Luck, or consistency?
One of the biggest misconceptions about success, whatever your goal may be, is that to get where you want to be it has to be really hard work or it’s luck. But it isn’t. It’s actually about consistency. And for me, consistency is doing the things you need to do most of the time, all of the time.
My daughter is now 15 weeks old and I’m nearly back to the size / shape I was before I became pregnant (see below!). My body composition is still a little way off, which will get better as my exercise / fitness levels increase over time, and although I still have some excess fat around my lower tummy area, I’m only about 10% away from being a comfy size 12 and I’m feeling great.
Someone said in passing last week, “You’re so lucky to have lost your baby weight so quickly!” But it really isn’t luck, it’s about consistency. Being consistent is the secret to short term results and long term success. PLUS, being consistent makes things easier, so a massive win-win.
My brother was over from Australia recently with his family and he’s a massive cycling enthusiast like my Dad. We are all built fairly similarly the three of us, mesomorph body types and athletic. There were some friendly comments made at a social get together that suggested me, my Dad and my brother were the ‘lucky’ ones in our family with our body types. But I’m not sure I agree with that at all! Yes we are mesomorphs (which is the more athletic body type), BUT, we were the only three that went out exercising around the socials we were having AND, the only three that have been consistent with exercising for the last 10+ years too. So yes, this means we do have a higher metabolism, yes we can get away with eating more and yes our bodies function better and are strong. But it isn’t luck! We’re the ones that look at our plans and think “When can we fit some fitness in?”. And these choices are effortless because we are consistent, which then becomes a strong habit and as a result it is our norm. It’s what we do, most of the time, for all of the time, for life. But it’s not luck!
So let’s look at some definitions which I hope will inspire you to think about your actions, choices and mindset to help you be more consistent AND successful with your health and fitness goals, whatever they may be. They should also inspire you to take control too!
Definition of luck – success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.
Definition of consistent – acting or done in the same way over time
And the opposite definitions to consider are:
Definition of Bad luck – an unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate
Definition of Inconsistent – not staying the same throughout.
As I said above consistency makes things easy, so when you look at these defintions too…
Easy – achieved without great effort; presenting few difficulties
Hard – done with a great deal of force or strength.
…Hopefully you can see where I’m getting at with this. When you’re consistent, eventually nothing is forced and it’s like you’re literally on autopilot.
Me getting back to being a size 12 has not been brought about by chance. It has come from my own actions, done regularly. It hasn’t come from hard work or misery either. It’s come from being smart and happy and doing positive thing to by body most of the time, all of the time. And it’s been easy because being consistent doesn’t feel like effort.
At my FFAP outdoor bootcamps, when people are consistent with coming to 3 to 4 workouts a week, that’s where the results happen. When people do this all year round, that’s where fitness levels stay and up and maintaining a body becomes easier. They come rain or shine, light or dark and they reap the rewards they sow. For those who dip in and out, or just come once a week, or when they feel like it, everything is harder – the workouts themselves AND getting to class! Block three workouts a week in your diary and just do them, consistently. Rather than do six in one week and none for three months!
With my online boot camps when people do a few back to back, that’s when you really see long lasting results. You see people turn exercise into a habit, so that it just gets done, like cleaning your teeth or turning up to work. You see people train in the rain, do a video on holiday before they hit the beach, and they get themselves into a proper fitness ROUTINE. Their food choices become effortless and there bodies and minds become much stronger,
I wanted to leave you with 5 top tips on how to be more consistent:
- Know how to motivate yourself . Because even if you don’t want to do something, in order to be consistent you need to just do it. Juicing is a faff, but I do it everyday. But nearly everyday I have an internal battle, but I do it because it makes me feel better and enhances my health. My morning isn’t complete without a vegetable juice, just like it wouldn’t be complete without cleaning my teeth or brushing my hair.
- Always look for opportunities not excuses. When you consistently do something, you’re committed too. You see barriers as hurdles and get over them. My Dad recently broke his shoulder on holiday in Melbourne. As soon as he came back, he saw a physio and although he couldn’t road ride, he rode on rollers instead. Oh and he actually did all the exercises the Physio asked him to!
- You do what you say you’re going to do. And you do it until you do it so often that you don’t think about what you’re doing, it becomes ingrained in you. This morning it was raining, but I’m doing my online bootcamps with my clients and exercising for 45 minutes at 7.30am 4 days is a week is what I do now. It sets me up for the day, means my exercise is done, I get out the house, have some me time and it takes me to my goals. My son Harry said ‘ you can’t go out there Mummy, it’s awful!’, but I put on my water proof coat, a cap and out I went. It was actually a lot of fun (good music and a sense of humour always helps!) and Monty my other son was clapping at the door way as I came in (great inspiration for kids to see too, don’t you think?!).
I’d planned to do 25 minutes outside and 15 minutes of core work inside and when my daughter was getting bored / left out with the twins’ chaotic morning breakfast routine and got a bit upset, I decided to do my workout next to her, instead of not doing it. And she loved it!
- You have to enjoy it or be clear on the value it brings you. I used to hate exercise and I kind of still do really. But I feel so fantastic afterwards and I love being in nature and being a size 12 and being able to enjoy nice food and wine. In order for me to achieve my goals and effortlessly keep in shape, I just have to find ways to get on with it! For me that sense of humour I just mentioned and some positive self-talk, ‘Come on Janey, get off your lazy butt and get on with it because you’ll feel so much better afterwards’ type thing is key.
- Be patient and take your time to be consistent. The quick fix culture means most want to charge ahead when they start something, but pacing yourself is essential in order for things to become habits and ideally I’d start with realistic actions, small steps that all add up, WHEN DONE CONSISTENTLY!
So being consistent for the last 15 weeks, of eating well, sleeping well, exercising regularly and gradually building up my strength has been key to help me get to where I’ve got, BUT in order for this success to be long lasting, I need to KEEP ON DOING these things. That too is consistency… Carrying on with whatever you need to do, forever.
Being fit for life means exercising regularly for life. Having great energy and a body that functions properly means making positive food choices 90% of the time for life. Creating long lasting better work-life balance too means managing your choices and boundaries for life.
And consistency doesn’t always mean do, do do or stress, stress, stress – far from it! When you’re consistent you can take a week off guilt free, you can eat indulgent food guilt free (10% of the time remember!) and you can switch off from your goals or press pause from time to time. It’s a great feeling!
Remember, MOST OF THE TIME, ALL OF THE TIME is the secret to consistency and when you do things most of the time all of the time, there’s a much better balance and nicer vibe than DO EVERYTHING CRAZILY FOR A WEEK AND STOP, right?
Come and join me on one of my 28 day online food and fitness programs (and remember you can repeat them for just £10 – encouragement to help you become more consistent!) or why not try my BEST program (next starting in October 2016) which now runs over 12 months (and three month long breaks in between it now).
And here’s my 15 week post natal body update as promised….
Down to 12 stones, in my size 12 trousers and feeling STRONG!