My Commitment To Consistency.

So, you’ve set your intention and are ready to start on the path to a better you. You start! A few weeks in, life happens, and you fall off the rails. You try to pick up where you left off, but you realize that you are too far gone and need to start from the beginning. Consistency is a topic that I am almost certain we have all struggled with at some point in time. I certainly know I have. Yet, without it, there is absolutely no way you will achieve your goals. So, what does it mean to be consistent? Better yet, what does it take to be consistent? Well, here’s my 5 cents. It’s my way of looking at the world, and if it resonates with you, great. If it doesn’t, that’s great too. It’s your 5 cents now, so do with it what you may. My goal is to give you a different perspective, my perspective, on being consistent.

When it comes to making health and fitness changes, consistency will always be a significant factor. And like intention, it takes being honest with yourself, about yourself. Most people break off way more than they can chew during the initial stages of making a change. They are quite optimistic about their unproven abilities and non-existent track record and commit without actual capacity. Even I have been victim to this. Here’s the perfect example, I started playing the piano about three years ago. I was so excited. I practiced all day and night. I even made a simple 16 keyboard key printout that I taped onto my work desk and did visual practice at work. And for three months straight, the only thing I listened to was piano music and watched copious amounts of youtube videos. By month 4, I burnt out, and whenever I looked at my keyboard, I would sigh loudly, thinking about the fact that practicing now felt like a chore. Now, it’s not that we can’t achieve that level of consistency without burning out, but we never start that way. And it’s easy to hear, “even if you don’t want to do it, do it anyway,” and if it were that simple, this wouldn’t be one of the most significant challenges to overcome when trying to achieve our goals.

For me, consistency is all about maintaining forward momentum, and through my journey, I’ve learnt many lessons about being consistent. However, the most important of them for me are the following five;

  1. Consistency is practiced.
  2. We need breaks to maintain our forward momentum.
  3. The tempo changes.
  4. Consistency breeds confidence.
  5. We all need help. Seek it when you need it.

Firstly, let’s talk about the need for breaks. Could you imagine going to work 24/7, for 365 days, every year until the age of retirement? I can’t. Shit, even doing something I love and enjoy, I need a break. Whether you are doing it because you have to or because you love it, you need a break to remain consistent at it, and how long of a break you take is all based on how much of a break you need to maintain your forward momentum. 

Now, let’s look at practicing consistency, consistency breeding confidence and the tempo change. So, currently, social media is my nemesis. While I do well in social settings, I am a private person and prefer solitude and creating deep personal bonds and relationships. Well, social media isn’t private and doesn’t provide those deep bonds. And that makes being on social media a task that takes a lot of emotional and psychological effort for me. However, going into business, friends told me on numerous occasions, “Jamie, you have to post to social media consistently if you want to see any benefit.”. Ok, I can understand this, but just starting seemed like such a daunting task. Not only was there a learning curve I needed to surpass, but the emotional and psychological work…oh boy. But, I needed to do something to get comfortable seeing and hearing myself on video if this were going to work. So, I developed a personal plan and a schedule to create one video per day for 365 days. I wouldn’t be posting any of them, but I aimed to become more comfortable being on camera and talking to myself. And this would ultimately lead to me being more comfortable using social media.

My first video was 30 seconds long. I looked in every direction besides the camera and walked around nervously, even though I was the only one seeing this video. Now, I am about two weeks in, and I’m talking on camera for about 3-5 minutes on average and only look away when I’m thinking. This progression may not seem significant to some, but this is a massive win for me as a private and non-social media person. Application and consistency in this area bred and continues to foster confidence in me. As it stands, I anticipate that this practice will allow me to start posting a video 1-2 times per month, and the goal is to work myself up to 1-2 videos per week. 

Now. Imagine if I had said I would start my journey posting 1-2 videos per week. I can assure you I would not have accomplished this. How? Because I tried it, and I failed. I made two videos over four months. It was a short-lived experience. But this is where most of us struggle, especially when we try to do it alone with limited knowledge. We set great goals but commit to a level of work, without adequate breaks, and beyond our actual capacity at the moment. And this is the quickest way to burn out. Not to mention, it feels like a failure, and that feeling can take a considerable toll on your mental state and your desire to press on. 

Consistency isn’t linear. We all have our unique challenges, and then there’s just life. However, what’s essential is to:

  1. Show compassion when there is a shift or when a break is needed.
  2. Take responsibility for getting back on track and adjusting the work and rest load.

This isn’t a failure. It is merely a shift in tempo. It reduces the workload and/or increases the rest period to continue the forward momentum despite changing circumstances. Prepare for this because it will happen. 

And finally, one of the most incredible things you can do is seek help if you need it when changes happen. An accountability buddy, a life coach, a nutritionist, or a fitness trainer are a few excellent ways to keep the forward momentum going. As a private person, I’ve had to learn this the hard way, but let me assure you, having the right help is like putting your hands in your pocket and magically finding twenty dollars you didn’t even know you had.

Fitness and nutrition are lifestyle changes, and sometimes it’s challenging to maintain the tempo we’ve built up to when our situation suddenly changes. And although there is no quick fix, understanding how to be consistent will keep you on track to achieving your goal. I wish you good health, happiness, and fulfillment! From your mindset to your lifestyle to your nutrition, find your forward momentum, change your tempo when you must and remain consistent.  

And remember, to live your best life, health and fitness are not optional, but neither is it a one size fits all solution. You must find what works for you, and I’m here to help you if you want.

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