Last Updated on December 23, 2022 by Kayla
Consistency creates stability, and consistency is the key to success in all areas of life.
Humans thrive on stability and structure. We crave automation because it’s predictable. We don’t have to expend as much energy when we know what to expect, which helps build motivation and momentum toward our goals.
Think about your journey toward sustainable lifestyle change. Whether it’s how you eat, saving for retirement, or practicing gratitude, consistency is the most important factor to success.
You get what you repeat, and one of the advantages of consistency is that it creates habits we can depend on. Leaning on these habits and routines, you’ll free up mental energy to reach your full potential in all aspects of life.
Consistency > Perfection
What gets in the way of consistency is overcommitting or setting unrealistic expectations. We vow to find and execute the “perfect” workout or meal plan and end up more discouraged than when we started.
When we give ourselves rigid rules, we quit the moment we fall short of perfect. Having a zero-tolerance for carbs, sweets, or alcohol is unrealistic, not to mention quite dreadful, so do yourself a favor and loosen the reigns.
Aim for consistency – not perfection.
Consistency is the key that helps establish desired behaviors (i.e., habits) and allows you to build momentum over time. Furthermore, emphasizing consistency over perfection helps avoid “all or nothing” thinking and allows you to recalibrate as necessary.
Allowing yourself a “margin of error” or “window of opportunity” enables you to experiment with what strategies work, and just as importantly, learn what doesn’t work when it comes to making change in your life.
Why consistency is important for weight loss
Consistency is important for weight loss because 80-90% of your progress is a result of your nutrition. It’s true you “can’t outrun a bad diet.” Anyone who’s relied on exercise to lose weight learns quickly how fast the weight creeps back on once they stop working out.
When it comes to healthy eating, one of the first strategies I introduce in my LIFe–Lose It Forever programs is the 80/20 principle. This concept encourages you to make 80% of food choices from my Foods to Favor list, and for the remaining 20%, no food or drink is off-limits.
Although it takes practice, the 80/20 rule is a favorite among LIFe members and helps them enjoy foods they love without feeling like they’ve totally “blown it.”
Making mostly healthy choices removes the pressure of following a plan to a “T” and eliminates guilt and shame for eating “off plan.”
Regardless of the habit you’re trying to develop, here are three tips to help foster consistency, so you can begin seeing results.
3 Ways to Improve Consistency
Building healthy habits is easier said than done. It takes time and repetition to develop a habit. This is why consistency is important, and I often tell my clients, “Persistence over perfection.”
To embrace the advantages of consistency and improve your habits, here are three tips to get started.
1. Don’t overreach
Set realistic goals that don’t stretch too far beyond your comfort zone. Think about Goldilocks and the three bears. Aim to set benchmarks that aren’t too easy or too hard; you want them just right.
Ideally, you’ll set goals just beyond your comfort zone. Something that challenges you yet leaves you feeling proud upon completion.
Move the needle a little further each time, and before you know it, you’ll take giant steps toward your health and weight loss goals.
Start small to win big. Consistency is the key.
2. Modify your environment
Don’t be a victim of your surroundings. Instead, rearrange your routines and environment to encourage healthy behaviors.
For example, if you want to limit how much you eat out, pack a lunch and leave your credit card at home. Want to eat fewer sweets? Remove the visual cue, and don’t leave them on the countertop. Put them out of reach and where you can’t see them. Out of sight, out of mind.
If your goal is to workout in the morning, prepare your gym clothes the night before. Just focusing on the habit of putting on your workout clothes versus the workout itself is helpful. Once you have the clothes on, you might as well workout, right?!
There are endless ways you can set yourself up for success and design your environment to align with your goals. Optimize your compliance and create consistency by making the healthy choice the easy choice! Simple is successful.
3. Plan for failure
Failure is NOT a bad thing. It’s a hard pill to swallow, yet one of the advantages of consistency is recognizing that failure provides an opportunity to learn and grow.
Whether it’s making a mistake at work or slipping up on your diet, screwing UP literally heightens your awareness of certain behaviors and allows you to explore what you can do differently next time.
And so, next time failure presents a learning opportunity, ask yourself the following questions:
- What led up to this decision?
- How can I plan ahead to prevent XYZ?
- What barriers do I anticipate next time it happens?
- How would it feel to overcome _______ in the future?
Making healthy lifestyle changes can be different than what you’re used to, but it doesn’t have to be hard!
Words from the Wise
“It’s not what we do once in awhile that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”– Tony Robbins
Anthony Jay Robbins, AKA Tony Robbins, is a self-made millionaire, self-help author, and motivational speaker. Tony doesn’t need an introduction, and if anyone knows how to succeed in life, it’s him.
Tony preaches consistency as one of the core principles of success. I’ll take his word for it; consistency is the key, consistency is important, and consistency means you’re trying.
There will always be an excuse to put yourself last and your health goals on hold. But, the reality is, it’s up to you. And you can start today by making small changes consistently over time.
Founder of LIFe – Lose It Forever
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