Is consistency the missing ingredient for your success?
Consistency is conformity in the application of a habit or action that continues for a period of time. Being consistent can turn the average into excellent, and likewise, a lack of consistency can leave one feeling frustrated.
The goals we help Graham Strength & Conditioning members set are always achievable but can take months to years of repeated habits and practice before results are apparent or attainable. Throughout my career as a coach I have heard countless times someone say they wish they could do a pull-up, or they wish they could change their body composition, and every time I explain what is needed to achieve that goal, that word consistency is there.
Simply put, if you want to do more pull-ups then you have to be consistent in doing them. If you want a big change in your body composition, be consistent with training and nutrition. People who are good at the Olympic lifts are consistent. They find a way to train those lifts regularly. Athletes who can play a sport at a high level are consistent. They find a way to practice that sport with regularity. People who have great body composition changes are consistently keeping their nutrition in check and making the time for training.
Regardless of the goal outcome, the concept remains the same: make time to implement habits consistently, and over time your skills will develop.
What does consistency look like in practice?
Two members are interested in lowering body fat and increasing muscle, and they both set the same goals of eating more fruits and vegetables and increasing their attendance in group fitness classes over the next month.
Member “A” ate fruits and veggies at every meal Monday through Friday (over 80% for the week) and attended 20 classes over the course of the month (80% of the 24 classes offered for the month/5 per week).
Member “B” ate fruits and vegetables 3-4 days per week sometimes at lunch and sometimes at dinner (less than 60% of the week) and attended 12 classes this month (50% of the 24 classes offered for the month/3 per week).
Which of these people do you think is going to look better, feel better, and be fitter at the end of the month? That’s right, member A! Even though his habits were not 100% perfect, maintaining a high-level (80% or higher) of consistency with habits will lead to great results. In fact, some of our members who have seen the greatest results practice the 80% rule.
The bottom line is, in order to reach your goals, building consistency with quality habits is essential. If your goal is to become fitter, and your current attendance is sporadic, the results will not be the same. Likewise, if your goal is to change your body composition, and your habits are inconsistent, it will show in your results.
Try this consistency challenge:
Set one fitness or nutrition goal this week, whether it is making it to the gym for five days or eating more vegetables. Put that on your calendar, write it on your bathroom mirror, put it on a sticky note, etc… Make sure it is posted somewhere that you will see each day. Write out each day of the week and give yourself a “consistency check” after every day you complete that habit. At the end of the week, review your checks and see how you did. The goal is to hit 80% consistency.
The chart below outlines some of the best everyday habits across all areas of life that are simple to implement yet have a huge impact when used consistently. Use these options to help you select a new habit to work on.
Stuck? Contact a Coach!
If you are not sure where to begin, the nutrition and fitness coaching staff at GSC are more than happy to help you assess your current goals, develop a plan, and set you on the right path to execute it with confidence.
Reach out to a coach today to get started!