You Are What You Do – Consistency
Consistency is important whether your goal is weight loss and maintenance, arriving at the office 15 minutes early to improve job performance, having a happier relationship. I used to get a jolt of motivation, walk rapidly for miles and then the next day it would hurt to breathe!! Of course, I would quit and not walk for exercise for a long time. In anything we do, consistency is what makes success.
“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” ~Anthony (Tony) Robbins
It makes sense. If you set a goal such as lose 10 pounds, what you do on a consistent basis will determine if you reach that goal. If you make healthy food choices and physically active consistently, you’ll reach the goal of losing 10 pounds. However, if you have more days of unhealthy food choices and plop in the coach all day consistently, you aren’t going to reach your goal. Consistently means that you are what you do.
Now I know how important consistency is. I am what I repeatedly do. I have an engraved stone by my fireplace that says “We are what we repeated do. -Aristotle”. It is so true. We can get fast food via drive-thru, we can get money in ATMs or drive-thrus, microwaves, etc., we live in a society of having it now. Instant gratification is now an accepted form of life. People become so focused on wanting things now that they aren’t willing to spend the time consistently doing small things over time. This attitude results in loads of stress and lost opportunities.
Tips and Benefits of Consistency:
Here’s a few tips to include consistency in your day by doing small things. Pick small goals that can be easily included in your regular daily schedule:
1. Create a morning ritual. How you start your day is a way to set up the quality of the rest of your day. Take a 10 minute walk in the morning, spend some time meditating, prepare a healthy breakfast.
2. Rather than go to the break room or coffee kiosk, enjoy the outside and walk with a friendly co-worker for a change of environment and to de-stress.
3. Enjoy the fruits of the season and bring fresh fruits and veggies to work for planned snacks.
4. Enjoy a favorite hobby or pursue a new one for 15-30 minutes each day.
5. Wind-down and decompress from your day. Set up a new relaxing routine to wind down your day (bubble bath, sit outside and enjoy the stars, play games with family).
Plan for Consistency to Reach Your Goals:
Set up specific goals based on the items above. Write them down!! Remember that goals are merely wishes until you write them down to give them a foundation to work from. If your goal is to eat more healthy, any one (or all) of the above are small steps to get to your ultimate goal of eating healthy. Same with exercise. Essentially, you are taking your larger goal and breaking it down into small steps to get to the success of the larger goal. Doing these small goals consistently will build a good foundation – a springboard for future success. Once you do these steps, consistently setting and achieving goals becomes an upward cycle. As you gain momentum, you will want to continue achieving new goals. One thing to watch out for is losing focus on the goals that built your springboard, which can cause the whole thing to fall apart. Those goals should become good habits. Consistently building new habits can lead to personal breakthroughs that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
Here’s something I’ve done: I’ve been working on building up my physical endurance. I have a herniation on my neck and spine so it is more difficult. I have been using the Step Advanced on my Wii Fit with some success. A couple of days ago, I was doing my Step Advanced routine and completed it. I was having such a good time that I switched to some different games just to stay moving and stay in the fun. I was hot, sweaty and tired but I felt a sense of joy as I was doing other games just for the sake of continuing to move. As I continued to play, I kept getting better at the games and reaching higher scores. I was scoring perfect high scores as a result of continuing for the fun of it. Now, I’m even more excited about doing my Wii Fit routine and playing more. I’ve been setting up small goals to increase my endurance (including the ones I shared with you above). I have been consistently achieving the smaller goals which enabled me to take on more games, work out longer and incorporate more difficult levels. If I hadn’t been consistently achieving smaller goals, I probably wouldn’t have had this breakthrough.
These same principles can work for you in all areas of your personal and professional life. You are what you do – repeatedly and consistently. Consistency is the key! It isn’t the destination but the joy of the journey in getting there!