By Michael Gostelow
'Consistency' has become the default answer to many common fitness questions.
You see the thing is, if you ask me any of these questions (okay, maybe not the potato one) I'll reply with the exact same answer.
The most important factor which makes or breaks someone’s success in fitness is consistency.
I can confidently say that within my clientele, the ones who achieve amazing body transformations have one thing in common. They show up, every single day, and do the work.
It's undeniable that consistency leads to results.
The fact is any fitness goal takes time to accomplish. If you can be consistent with your efforts over a long period, results will follow.
It's the current culture of 'abs in 3 minutes' and 'lose 10 kilos in 5 days' which has industry leaders preaching consistency in the long term.
CONSISTENCY IS THE MAGIC PILL
So, if consistency is so important, how do you become more consistent?
It's an interesting question as consistency is highly internal. You must actually want to do the thing. No one can make you.
But there are definitely certain aspects which can help.
8 Principles To Develop Unstoppable Consistency And Achieve Incredible Results
1) Develop A Routine
If your routine is in line with how you ideally want to be, you'll eventually get there.
A routine is how you plan and take action on your day. When you're in a routine, things flow naturally. It feels weird not to do your routine. Developing a routine requires taking a bird’s eye view on your life and planning ahead.
2) Join A Motivating Training Environment
The 5-second burst of emotion you get from a sexy Instagram picture with a quote over it does count as motivation. Just not very good motivation.
Motivation usually doesn't last long.
It comes and goes.
Having a place to exercise where you actually enjoy training is a big step in the right direction.
Aidan's gym, or my own one, aims to foster that feeling.
Even if you're having a bad day, when you walk into the gym you feel like giving it your best.
That will do more for consistency than any scantily-clad chick telling you to squat.
3) Find A Supportive Community
Like the above, motivation can come from many sources, with some being better than others.
A great community, with an awesome trainer, people you can consider friends and a culture which dearly wants you to succeed, is a very good source.
You can find supportive communities everywhere these days such as Facebook groups like this one, forums, within gyms or at sporting events. Any time there is a common goal, people congregate to help each other.
Your job is to find this supportive fitness community.
Being part of something bigger than yourself will help you stay on track.
4) Explore Novelty
Routine is a good thing. But, making fitness exciting can help you stay consistent.
There are many ways to get from A to B. Your goals are the most important end game, and they aren't going anywhere. Why not take the most fun route to get there?
You can explore novelty through new experiences.
It doesn't have to be a big change. Only enough to keep things interesting.
As long as you don't go overboard and completely throw off your routine, novelty is a handy ace to have up your sleeve in the game on consistency.
5) See Progress In Every Detail
Within fitness, do you know what the best feeling is?
Seeing real results for all the hard work you put in.
That will help you stay on track more than anything. Being able to say to yourself, "This is working, I just have to keep going."
The key is to measure progress in every way possible. This ensures you’re always moving forward in your journey. The scale is one way to measure progress but it is a tool in your toolshed. You wouldn't use a rake to dig a hole. Make sure you use all of your tools.
There are so many ways to make progress. Being able to notice your small wins is a big step in being positive. And if you can actually see yourself getting closer to your goal, you bet you'll be more consistent!
6) Be Flexible In Your Diet And Training
One of the main drivers of waning consistency is thinking you've 'ruined everything'.
There's a Halloween party this weekend.
You go, with the best of intentions, but find yourself having too much fun.
You go way off the rails and consume everything in sight (alcohol included).
The next day, you step on the scale and realise you put on 3kgs.
Oh no. Glancing in the mirror, all you can see is your belly and bingo wings (it's all in your head). Dam.
"I've ruined it. Screw fitness."
Even though it's not at all possible to put on 3kgs of fat in one night. That doesn't matter. The diet is over.
This is where flexibility becomes important.
It's alright to NOT be perfect. Nobody is and you shouldn't expect that. I love the 80/20 rule here as it fits perfectly into long-term consistency.
"80% of the time you should be on point with your diet and exercise. The other 20% you can relax on."
Consistency is bred out of sustainability. Being good 80% of the time is much easier than striving for 100%.
Be flexible. Stick to the plan 'mostly'.
7) Have Someone Who Can Hold You Accountable
Having someone who expects you to turn up is the cure to 'excusitis'. This person can be a personal trainer, a gym partner or an online coach. It all works.
You can convince yourself to not go to the gym quite easily. But how do you explain clicking snooze seven times in a row to your coach?
This aspect is a major driver of consistency in people starting out on their fitness journey and trying to develop a routine.
8) Be Honest And Take Responsibility
The final principle in consistency delves deep into your mindset.
Are you ready to change?
Be honest with yourself. Ask if the obstacles you claim to be stopping you are actually in the way of your success. Take responsibility for your actions.
It is 100% your life. You are in charge. Make a commitment.
Or, as Yoda says, "Do or do not. There is no try."
The main point I'd like you to consider now is: "how can I develop consistency out of the principles above?"
In the end, though, it comes down to you and you alone. You could have the best routines, the best health coach and the most supportive community around. Nothing will change if you don't want it to.
It starts with you.
Consistency is the Ferrari which will take you all the way to the end. You still have to take control of the wheel and slam down the accelerator.
Consistency is the magic pill you've been looking for.
Consistency will build mountains of muscle and consistency will melt fat off your body.
Now, go and be consistent!
Michael Gostelow - Personal Trainer Mosman