A reader commented on my Consistency post asking if I had any suggestions for becoming more consistent. I do, although I can’t say I always follow my own advice.
1. First and foremost, like I said in the original post, there are no secrets. You just have to do it. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT. That has actually become my mantra. Any time I start wondering if I want to or feel like doing ______, I tell myself to stop thinking and get busy DOING.
2. Make time. The petty things of life (especially when you are a mother) can and will take up every single spare second if you let them. You need to MAKE time. If you are trying to make time in the afternoons or evenings for working out, and you keep running out of time, try the morning. If you can’t get yourself going in the morning for a run or you have other things to do then, try the afternoons (my preferred time for a workout) or evenings.
3. Remove your options. This goes back to “You just have to do it.” Something I have been most consistent in is eating three healthy meals every day. I did this by removing my options. Almost every single day, I eat a (usually green) smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and for dinner I plan meals based on the days of the week (every Friday I make Mexican food, every Thursday is stir fry or curry with rice, etc.). My salads have all different things on them-beans, veggies, fruit, so it’s not like I’m eating the same thing every day, but it always takes the form of something on top of raw greens.
4. Have a backup plan. When I run out of greens or for some other reason can’t have a salad, I have a backup plan. Either I have leftover soup or if I’m running out the door for something, I make a smoothie to take with me. What will you do if you have somewhere to be in the afternoon and can’t make your run? Can you use your exercise bike or mini trampoline while dinner is cooking? Will you run first thing in the morning? Can you jump rope instead? You need a placeholder for your habit so it doesn’t slip away from you on days when it’s not possible to complete your routine.
5. Be prepared. Repack your gym bag as soon as you get home from the gym. Prep your work area so you are ready to go in the morning. Have your socks and shoes and workout clothes clean and available. Keep your fridge stocked with fruits and vegetables (and your pantry empty of chips, crackers, and sweets).
What are your tips for being consistent?