I feel like there is so much thrown in our face about the latest and greatest new approach to fitness. I am so guilty of accidentally catching a new fitness craze infomercial and literally being mesmerized by the claims. Like oh my god, I have to have this thing! Usually while slowly munching on some sort of snack without breaking eye contact with the T.V.
If it isn’t an infomercial that has talked us into becoming a new and improved self, it is some other person or class that we are all gung ho on. I have been there, I have gone to pilates, yoga, and TRX classes all amped up to try something new.
I can’t tell you how many times I or my clients have been ‘all in’ right out of the gate. This is it, this is my time, I am ready baby! I get all excited, talk up a big game and plan out my week.
Actually deciding to start working out, is not really all that hard to do. I feel like we all can pretty easily decide we want to give it a go. We get new shoes, maybe some new workout clothes (hey any excuse to buy yoga pants, right?!) and get our gym membership. We are so in.
Then we go the first day. We are sort of unsure of what we are doing, but hey it’s the first day. We will get the hang of it.
Then it’s time to go back another day. Except your schedule is hectic, your energy is crap from the busy work week, and you haven’t slept well because the kids have been sick. You think, okay, I just can’t this week. I’ll start again next week.
Except next week never happens.
This is the weak link in the habit chain.
So I started to think about this issue and why consistency is so freaking hard to keep up with.
I realized that consistency is hard when you are trying to be perfect. Crazy right? Don’t we usually think of perfection and consistency as going hand in hand?
But here is what I think, perfection literally is the killer of consistency. Why? Because if you are trying to be perfect and you miss a day, chances are you are going to beat yourself up because you broke your routine or your ‘streak’ as I used to call it. Not only that but once you miss a day, isn’t it so much easier to miss another and another? I mean hell, I already blew it by missing a day. RIP Consistency. You didn’t stand a chance.
So how can we work through this?
First, I think it is important to be realistic about your life at this moment. If you are saying you are going to workout 6 days a week that may be totally unrealistic for your current life situation. You are setting yourself up for failure. I can tell you right now, I can’t do 6 days a week at this moment in my life. So I set my expectations accordingly. Right now I am actually taking a full on hiatus from heavy exercise and instead doing just 3 days a week of restorative movement because that is what my body is telling me it needs. That is what is realistic right now for me. This may change in 6 months, at which point, I change my goal!
Your goals can change! You don’t have to follow a rigid strict plan for all of eternity.
Next, realize that if you want to create consistency there literally can be no end date. If you want to lose weight or create a new habit why would you put an ‘end’ date to that. Don’t you want this new habit or routine to stay around? Otherwise, why are you even starting in the first place? If you start the habit and get to your end point, won’t stopping just put you right back where you started?
Finally, my goal for myself and for you is to learn how to put forth the minimum amount of effort needed to get the maximum results on a regular basis. This is different for everyone, but it takes a little bit of work to find what your minimum effort to maximum results will be.
I want you to remember this More Is Not Better, BETTER is Better. What I mean by this is that if you think it isn’t worth going for a walk because you only have 10 minutes, I want you to still go on that walk. Why? Because 10 minutes is better than ZERO minutes. Today I went on a walk with three dogs, two adults and two toddlers. It was CHAOS and it was certainly not a fast paced, fat burning walk. But guess what, we laughed, we moved, the kids got worn out and we just beat the rain before it started. Remember, you don’t have to knock it out of the park every single time you set out to do something. Instead, just try to plan to do the bare minimum if necessary.
I want you to think about one thing you can do this week, every day. It might be “I will drink water once a day” or “I will eat breakfast on Mondays.”
Send me an email or comment below to let us know what your one thing is, I can help be your accountability buddy 😉