Be Consistent at Being Consistent
The worst program performed consistently produces better results than the best program not performed.
The name of the game for most people who are not high level athletes or elite physique models is simply doing the healthy thing more often than not.
This logically makes sense right? If you eat healthy 50% of the time and like crap the other 50% of the time, you will not be near as healthy as if you ate healthy 80% of the time and like crap the other 20%.
…so how do I stay consistent?
I. Start Small and Build
You need to find what healthy actions you can stay consistent with now – no matter how small – and start there. Then strategically build on those actions over time so that you create habits that can last the rest of your life. This is because going too big, too fast will likely result in failure in the short term and almost guarantee failure in the long term.
For example: If, on Day 1, you went from doing none of the 7 basic healthy habits listed in Part II below, to doing all of them, you will likely fail. This is because it would be a complete life change overnight. I am not saying that some people can’t do it, but anyone who is like me and has experienced the yo-yo diet effect knows that going too agressive too quickly will be awesome for a few days or even a few weeks, but in the long term you will just be back to where you started…or worse.
What you need to do is obtain healthy habits. In order to obtain healthy habits, you need to do the healthy actions consistently. To successfully do them consistently, you need to take them one small step at a time. This may take longer than you would like but be patient. As Bill Gates said, “people always overestimate what they can do in a year, but underestimate what they can do in 10.”
To see why in greater detail check out my earlier post “What is Habit Change and How is it Obtained.”
II. Don’t Complicate Things
This means that there is no need to get bogged down in highly sophisticated nutrition or fitness concepts if you are not already consistent with the basics. That would be like mowing the lawn while your house is on fire. It does not make any sense. For example:
- It does not matter what vitamin supplements you need to take if you are not eating vegetables every day.
- Who cares about weighing your food and counting your calories if it is mostly processed junk.
- Going vegetarian will not make you more healthy if you are filling your plate with pasta and french fries.
- Fasting isn’t the ticket if you still eat a whole pizza a dinner.
- Finding the perfect workout plan is irrelevant if you don’t ever actually workout.
Instead focus on the healthy basics:
- Exercise, in any form, 5 times a week
- Eat your daily macros
- Eat whole, clean, unprocessed foods
- Drink 2L of water per day
- Drink calorie free drinks
- Get 6 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night
- Keep your stress at a reasonable level
If you are consistently making those healthy choices and want to take the next step, then you can worry about some of the details. (hint…most people will hit their health and fitness goals when they consistently accomplish the healthy basics – they will never have to take the next steps.)
III. Be Reasonable
Getting into shape or losing weight does not have to involve painful, highly restrictive, intolerable sacrifices. Health does not have to become your full-time job. You only need to consistently make the basic healthy choices and over time you will get to a level of health and fitness you never thought possible.
IV. Don’t Worry About Perfection
Also, it is not and all or nothing thing. Simply stay compliant to the basics 80% of the time, and you will see amazing results.
It has been proven by thousands of average Joes and Janes that consistently doing the healthy basics most of the time makes them healthy, fitter, and happier – even if they are not 100%. If you don’t believe me, think about that person in your life who you always thought was healthy and fit? I bet that you have had a beer or greasy cheeseburger with them before. Maybe even recently. Yet they are still healthy and fit. That is because day in and day out, they are making healthy decisions most of the time – even though they are not perfect.
#1 Rule = Be Consistent
To be consistent, don’t over complicate the plan, be reasonable in your actions, and don’t freak out if you are not perfect. Instead, start small, be patient, and build strategically.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
Flex Fitness has a Strategic Plan Ready to Go. It is called the Nomadic Physical Wellness System. It was built for those on the go but it can work for anyone.
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