Consistency in Your Fitness Routine and More
Picture it: January 2020. The world is buzzing with “New Year, New Me” mantras, quotes, Instagram inspiration, and t-shirts that say, “I GOT THIS.” Gyms are swarming with New Year’s resolutions ready to take on 2020 and make it the best yet. Fast forward a few months, and, well, we know the rest of this story.
As the world turned upside down and all but shut down, we all headed into our homes and shut the world away. I don’t know about you, but I was freaking out that the gyms were closing. What was I going to do? clients, teaching classes, training myself, etc. were my everyday life. Moreover, what were my clients and classes going to do? I truly did worry about them and their well-being on all fronts. However, what I practice, I preach. Since day one of my own fitness routine, I have practiced consistency. Now, 18 years into my fitness routine and lifestyle, it is what I preach every day. I tell my clients and classes regularly: “Not every day is going to be your best day—not even a good day. Some days are straight-up character-building days. Those are the times when it matters most—being consistent and showing up even when you don’t want to.”
For most of the pandemic, what kept my clients and class participants in check was their own practice of consistency. They used and bought whatever equipment they could get their hands on. They set up their own “studio” in their house, next to the desk they worked at all day and across from the toy box their children used. They made it work because they made a commitment to show up no matter the situation, good or bad.
consistent (kənsɪstənt )
Someone who is consistent always behaves in the same way, has the same attitudes towards people or things, or achieves the same level of success in something. (Consistent definition and meaning: Collins English Dictionary)
I want to focus on the first two parts of this definition: behavior and attitude. When it comes to fitness, the decision to start is the hardest part. We’ve all been there. I remember my “Day 1” as if it were yesterday. I was a whopping 260 pounds, obese, pre-diabetic, and emotionally and mentally unhappy. When I stepped into my first gym and saw all the “fit” bodies, I wanted to turn and run. But it was in that moment that I decided to stick it out because I had committed myself. So, I was right there, laying the stepping stones for consistency by forging new behaviors and attitudes toward fitness routines.
So why is sticking to it so important? Why do they say “consistency is key”? Well, here are five ways consistency supercharges your fitness journey:
1. It lays the framework for long-term achievements.
2. It enables the development of new habits.
3. It builds momentum to sustain accomplishments.
4. It creates self-confidence, trust, and discipline.
5. It develops new wellness opportunities.
Whenever I have a new client or class participant start with me, I reflect on this list. I want these individuals, especially if they are brand new, to develop their own practice of consistency in their fitness routine. For me, this is more important than the physical change that almost everyone is looking for when they come to me for training or classes.
To achieve anything, there must be a foundation to build upon. Practicing showing up doesn’t matter if you’re prepared, on time or late, slow or fast, obese or overweight, weak or deconditioned—what matters is showing up. Showing up for yourself starts the habit-forming process. These habits turn into something that we no longer must do, but look forward to doing. They become a part of us and who we are; and this creates the momentum for sustained accomplishments. The little wins add up to big victories. In other words, you’re catching fire.
Self Confidence in Your Fitness Routine
The biggest part of consistency is building self-confidence, trust, and discipline. On a good day, most of us struggle with our self-image and what we are capable of. Fitness, however, directly influences these three characteristics. I always say to my riders, “How you handle THESE challenges in here today is exactly how you will handle THOSE challenges out there when you leave.” Learning that we are not only able but truly capable of hard things nourishes those feelings of self-esteem. In other words, consistency helps us learn to love ourselves and what we are truly capable of.
When true consistency is achieved, people notice, and opportunities present themselves when you least expect them. Friends and colleagues ask me from time to time, “What is your secret?” and I always reply, “consistency.” I never proclaim to be the best at anything I do, as there is always someone better out there, and I am continuously seeking ways to improve, but I pride myself on being consistent with my work, my attitude, my relationships, and yes, my fitness and nutrition.
The “success” I have found has never been because of luck. It is because I am developing consistency to lay the groundwork for the goals I want to accomplish. I develop small habits over time that turn into big waves of new lifestyle changes, gaining momentum through hard work and practice, fueling my self- and health-esteem, and, on the other side, finding new opportunities that will take me back to step one and start the process again from step 2.
Consistency is a strong foundation primed to support wellness goals. The mantra, “Motivation is what gets you started, but consistency is what keeps you going,” continues to be true in all we do. Forming those good habits is so important to keep going, even when you aren’t feeling it and don’t want to do it, you show up anyway. You have laid the groundwork for long-term achievements for yourself and built the pattern that keeps your clients and classes happy and coming back for more.