Commitment to Consistency Equals Change
Here we are, a week into February. A new year just began, and with it came goals and aspirations to journey onward and upward towards a better version of ourselves. For many, this is a pursuit of better physical health. We decide to eat better, get more consistent sleep, or even start an exercise program. It’s always exciting to embark on a new journey, but often that excitement gets stifled when the newness wears off and the difficulty of pursuing new goals clashes with necessity of maintaining all other life priorities. After all, the new year is still made of fifty-two weeks, each with seven, twenty-four-hour days.
Pursuing your physical health goals is much like the pursuit of any other goal we have in life. It requires a sacrifice upfront with the possibility of achieving results coming weeks and months afterwards. The sacrifice that we make is one of committing to consistent effort and time. Making the proper sacrifice leads to achieving the results we want, but even once we begin accomplishing the goal we have, we still must work to maintain it. It’s a rough world we live in. Most often the original sacrifices we set out to make will at some point need adjustment due to either being not efficient or effective at reaching our goal, or due to the inability to sustain habits with other responsibilities in life.
You are not only the results of what you repeatedly do, for you are more complex than your actions alone. However, life does have an element to it that does seem to operate by the YGOWYPI principle: You Get Out What You Put In. It’s important to continue putting in the right stuff to get the results we desire. When pursuing better physical health, one of the elements on the input side of the equation is exercise. Exercise can come in many forms, for simplicity we’ll define it as physical activity that’s purposed to challenge the musculoskeletal and/or cardiovascular systems within a broader program designed to improve either movement ability, strength, power, endurance, or sport-specific skill. Yoga, weightlifting, running, and playing sports can all be a piece of the puzzle, and purposeful variety is great!
What isn’t optional, if you want to achieve long-term results, is consistency and commitment. Consistently exercising 4-6 hours each week is a common habit of those who reach and maintain their physical health goals. Inconsistency is a common habit of those who don’t. Commitment is required because achieved goals are the result of consistent habits done day-in and day-out for weeks and months. Without commitment, you’ll let the consistent habit go, and with it…your results.
Now that we’ve discussed the hard part, let’s talk about the easy part: don’t make this harder or less enjoyable than it needs to be. If you like yoga and biking more than weightlifting and running, then do yoga and get on that bike! If you prefer playing basketball on Wednesday evenings instead of riding an elliptical before work, then hoop-it-up. If you struggle with accountability, or knowing what to do, then hire a personal trainer or join a group strength and conditioning program. There are a variety of options out there, and the best one initially is the one that you most enjoy and simply fits best into the rest of your life.
The truth is that making change is hard, but more than that, it’s possible. It’s okay not to have all the answers…it’s okay to make mistakes…it’s okay to ask for help… after all, you’re the one who’s going to benefit in the future from your pursuit today.