwise you will never consistently make it. The number of times a week doesn’t matter. What does matter that whatever that number is, you will not miss them, no matter what.
- After you set the number of times of week, what days of the week will they be? You have to set expectations because missing a day can lead to missing the next time and the next time. Although you can vary the days of the week from week to week and preferably a week ahead of schedule, you have to have a consistency in the days of the week you will exercise.
- How long will you spend exercising? This is just as important as number 1 above because it sets expectations and allows you to prioritize your time for the day you do train. Again, just as in 1, the length of time doesn’t matter, what does matter is that whatever amount of time you pick, you stick to it. The key again, is being realistic!
So as you can see, something as simple as starting an exercise routine has several levels of consistent behavior that has to be set and committed to in order to have success. You just cant randomly workout, randomly spend 10 minutes one day and 90 minutes the next session. There has to be structure. With structure comes discipline and it ends in results.
Be consistent to be….Fit Forlife