Consistency Is Key

“Consistency is key.” I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase a lot, not only in regard to fitness, but in regard to many life habits that one wants to develop and maintain. I want to touch on it today with a focus on exercise and nutrition habits. Stick with me, because I’m going to dive into what consistency means for these aspects of your life, and how you can avoid “failure brain” when it comes to your own routines.

First and foremost, what IS consistency really? One of the official definitions of it, according to Merriam-Webster, is a “harmony of conduct or practice with profession.” I want to focus on one main word in that definition – HARMONY.

When it comes to exercise and nutrition I think a lot of people mistake consistency for perfection.

Say you purchase a home fitness program that comes with a calendar to follow. You assume that “consistency” means that you have to follow that calendar to the letter, or that you have to follow the associated nutrition plan perfectly, and if you miss a day or two then you have to start over because your consistency was ruined. This is failure brain coming in to play. If you mistake consistency with perfection, then you lose the important aspect of harmony.

Let’s take a look at another word featured in that official definition – PRACTICE. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes progress.

Harmony and practice are key components to developing a healthy relationship with your exercise and nutrition habits, and the level of consistency that you decide to keep with them.

Everyone has different levels, different bodies, different abilities, different schedules, different work loads, different lives, etc. One person’s consistency will be different from another person’s consistency. They key is to be honest with yourself up front about what level of consistency you are able to commit to when starting a new exercise routine or a new way of eating.

If you know that you will only be able to fit in a workout 3-4 days of the week, then make that your level of consistency. Who cares if the workout calendar shows you working out 6 days per week! You can still follow that calendar chronologically, but do so by working out on the days that you know you can consistently make it part of your life without getting to a point of major burn-out. If you can do 6 days per week, cool, then make that your committed level of consistency.

If you know that you can consistently prepare your own meals 4-5 days of the week, then do that! If you can do it 6-7 days per week, then do that! Just be consistent with your commitment to yourself, because consistency is practice. Practice makes progress.

(One type of consistency I do not recommend however, is consistently skipping rest days. Those are important. Don’t skip those. For real.)

The bottom line is this – if you don’t feel in harmony with the level of consistency you are trying to maintain, then find the level of consistency you ARE able to maintain so that you can restore harmony and keep on practicing your skills and your habits.

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