Consistency is about forming a habit or a routine that becomes an automatic process for you to follow and when it comes to your training it is the key to developing the results you want to achieve. Consistency goes hand in hand with discipline and it’s not possible to develop one without the other.
So how do you develop consistency? It’s not as hard as you might think but like with all things it requires some effort on your part.
By now I think most of us have heard about the book ‘The Secret’. The essence of that book is, you create what you think. So when it comes to developing your training habits the first place you start is what you think about training.
If you always focused on ‘It’s too hard’ OR ‘It’s such a long way to drive’ OR ‘I don’t know if I can be bothered’ then guess what. You have just created all the reason’s you need ‘not to go’. Look there’s no denying that a good training session at the gym is a hard training session, but that shouldn’t be the deterrent because how else are you going to achieve results unless you put some hard work in.
So mindset is all about ‘What You Focus On’. This is where your training goals become important. Instead of thing about how hard the session will be, change your mind set to think about how good you will feel after the session OR how good you will feel when you hit the beach this summer or how good you will feel when you accomplish a new personal best. What you focus on will determine whether you drive to the gym ready to rock and roll or whether you stay at home with your excuses.
2. Learn to say ‘NO!’ to yourself.
This is probably one of the most important things to learn in life, the ability to say no to yourself. Temptation is everywhere, sometimes it’s in full view, sometimes it’s hiding, waiting to ambush you. Temptation will want to stop you from achieving the results you want. Temptation wants to lure you away from feeling good about yourself. Temptation wants to make you self-sabotage and never achieve your goals. Don’t give in.
By learning to say no to temptation you add some very serious fuel to the fire of success. So what is temptation? In essence temptation is like a program that runs in your brain in regards to a substance or behaviour that you have strong emotional feelings and thoughts towards. Those feeling can be both positive and negative at the same time and over a period of time you create a behaviour pattern or habit. By learning to say no to what you are doing is taking the habit that no longer applies to you and replacing it with another habit, that being your training. Easier said than done some might say…. Yes and No.
Here’s where your reason why you train and the goals you’ve set are very important. Be very clear on both of these. Know why you are training, know exactly what your training goals are so that when temptation is near you turn your focus towards your training and don’t think about anything else.
For some of you temptation may be very strong. In instances like that I would say to you look for help. That can be in the form of a Personal Trainer who will hold you accountable, of friends and family who can support you every step of the way. Just remember, temptation is a habit and what you are doing when you say not to yourself is breaking an old habit and replacing it with a good one.
3. Pace yourself.
‘It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey’. It’s an old saying but it is very truth.When you first start out motivation is high, enthusiasm is high and images of how you will look are swimming through your head. You may get through the first week, even the second, possibly the third and then it hits, the tiredness, the soreness, the old sporting injuries, temptation is hovering around and the boundless excitement you had at the start is nowhere to be found.
When building consistency, you really need to pace yourself in accordance with the current fitness level you started with. Going full throttle when you haven’t been in a gym for 10 years is a dead certain to land you back on the couch.
The answer is small goals, little achievement over time. They can come in the form of:
- How many times you will go to the gym for the first two weeks. Then you reassess and set a new goal
- How many sets you do? Then reassess and set a new goal
- How many exercises you will do? Then reassess and set a new goal
- How many minutes of cardio will you do each week? Then assess and set a new goal.
The better your goal setting is and the better you lay out your achievement levels to better you equipped you will be in developing your consistency.
4. Setting your Training Time
When you think about your time to train, there are two parts to this.
- Figure out when your best time to train each day is. To do this all you need to know is, are you a morning person or an afternoon person. If you’re not a morning person but have more time in the morning, you will be less likely to go training because it will be ‘how you feel’ in the morning that will make the decision not how much time you have.
So if you’re an afternoon person but also busy in the afternoon, then it will be a case of figuring out how to reshuffle your day to incorporate your training program.
- Set yourself a challenge such as a 4, 8 or 12-week challenge. By committing to a set time period you instantly create a different mindset for yourself. It’s a lot easier to think about training for 8 weeks then having a break, to then just to start with no end date in mind. Also with committing to let’s say an 8 week challenge it then become a lot easier to set your goals and targets to reach each week. All this will then feed back into building your consistency with your training.
Overall when it comes to developing your consistency, you need to think about the journey you’re about to undertake. Consistency is about building yourself a road map of training that you can follow, so on those days when you are low on motivation, or time poor you have your road map to help you get through. It will keep you on track and take you on your journey to the end.