Consistency Sucks!

What? Did I just write that on my blog and send it out? Yep, but I’ll tone it down now that I have your attention!

Consistency is bummer. What does this even mean?All it means is that being consistent is hard work! To reach any goal you have, if it’s lose 10% body fat or become the CEO of a major corporation, you must continually work at improving your habits, your thoughts and your actions.

Don’t Eat The Jelly Doughnut Every Day

It’s so easy to fall back into patterns that comfort you. This is because habits  are so ingrained and automatic. That’s good and bad. Good because it enables you to find your way to school or work. Bad because you also automatically turn in to the  Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot for a jelly doughnut on your way! Both are habits that take very little effort to do and so you can save your brain space for something new and valuable.

So what do habits have to do with consistency being a bummer? Well, you can only reach your fat loss goals with consistency, which is hard…. at first, but when practiced regularly, become easy and habitual. You never “lose” a habit, you just develop new ones that overtake the old ones.

Let’s say you have a goal to lose 30 pounds of body fat. You’ve made the decision that you are going to “work” at it and you are really going to do it this time! You map out a plan, join a gym and even hire a trainer. You fill your refrigerator with lots of vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, fresh fruit and you are excited! The first day you eat very well and go for a jog. The second day you do pretty well and you justify the morning jelly doughnut because you’re eating pretty good otherwise and, after all, you did go for a jog yesterday. Day three, you’re running late so you skip breakfast and by the time lunch rolls around your ravenous and eat everything in sight. Again, justifications come in. “It’s only this one time. I’ll do better tomorrow to make up for today” and “hey, I was really hungry!” Consistency in your old ways are keeping you fat and unhealthy.

Consistency Is Longer Than One Week

Imagine if you were consistent day in and day out with healthy choices!  Every day you ate breakfast instead of skipping. Every day your snack was 2 ounces of walnuts and an apple. Every day you made your own lunch instead of eating out. Every day dinner was eaten before 7:00 and you no longer ate a bed time snack. Every day you took a few moments to meditate. Every day you drank plenty of water. Every day you were active. Every day you read a book and unplugged from the computer. Ahhhh…..

You can do this. It takes work. It takes effort. You must take steps every day – for months and years at a time to create new, positive changes. Don’t expect to eat healthy, supportive foods for one week, binge the next, and cycle on and off like this repeatedly and still see massive changes in your body shape. It doesn’t work this way. You must make the healthy choices consistently over weeks, months and years to see significant results.

Calendar picture

Working at reaching your goals takes time. It takes work and it takes a shift in your thinking. That’s why some people might see consistency as a bummer. Me? I see it as a challenge to better myself.

Here are some action steps to help you stay consistent over the long haul (not just over a one week period!)

1. Write your goals down where you will see them often. For example, “I will lose one dress size this month.”

2. Write down why you want these goals. Keep this in a place you will see it often. This could be one word that triggers your memory. For example write the word “Dress” and post it on your pantry door.

3. Visualize yourself as living that way currently. What do you look like wearing that dress that is one size smaller? What does your hair and make-up look like? What does the fabric feel like?

4. Write down your plan of action. How will you lose that dress size? Cutting out sugar snacks, controlling portion sizes, limiting wine to only 3 glasses per week?

5. Pick one thing every three weeks to change. The first three weeks you will go from drinking 8 glasses of wine to 3 glasses. The next three weeks you will exercise 4 times per week (every week), etc.

6. Repeat. Pick something new every three or four weeks to help you reach your goals.