Whether it's quitting smoking, eating healthy or learning a new hobby, why is it so hard for us to be consistent?
I'll tell you right now that you are not the only one who asks this question and it can be very disheartening for people who want to achieve a goal knowing that they have failed before. Let me tell you right now that failure is about learning and you CAN do anything you set your mind to but you need to know that it won't be easy. If you've always struggled with your weight or you have smoked for the last 10 years then changing that habit is going to take time, hard work and a LOT of persistence.
I'll use weightloss as an example because it's a common theme among my clients however these rules apply to anyone who is trying to achieve consistency in their life. So here we are. We know what we want to do so the next step is...
1. WHY? Why do you want to achieve that goal? I want you to think below the surface level. Do you have diabetes or heart disease in the family? Are you struggling to find energy or strength to play with your kids? Put reminders up around your house in whatever way works for you. A vision board, a goal chart or even just pictures of your kids on the walls to remind you why you started.
2. Now that you are losing weight, I guess you should probably quit smoking too right? Wrong! DON'T TRY AND TACKLE MORE THEN ONE GOAL AT A TIME. Like I said, it's not easy changing habits so don't make it harder for yourself and try to change everything at once or you'll end up with a tub of ice-cream and an empty packet of Benson and Hedges on the table. One step at a time.
3. The first week is great! You're up bright and early and off to that morning gym class but then week 2 hits and motivation starts to die off...PLAN YOUR WEEK. We won't always be motivated. Thats life. If you have it in the diary then you are more likely to do it anyway. Plan your gym classes, plan your meals, plan whatever you know that you are likely to ditch when the couch is calling.
4. Now here comes that voice in your head, "I don't feel like it". DO IT ANYWAY! Have you ever finished a workout you didn't feel like doing and think 'I really regret that'? Ha! Never. Just because no one is paying you to be there (wouldn't that be nice?) it doesn't mean it's not important. Don't forget rule number 1. Sometimes you need to remind yourself why you are doing this and realise it's more important than that extra 30 minutes of sleep.
5. There will be days when you are genuinely tired or sick (or sick and tired) and you really do need that extra 30 minutes of sleep... BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Have you ever eaten an unhealthy breakfast and thought "Screw it. I've ruined my diet today so I'll just start again tomorrow"? That's like dropping your phone on the ground and then dropping it over and over again until it breaks. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're allowed to miss the occasional gym class or have that donut with coffee every now and then but if you fall off the wagon, just climb back on! You're doing great :-)
We don't have to do everything on our own. Accountability is the key to success so talk to people. Tell your partner, your kids, your friends and your family because the more support you have, the easier it will be. We are all quietly working through our own battles so it's nice to know we are not alone.