If you’ve been around South Landing for any amount of time at all, you’ve probably heard one or all of your coaches talking about how important consistency is.
I can come to the gym one day a week and max out on all my weights and spend the next six days recovering, OR alternatively, I can come to the gym 4-6 days a week, try to meet the stimulus for the day (aka, the RPE scale), and feel pretty good by the weekend.
Which one do you think will progress my fitness goals more?
Obviously, the second scenario is the one that will benefit me the most. But consistency is hard! It really is a difficult thing to learn how to form a habit when you’re not used to it.
I’m going to share a few of the methods I use to find consistency in pursuing my goals.
DROP THE SUCCEED/FAIL mentality:
I have spent so much time beating myself up because I “failed” at something I was trying to pursue. This is why I don’t believe in diets; when you’re on a diet, and you eat one thing that is outside of that diet, you are now “off” of the diet.
If you’re like me, you tend to feel as though you have failed, and it’s hard to get back on track with a failure mindset.
Instead of putting myself in a mindset of success or failure, I try to look at the big picture: am I moving in the direction I want to be moving?
This allows for there to be times where you are crushing all your goals, and times where you are barely eeking out little bits of progress, but you are still moving forward towards your goals.
If you’re having a hard time with consistency, take a few moments to evaluate the way you think about pursuing your goals. How can you shift your mindset to a bigger-picture view of your goals; how does today fit into your 5- or 10-year hopes for yourself?
consistency doesn’t happen by accident:
If I’ve learning anything about consistency, it’s that it takes planning and forethought – over and over again.
When I was in college, a speaker said, “No one plans to fail, but few people plan not to fail.”
Of course you’re not trying to miss your workouts or stress-eat or binge Netflix instead of getting enough sleep; but, are you doing anything at all to plan to not do those things?
Looking at your week, where are the places you tend to lack consistency the most, and how can you make a plan to become more consistent week by week?
For example, all my food is planned out from Monday through Friday, but I am terrible at planning my weekend food. My current solution for becoming more consistent in nourishing myself well over the weekend is this simple: in my Notes on my phone, I have a grocery list. At the bottom of the grocery list, there is a section called “Weekend Food.” All I have to do is think for about 60 seconds about what food to buy, and this problem is solved.
Look at where you are lacking consistency in pursuing your goals, and make a very simple plan to help you stay on track.
recognize your pillars
Lastly, and somewhat related to my previous point, if you want to be consistent, you have to become somewhat of a planner, and you have to find your pillars (more on this in a minute).
It’s nice to think that you’ll just wake up each day and everything you want to pursue will just happen, but we all know that’s not true.
Set aside time at the beginning of each week to look at the next seven days. Make appointments with yourself for things you find important, and stick to your appointments.
This will require you to say “no” to some things, but it will also help you find a rhythm of what works for you each week.
Something I heard in a podcast once that I found incredibly helpful was to schedule “pillars” into your days.
PILLARS are something that happen at the same time each day and help you feel anchored and less chaotic throughout the day.
I know for a lot of us, each day might look totally different from the next, so your pillars might be your lunch and your bedtime and that’s all. For others, you might have a more consistent schedule, and you can have several pillars such as when you wake up, all your meals, your workouts, etc.
My advice would be to try to find two pillars that you can put on your calendar from Monday to Friday, and use those pillars to help you find some consistency in your schedule.
To sum it all up, remember the following:
DROP THE SUCCEED/FAIL MINDSET
CONSISTENCY DOESN’T HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT
RECOGNIZE YOUR PILLARS
And as always, keep moving forward.
– COACH MADDIE