Stop Trying to Be Consistent

We always hear that in order to get/stay fit, we have to be “consistent.” But as surprising as it is to hear, striving for consistency may actually be counterproductive.

The dictionary defines consistency as “acting or done in the same way over time.”

We aim to be consistent with our exercise, we aim to be consistent hitting out Calorie goals, we aim to consistently get good sleep. It all makes sense but, reality check, it isn’t always realistic to expect that we’ll be able to stick to our plan the same way, for a long period of time.


Our lives are not set up for it.

Sure, if you’re at home, it can be easier to be consistent – assuming life doesn’t throw us any curveballs. But life is so good at throwing us curveballs, isn’t it?

Unexpected emergencies, crazy work schedules, a full social calendar – variety may be the spice of life, but it can wreak havoc on our health and fitness.

When we aim to be consistent, one little misstep can discourage us.

We set our expectations of ourselves so high that when things don’t go according to plan, it can be a major letdown. One bad day can create what I call the “Whatever” Effect and lead to us aborting our entire plan.

A shift in mindset and expectations can prevent this from happening.

Instead of aiming to be consistent (because bad days are going to happen), aim to be persistent. Persistence means continuing to do something despite difficulties or challenges.

Persistence is finding a way to fit in some exercise despite working later than expected, your left knee suddenly bothering you, or oversleeping from a late night.

Persistence is refocusing on your eating plan after a couple days of stress eating.

Persistence is about not giving up, despite the curveballs. Continuing with the baseball analogy –  even if you strike out, persistence is getting back to the plate when it’s your turn to bat.

Don’t expect to be able to do the same thing day in and day out.  Very few people reach their goals without missteps, lapses, temporarily falling off the wagon.

Focus on how to persist WHEN life makes sticking to your fitness goals difficult.

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