Consistency… The Spice of Life
Here’s a picture I’m going to paint for you.
Four days a week you attend a 45 minute, high intensity interval training workout. You get an average 7 hours of sleep a night. 90% of the time you follow a healthy and supportive meal plan. You’ve reached your most recent weight loss goal and have noticed an increase in strength and flexibility.
Here’s a very different picture.
You’re staying up too late each night trying to get in some last minute work while you have the TV on the background. You miss breakfast and lunch most days and often eat far too much at dinner time as well as snack mindlessly while doing the late night work. You’re often tired and groggy in the morning and it’s tough to get out of bed. You miss morning workouts because you’re tired and you miss evening workouts also because you’re tired. Over the past 6 months you’ve really started to notice that your clothes are no longer fitting well.
Both of these stories have very consistent daily life patterns.
The last one is the slow consistency of becoming more unhealthy each day. Slowly adding on weight and leading a relatively sedentary lifestyle.
The first one might not be the full pillar of health but is the reward of making consistently smarter choices by sticking to the road that is usually less traveled. It can sometimes be harder to stay on this path but the reward when you do is triumph for better daily quality of life.
The first story also isn’t about such rigidity that there is no fun to be had but rather building a foundation that will support your ability to balance the fun, life, work and taking care of you to be able to take care of others.
In the second story, it becomes easier and easier to continue on the sedentary path because to some degree it is easier just not healthier. The full blown reality is that you are slowly letting outside factors take over and ruin the mind and body you were given to protect. It might not seem like it now but soon a few flights of stairs will be uncomfortable for you.
Here’s a starter plan to help lead you from the second story into the first, just remember it’s all about different habits with the same consistency.
- Each week, schedule 3 days at a specific time where you will be active. This can include going to the gym or you can start as simple as going for a rigorous walk outside. You must keep these appointments with yourself.
- Twice a week, plan and prep in advance a few days worth of meals. Don’t try to be elaborate to start. Make a crockpot of chili and grill 2-3 lbs of lean protein. Portion them out into containers with your favorite veggies for your meals for the week.
- Turn the TV and your phones/tablets off at night by at least 10pm and go to sleep. Avoid laying in bed watching TV or surfing the internet, give your eyes and your mind some time to rest.
If you fall off the plan, simply pick it back up with the very next step.
Above all else, remember it’s all about different habits with the same consistency. It takes time but you can succeed.