We've already talked about the first 2 "C's" of great fitness:
I don’t know a fitness professional out there who won’t tell you that consistency is the single most important key to great fitness.
It’s also one of the hardest.
In our busy, hectic, Covid-hazed world, there are distractions and roadblocks thrown at us all the time. I find it a lot harder to stick to my plans when there is so much noise. And, fitness is hard. Sometimes sitting idly in front of a screen seems easy. But we know, deep down, that is a false equivalency. That lethargy leads to more lethargy and then to that inevitable loss of fitness and dread.
Unfortunately, our fitness industry plays into this:
Great fitness is built over time with dedicated, consistent effort. And, not just for an event or time period, but for a lifetime of healthy living.
The Key To Consistency - Create Habits
Changing your habits is about establishing a ‘new normal’ so that healthy living becomes your way of life rather than something you either do or don’t do, depending on which phase of your ‘yo-yo cycle’ you’re in.
For instance, you don’t have to think about brushing your teeth, you simply make your way to the bathroom to do this before you go to bed… A habit
You don’t have to think about having a shower in the morning, you simply switch on the hot water and jump in before you get dressed… A habit
So, like those habits, what if you make healthy habits that promote a healthier, slimmer and happier you automatic as well?
This is why we recommend scheduling your classes at 614Fitness well in advance. To set up a routine and commit to the habit. I know on certain mornings I can always count on certain members whose habit it is to make that morning class no matter what.
Here are five things to consider when making consistent fitness your habit:
Consistency Habit # 1: Define What REALLY Motivates You.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about a brief bout of motivation on the 1st of January or following a milestone birthday or an upcoming class reunion.
This is about a deep inner desire to achieve a goal. The going will get tough at some point along your journey, and motivation is critical to keep you moving forward during those times. To help our members create and maintain motivation, we help them connect to a deep seated reason for wanting to achieve their goal.
For example, we often hear that someone wants to join 614Fitness to lose weight. That’s all well and good, but there is another, deeper motivator.
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to get fit.”
Nobody really wants to lose weight per se.
What they really want is the feeling or results they get by losing weight.
Quick success story:
One of our members tells a story of her 6 year old whose friend asked him to come over Saturday morning and go to the movies. The 6 year old replied: “I can't, that's when my mom goes for her workout!”
Consistency Habit # 2: Addition not Subtraction
When creating new habits, we often devote all our energy to stopping our ‘bad habits’ and replacing these with new ‘good habits’.
This is not necessarily wrong, and it may be a successful approach for some people. Many times it leaves us craving the forbidden fruit, and we’ve not provided an acceptable alternative.
The process of adding new, healthy habits to our lifestyle won’t leave us with that empty feeling. I sometimes call this “The tail wagging the dog.” As you add in these consistent healthy fitness habits, you often find that your craving for the unhealthy ones just don’t work for you anymore. These new habits will naturally replace your old habits in time anyway.
One final thought. Language matters. Try telling yourself “I GET to work out today.” vs “I HAVE to work out.” Try making your workout it’s own reward. More than one member has told us “This is MY time and no one is going to take it away from me!”
Consistency Habit # 3: Love the Process
Those of you who have known me very long know that I always talk about loving the process. “Love the process, get the results!”
I heard an anecdote about the famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. During a master class he was asked if he knew that, when he was putting in hours upon hours practicing violin, he one day would become a world famous violinist.
He replied, “No! I wanted to be a world famous tennis player. I practiced the violin so much because I loved it. Loved to play it. Loved how it sounded. I just happened to become a famous violinist.”
He loved the process.
Learn to love the process of working out... challenging your body in new ways, creating habits that build your fitness, doing things you weren't able to do before. That’s magic! And that's when the results happen.
Consistency Habit # 4: Keep It Simple – That One Thing
A common mistake most of us make is trying to do too much all at once. New Year’s resolutions are a lot like that:
“I’m going to lose weight, start running, organize the office, quit eating sugar, stop watching Netflix and workout everyday!”
Then January 2nd happens!
Keep it simple. Plan that one thing you want to change. One January I gave up diet cola (2-3 can-a-day habit) and never looked back. The next year we opened 614Fitness!
More often than not, changing just one small habit can empower us to take on and tackle more. And, the reward of having success in one small habit encourages us to keep challenging ourselves.
Try making just one small change, something simple you can do. You might be surprised by what that success might lead to.
Here are some examples to try:
Consistency Habit # 5: Use Support Systems
No one said it was going to be easy.
Having systems of support around you can help you stay on track when the going gets tough. And it will!
One of the things we like to do at 614Fitness is throw challenges out to our member athletes. The accountability makes the process more fun. Relying on team members, family, or friends is a great way to stay on track.
On your refrigerator, write a note of affirmation. Why are you REALLY motivated to do.
Our small group personal training is so effective because we challenge and support each other to crank out one more rep or take on a bigger challenge. Weight Watchers is so successful because it builds on a community of support.
Some ideas for support systems: