Do you struggle consistently sticking with something?
Know what you SHOULD be doing, but struggle to consistently do it time and time again?
The diet you keep trying to follow that you have to keep “getting back on track”.
Or the exercise routine you swore this time you were going to stick to, but somehow you’ve told yourself that 6x in the past 2 weeks..
Through coaching thousands of people, I believe consistency to be the #1 MOST important thing when it comes to fitness.
If you cannot do something over and over, there is no chance you will be able to see results.
Whether the results you want is fat loss, muscle building, or just living a healthier life. If you cannot find a way to come up with the tools to do what you are supposed to do, over and over and over again, there will be no progress occurring.
In this article I am going to label out one of the most effective, most responded to ways to create consistency I use with my online coaching clients.
At the end of the day, all of this comes down to psychology. Most people KNOW what to do, eat healthier, exercise regularly, etc.
But, why do so many people struggle for the life of them to do it?
We are going to cover that in this article, and one simple, NOT EASY, but simple strategy you can take with you today to start seeing change.
Let’s open up that brain of yours.
Before I Get Any Farther
I have to say this.
If you study psychology, there is something called the Trans Theoretical Model Of Behavior Change (pictured above).
This simply states there are different stages to making a change. Through working with people, as hard as this is for me to accept, some people are simply not ready to make a change to their behavior.
They could say they are, they could swear up and down they want to, but in reality in their head, they are not ready to.
And, even though this is sounding like a bad thing, it really is not. This doesn’t mean you NEVER will be ready to make a change, but you have to be mentally ready first.
A lot of the times, the people that are ready to make a change say things like “ I’m tired of yo yo dieting. I can’t do it anymore”. “ I’m sick of living like this, I need to make a change”.
Point being, as Jordan Syatt discusses in my podcast I did with him , there normally is some sort of fear involved with truly making a behavior change.
The fear of their health. The fear of them not looking the way they want infant of their colleagues. The fear of losing a spouse.
Whatever that fear is, it is not a BAD thing, because it leads them to change.
I urge you to ask yourself if you are truly ready to make a change or not.
I can give you all the tips and tactics in the world, but unless we figure out if you are truly ready, they won’t do anything for you.
Only you will be able to be honest with yourself on that.
Alright, having fun class? Let’s continue to the next section.
Why Do So Many People Struggle With Consistency?
This is the million dollar question.
As I was saying earlier, people KNOW what to do. You probably know you shouldn’t be having 4 glasses of wine a night, with the extra side of bread, oh and on top of the workout you skipped today..
But, really, WHY do SO MANY PEOPLE do this?
Why is our obesity rate higher than it has ever been in the history of the United States?
Why are so many people on blood pressure medication, or better yet buying fat burners from GNC… Don’t get me started.
The answer is actually quite simple when you boil it down.
People choose the emotional in the moment response vs the logical outside of the moment response.
Think about it.
You just got off from a long day of work.
You woke up at 5am, got to work by 7am.
Have the normal stress associated from work.
You get off, sit in traffic for an hour.
You get home, and you’re tired.
You don’t want to go back out and workout.
So, THAT emotion in THAT moment, dictates your actions. So, you say F the gym, I’ll do it tomorrow.
That then leads into dinner.
You are tired, and now hungry because you just worked all day, didn’t really plan your food out, sat in traffic, and get home starving.
So you are now tired, and hungry. This emotion spills over into dinner. You have 2 or 3 servings of the dinner, when you really know one would probably be good enough.
Finally, going into the night. You are now stuffed from dinner, so you are a bit lazy / sleepy. You probably don’t feel the best about yourself because you just stuffed your face, and skipped your workout.
You are stressed from work and your kids.
All of this combined, the feelings in that moment, may lead you to go to the cabinet and get the wine bottle and have a few glasses.
This cycle repeats itself 1, 3, 5x a week.
All of this stemming from, you choosing the emotional in the moment response to a situation vs the logical out of the moment response.
Let’s break it down.
You got home and you were tired. In that moment, all you could think about was being tired. You didn’t wanna go workout, you didn’t want to cook dinner and plan your food out.
You just wanted to lay there and eat whatever the F you wanted.
Keep this scenario in mind.
Let me give you another.
Your kid wakes you up at 2, 4, and finally 6am.
You are now dragging a** to get into your regular routine.
You normally take 10-15 minutes to cook breakfast, but all you can think is how damn tired you are, so you say screw it and skip.
Running late as it is, you don’t pack and bring your normal lunch or gym clothes either. You say you will get something around work, and come back home and grab clothes later.
Lunch time comes, you are STARVING because you skipped breakfast. Now all you can think about in that moment is how tired AND starving you are.
This leads you to go get lunch and probably eat enough for the size of a small village.
You don’t feel the best from the big lunch and being tired, so you just go home instead of going straight to the gym like you normally do.
You see? This scenario too, all you thought about was the emotional response in the moment of being tired and hungry.
Learning how to take yourself out of the moment you are in..
This is where the unlock can come.
“Live In The Moment”.. Yeaa
All you ever really hear is how you life is too short, you need to live in the moment.
You need to enjoy every moment as it comes.
Well, I am here to offer my two cents on that for what it is worth.
Yes, every moment counts, and shouldn’t be taken for granted..
But, when it comes to building consistency and doing what you know is right, living in the moment should be the last thing on your mind.
I am not the biggest religious guy, and I am not sure if you are or not.
But one thing I do know is what a lot of the talk about is how you cannot give in every single temptation that comes your way.
If you gave into every single temptation out there, I guarantee there would be a lot more crime, and a lot more chaos in this world.
Guys, fitness is no different.
Let’s dissect here.
In both examples above, you gave into the emotional in the moment response of being tired, hungry, stressed, etc. Which led your decision making being based off of that emotional response.
Then, that decision led you then feeling even worse about yourself.
You gave into the emotional temptation, you now feel bad about it. This creates bad self efficacy, and leads you to believe you can’t do something, or can’t stick to something.
Which then creates this cycle in perpetuity of you being inconsistent.
Do you want to know the way to work through this?
Take yourself out of the moment, give yourself 5 minutes to think about WHAT DECISION IS GOING TO MAKE YOU THE MOST PROUD 4, 8, 24 hours from that moment.
That, is truly where the magic comes into play.
Keeping with the scenarios above.
If when you got home from work, even though you were tired and hungry, if you took yourself OUT of the moment, and thought about what decision was going to make you the most proud looking back on that moment..
I bet it would go something like, still going to the gym even though you were tired, and still taking the extra 5 10 20 minutes to cook a healthy dinner, and stick to your nutrition goals.
That would make you a lot more proud than saying F it, laying on the couch, over indulging on dinner, and flushing it down with wine.
But when the emotion / temptation pop up, people don’t think about that, they can only see what it is front of them, being the feeling of tired, hungry, stressed, etc.
That is all that is on your mind and all you are thinking about.
I implore you, and I mean implore you, to take yourself out of the moment, and think about what decision you make will make you the most proud.
Is this easy? Hell no.
This is hard. This takes a lot of mental effort. This takes a lot of practice. It won’t happen over night. It won’t happen after a week.
It is hard to look past the initial temptation of feeling stressed and looking at what decision is going to make you the most proud 4 hours from right now when you are feeling stressed.
If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have the highest obesity rate we ever had, and people wouldn’t be on such crazy amounts of medications at such a young age.
It is going to take a lot of effort from you. I am telling you this not to sell you on something, or to make you sign up for coaching with me, none of that. If I was this would be an awful way to do that.
I am telling you because I want to set you up for success. I want to give you the real environment you will be heading into, so you know what to expect.
So when you go to try it, and realize it is a bit hard, it is normal.
But just like riding a bike, or learning to become the skill of whatever your job is, the more you do it the better you get.
You will build the skill of it. You will build the confidence to know no matter what is thrown your way, you will be able to remain consistent.
Newsflash, yes this is how you see progress in your fitness journey… But this is how you actually change your life.
When you can get in control of every emotion you have, and remove yourself from that emotion to then make decisions based on what you know is right, that is your unlock.
It is not to say having the emotion is a BAD thing, we are all human, we have emotions.
Having the emotion is okay, but the more you can detach yourself from that emotion, and NOT let it impact your decision making, that is how you change your consistency issue.
Know this may have been a lot to think about.
I hope I was able to paint good enough pictures for you to follow along, and realize what is going on.
I work with a lot of people. This one simple, not easy, but simple mental shift of truly thinking about what decision is going to make you the most proud OUTSIDE of the current moment you are in, literally has changed peoples lives.
Not just their fitness journey, but their entire life in general. Marriages, relationships, work settings, parenting, you name it.
I am not here saying I am a psychologist, but I have just seen this one mental shift make seismic differences.
Guys I implore you to try this. And try it for real.
Do it today. There is going to be something that happens to you today that makes you want to say F this I don’t wanna track my calories, or I don’t want to get this workout in.
Give yourself 5 minutes to detach yourself from that particular moment, and think about what is going to make you the most proud when you lay your head on your pillow at night.
I promise you the more you can center your thoughts around THAT, the more change will come into your life.
Let me know if you give it a try, and how it works out for you.
Again it will not be easy, but I promise you with all of my heart, it works.
I wouldn’t be writing this 2300 word article if it didn’t, trust me.
Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you end up trying it. Let me know how it goes, would love to hear it.
If you are interested in coaching with me, and allowing me to guide you through this process and be your support system, head to the link HERE to fill the form out to see if we are a good fit.
Really look forward to hearing from you after this one. Give it a full week of trying. What is a full week to change the rest of your life?