Be Consistent and Win!

consistency

Lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of consistency.  For the past 4 months I have consistently gone to the gym and actually worked out for at least 4 days a week each week.  During those months I have consistently followed various workout programs and completed from beginning to end.  I have shocked myself!  I have never been that consistent, of my own accord, with exercising.  Is it easy to get up at 4:30 am to kick my own butt with weight training or to sweat my hair out doing cardio?  Absolutely not!  But what keeps me going back is results.  I’m seeing muscles that I didn’t know I had and fitting back into clothes I had already packed up to give away because I had outgrown them.  For me, those are serious results.

Funny thing is, results (or at least desirable results) are only achieved through consistency.  A quote on Bodybuilding.com says it all.  What had previously been there was “Start Something,” but they’ve replaced it with the words “Finish Something.”  Truth of the matter is we all start a lot of things, but never finish:  degree programs, home renovations, business opportunities, and of course workout programs.  What is the missing ingredient?  I would argue that it is consistency.  I believe the saying that it’s not how you start that matters, it’s how you finish.  And in order to finish you have to be consistent.  Moreover, if you fail to be consistent, you will consistently fail.

Through this experience I have learned a few things about myself.  That I CAN be consistent.  That I HAVE what it takes to accomplish my goals no matter what they are.  And that I WILL experience success if I persevere.  That makes me feel pretty darn good.  If I had to narrow it down to five keys that have helped me reach this point, they would be the following…

                                                                                    diet and exercise

1. Never quit, no matter how hard it gets.  There are people who are watching you try what they want to do, but are hesitant to do.  They need to see you push through the hard times to know that they can too.  Since I’ve been committed to changing my lifestyle, my mom has started working out also, and she’s beginning to see results.  Again, early morning wake-ups are a killer, but I’d rather push myself to do that than have my workout interrupted by a large crowd of people all trying to use the same equipment during peak gym hours.  So, I make the sacrifice.  Sore, achy muscles are no joy to have either, but now that I know what the end of those sore muscles will be, I’m willing to endure the temporary pain.

2. Visualize your goal.  In order to perceive you must first conceive.  That means establish your goal and then see yourself obtaining it.  I actually found a set of abs in a picture (on someone else of course) that I want mine to resemble.  In my mind, I visualize having those abs, and that’s one of the things I’m working towards.  If your goal is to finish your degree, see yourself making good grades, graduating, and snagging that dream job in your field.  If your goal is to remodel your house, see yourself with the finished project and the new furnishings to go along with it. These pleasant visions will serve as motivation through the tough times and remind you that it’s all worth it.

3. Engage in some healthy competition and accountability.  My husband and I have a little abdominal competition going on to see who will have the best looking abs the fastest.  Of course he teases me about how many more crunches he does than me, and I tease him about how much more healthy my eating habits are than his, but it’s all in good fun.  I’m somewhat of a competitor by nature, so this is right up my alley.  I can’t wait to win.  Maybe you’re different and don’t desire a competitor.  Having an accountability partner is just as good.  This person should help keep you on track to accomplish your goals with friendly reminders and reality checks.

4. Make time, not excuses.  I hate to miss a workout due to a scheduling conflict because I feel like my whole schedule is thrown off.  However, I don’t just throw the whole week away.  I make the necessary adjustments to fit it in, which requires thinking ahead and planning for the activity in mind. When other things come up (and they will) carve out time elsewhere to make up what you missed on your personal project.  Remember, excuses are for those who need them.  If you have a plan then excuses won’t be necessary.

5. Invest in your success.  If I was truly going to make working out a lifestyle I had to start looking the part.  So, I bought some new work out clothes, weight lifting gloves, and I even had to buy different types of foods for healthier eating.  I never wanted to spend more than a few dollars on active wear because it wasn’t a priority in the past, but now I’m willing to pay more for something I know that I will use.  It can get expensive, but I consider it an investment into a new way of living.  Investing in your own success is vital, because at ti mes you might find that you’re the only one who is.  Not to worry though,  soon enough everyone will be able to see the fruit of your labor and the hefty return on your investment.

Now if I could just apply this same level of consistency to a few other areas in my life I’ll be good to go.  Pray for me. 🙂

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