Consistency is the hallmark of any attempt to change a pattern of behaviour. That might sound overly simplified but it is in fact the hardest part of what anyone needs to overcome in order to effect real change.
For years I have been a member of a gym, had personal trainers, good intentions to exercise, but throughout all of had been one underlying and core fatal flaw: the lack of consistency.
I realized this about 10 years ago and despite my best efforts couldn’t seem to get that concept across to others who where there to try to help me. Help it seems comes at a cost.
The best help and support is paid for with love, not money. I say that, not to be the subject of a meme, but because I have come to realise that it is true.
If you hire someone to help you lose weight, they are doing it as a job and for an income. When the money runs out so does the help.
If you go to a gym and people decide they want to help you out, they are only doing it because they don’t have anything else better to do at the time despite their best intentions. Once something more pressing comes along, while you may still be a friend, you aren’t family and ultimately they aren’t responsible for you.
Family and ‘true friends’ are there for you often out of a sense of responsibility. They will weather the rough patches but they too have their own lives to lead.
Love is the only true motivator. Love in one’s self. Love in another. Love motivates yourself. It also determines how much reciprocation you should expect based on how that love reinforces other people’s needs, wants, and desires, not our own.
The challenge with consistency, is our ability to express a love for what it is we are doing. You need to truly love what you are doing in order for it to become a habit.
Sometimes that love needs to build up over time. It starts out small and the next thing you know you can’t live without it.
Tackling food, exercise, and training is much like that.
This is the core lesson that most
personal trainers and gym professionals don’t get.
You need to address a person’s psyche before you can address a person’s body. Going flat out for 30-60 minutes as part of an exercise program will never work for people who need to lose weight unless you can build up a pattern of sucessfully loving what you are doing.
When an exercise program physically and mentally drains a person, they won’t stick with their regime.
When the food you need to eat to maintain a healthy weight is devote of any emotional stimulation, you won’t stick to the nutritional plan.
I have been finding, the secret to gaining some control is to aim for a very small success and simply be good at doing that same thing every day.
And by small, I really do mean small.
If you want to start an exercise program after being a lump for 10 years, aim for 1000 steps per day. Get good at 1000 steps per day. Be consistent at 1000 steps per day. Be capable of forgiving yourself if you miss 1000 steps in a given day and pick up the next day where you left off.
You will find that over time 1000 steps will turn into 1100 steps, then 1200 steps, then 1300 steps and on it goes.
It is our natural inclination that once we become good at something, and we can feel pride in our accomplishments around it, we want to do more of it. We build up a physical and emotional connection to the activity where we eventually miss it when we aren’t doing it.
The other factor in consistency is this: its not about reaching a goal. Consistency is a dedication to making a permanent change in how you live your life. You should never consider a objective, which is based around a consistent pattern of behaviour, to be a “3 month goal” or a “6 month goal” but rather think of it in terms of years.
This is one step, in a series of steps,
that ends when we eventually cross over to whatever lies beyond.
The goal is to love, to be loved, and to be happy doing it.
Nothing more than that. Once you understand that, you will come to realize that the hardest part of consistency, is actually just taking that first step. The rest just falls into place naturally so long as you keep your goals small and allow yourself to build upon them at a natural pace.