How many times have you started a new diet just to quit and go back to your old habits two or three weeks later? How many times have you started exercising just to find yourself sitting on the couch back in the same old habits the very next week? The good news is you're not alone. The bad news is that you will NEVER reach your goals as long as you continue to follow these back and forth yo-yo style decisions. So what does work? There are many different areas we could address when it comes to what makes a person successful in their fitness endeavors, but today we are going to talk about CONSISTENCY.
When it comes to hitting your fitness goals, there is no substitute for consistency. I have this conversation with every client that I work with. It's so simple, yet so overlooked. It's not flashy, it doesn't come in a fancy package full of false claims and empty promises, but it works. Choose a diet that you can stick with, choose an exercise program that you enjoy, and get to work. Commit to it and put the work in every day. It's really that simple. It doesn't matter if you want your body to have a certain aesthetic look to it or if you want it to perform a certain way, you have to build it the same way you would build a towering castle... one brick at a time. Think of every meal and every workout as bricks to construct the body you would like. If you stack a couple of bricks up consistently over a long period of time, you can build something pretty amazing. On the other hand, if you just randomly add a brick here and there, about the only thing you're going to build is a pile of... bricks.
We now live in a world of instant gratification. You can buy something on your phone and have it at your house in two days. You can buy digital media like books, music, or movies and have it the instant you purchase it. You can post a picture or article like this blog and receive instant feedback. Got a question? Ask Google and you'll receive an instant answer. In this ultra fast paced world we live in that keeps getting faster, it's ever more important to understand that there will never be any shortcuts or instant results when it comes to fitness. You get out what you put in, period. Anyone you see that is super strong, super muscular, or super lean didn't get that way over night. They didn't get that way hopping from diet to diet or working out for two weeks every January as part of their new years resolution. They consistently put in the work and ate accordingly for a long period of time, often years. They didn't give up when they hit a plateau. They didn't give up when it got hard. They didn't give up when they faced challenges. They just chose to keep stacking up bricks knowing it's a long term commitment, not an instant gratification that will take you where you want to go.
Having really high goals is not a bad thing, in fact I would encourage it. You just need to understand that you have to be consistent to reach them. Day in and day out you've got to consistently put in the work. Do you want to lose 100 pounds? You lose them one at a time. Do you want to gain 30 pounds of muscle? You put it on one at a time. It's time for you to stop selling yourself short, jumping from program to program looking for a shortcut, and make a true commitment. Decide now that you will do what it takes to reach your goals, regardless of how long it takes or the obstacles that will inevitably arise. Stack your bricks and build your masterpiece.
- Andy Chapman