This may be something that you’ve always known about and live by, but I’ve had a bit of a lightbulb moment recently about consistency. I started the Couch to 5K app again in January – I’ve done it a couple of times before, and even run the Kew 10K race just before my 50th birthday, but injury (plantar fasciitis) at the start of lockdown and then Long Covid deterred me from running for a while and I started to think that my running days were over. I don’t enjoy running (apparently some people do!?) but it’s free, you can just get your trainers on and do it, you don’t have to book and if you have to walk a dog, then you are killing two birds with one stone (exercise and dog walking), so I decided to give it another go, and before I knew it (8 weeks later) I had reached my goal and was able to run 5k again.
I achieved this goal by being consistent – I committed to running three times a week, and I was determined not to deviate from this – even when it snowed! At the start of each week I diarised when I was going to run. When I was getting up in the morning (I always run first thing, otherwise I’d talk myself out of it!) I wouldn’t focus on the running itself, rather on how proud I was going to feel when I’d completed the run. I stuck to the plan (my partner kept dismissing the programme saying that I should skip days or weeks) and it felt realistic, increasing the distance in small, manageable increments.
Success with this has prompted me to think about how you can support yourself to be consistent, because for many of us (me included) consistency does not come naturally. Here are some of my ideas about how to encourage consistency:
- Use an app to motivate you and record progress
- Use a journal to record progress and track habits*
- Find a buddy and you can keep each other accountable
- Set yourself realistic targets, write them down and review them weekly
- Consider the barriers that will stand in your way, and work out how you can get round them
- Work with a coach who is trained to motivated you. They will be your cheerleader and keep you going when things get tough
- Reward yourself regularly for your successes. This can keep your motivation high
- Share your goals and successes with others so that your efforts are recognised and celebrated
- Don’t give up. I came across this great quote “If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit” which really resonated with me. So often we give up on things because it gets hard – but we can give ourselves permission to rest and come back to the original goal.
- Another great quote which I find inspiring is “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in, day out”. Don’t underestimate the progress that you are already making just by keeping on keeping on.
*I’m working on my own journal which I am hoping to launch in the next few months. It’s all about consistency around healthy habits and taking care of yourself and your needs. Watch this space for more information!
I’ve been having conversations with my weight-loss clients about consistency over the last few weeks. Working with me is one of the ways that they are ensuring consistency. We review weekly progress, set weekly, realistic goals, identify barriers and how to get round them, celebrate success and commit to regular contact.
If you would like to find out how I can help you achieve your health goals, why not book in for a free no-obligation Discovery Call?