“If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.”
I’m positive my clients and regular readers would agree my slogan should be, “Consistency is key!” I preach it and apply this principle to all areas of life; nutrition, exercise, career and relationships.
Habits – good or bad – are what shape our lives, and the best way to build a habit is with – you guessed it – consistency. You are what you consistently do, and however often “consistent” is to you particularly, is less important than the fact that you always come back to it.
Here is what consistency looks like in the staple areas of your life:
How to become more consistent in your daily life
A quote that I keep in the back of my mind goes, “eating one salad won’t make you skinny, eating one burger won’t make you fat”. Your body reflects the foods you eat consistently.
Instead of following a specific diet – whether it be delivered meals, a cleanse, a fad meal plan or program – I urge you to focus on consistently choosing the better food option. When you go “on” a diet, you view it as something you will go “off” when you get to whatever your goal is; a cleanse, a jeans size, an event, etc.
Eating clean for a month will change your body in positive ways, but if you cannot consistently eat that way for life, you’ll find yourself back to old habits. Finding a middle ground, a healthy style of eating that you can consistently do instead of yo-yoing between fads, is key for a lifetime of health.
Training to reach a certain goal can be fun – a race, a crossfit competition, a workplace challenge – but once that goal is over, it is consistent exercise that will keep you fit. (I use “fit” as in having general fitness, not necessarily an athlete’s level of fitness).
Exercise that comfortably fits into your lifestyle – as opposed to forcing its way into every time slot and uses every ounce of willpower – is exercise that will be a consistent element of your lifestyle. If your current routine leaves you wondering how much longer you’ll have to keep it up, it’s too much. For a fit and healthy life, it’s much better to consistently exercise 2-3 days a week into your 80s as opposed to 6 days a week for the next 2 years.
Making exercise a constant in your life has so many more benefits than your physical appearance; it’s good for your heart, bones, mood, disease prevention, etc.
By having consistency in your career, I’m not talking about simply going into work everyday (although I highly recommend that!), I’m talking about being consistent in your efforts.
My overarching goal with my blog, is to consistently give women knowledgeable, needed and practical information on exercise, nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. If I were to post randomly and let weeks and months go by without actively posting, my audience will leave because they cannot count on it, or me. I consistently post a minimum of once a week and if I’m going on vacation, I write beforehand and schedule it. This is what I am here for, and I show up.
Being consistent in your career gains trust. When you consistently deliver a level of work or service, coworkers, managers, and/or clients know they can depend on you. When people depend on and trust you, you’re respected. Win-Win-Win!
We all have that group of friends from school that we are still friends with. We also have many friends – whom we may have been very close to years ago – but we haven’t thought about in decades. The difference is consistently keeping in touch (K.I.T for all those cool yearbook signers!).
With the power of social media, it’s insanely easy to reach out to friends and family, but actually being consistent and taking that action is crucial.
Ever since high school, my girlfriends and I call each other on our birthdays. This started before Facebook and Instagram and the like existed, and I am grateful for this consistent touchpoint. Even if I haven’t seen them within that year – we’re scattered about the country now – I always make that call and I expect, and receive, a call from all of them when I’m the one celebrating.
Being consistent in your relationships requires a little effort, but is most rewarding. I’ve found, keeping true to those, “we should grab a coffee!” utterances is a huge help in keeping up with friends. If I say, “we should go see a movie sometime”, or, “a double date would be fun!”, I send an email in the next few days suggesting a time or date. It doesn’t take much time, but keeps friendships strong. It’s also easier to make a habit because we leave one friend-date with the next one in the works.
Family relationships are a little different. We’re bonded to our family members in a certain way for life, and let the nature of holidays, reunions and other events be our constant. Recently, my family started something new and I recommend it: a Facebook group. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins – and recently – my grandma, has a closed facebook group where we post little updates and photos. It’s a place we can share a glimpse into our everyday lives that don’t warrant a call or email, but are fun for all to see.
It’s easy to get caught up in the nitty gritty details of the moment, and forget the big picture. Being consistent in your values and actions builds habits and keeps you grounded in who you are, and how you aim to be seen by others. No matter how small your actions, keep with them and you’ll get to where you need to be.