I can’t tell you how many times I have heard or read the phrase, “consistency is key”. I will also tell you that I used to just roll my eyes because who has the time or the energy to consistently do anything?? Then, one day, I’m walking through the gym and this coach stops me, looks me dead in the eye, and says “consistency is key”, and just walks away. That single moment completely changed my outlook on everything. Ev-er-y-thing.
I should probably give a little back story because that may sound pretty small and insignificant to some. At the time of this happening I had been going to this gym for almost a year. This gym is one of those old school power lifting gyms with the big hulk-like men who grunt and growl while lifting insanely large weights and have been going there since the 80’s. It is so well known, in fact, that when telling an old co-worker (who was also at one time a power lifter) where I was lifting his eyes got big and mentioned something about “lifting with the big dogs”. I just shrugged my shoulders as I was completely oblivious and told him I just lifted there because my fiance lifted there. I was lifting 3-4 days a week consistently and was focusing on weight training, prowler work, and kettle bell circuits. I saw this particular coach nearly every day I was there. He trained all types of athletic looking people. He never said hello, he rarely smiled, and he was focused solely on his client. So, when he stopped me one day after my workout and said those three little words, “consistency is key”, I felt like I had made an impression. Someone had taken notice. Someone, who I did not know at all, was acknowledging that I had been putting in the work and was seeing the results. At this point my body composition had changed pretty significantly. I had lost a little weight, gained some muscle, and was walking a little taller. My confidence was higher, my posture had improved, I could look people in the eye when passing, and I wasn’t afraid to say hello to people. When he stopped me, I realized that I had, in a way, earned my spot in that gym. That someone had taken notice that I had been showing up and hadn’t quit. I had put in the work and proven that I could do it.
I’ve come to learn though, that consistency is key in so many more aspects in life than just the work you’re putting in at the gym. You must be consistent in your food choices, sleep habits, mental habits, and everything in between if you want to see any kind of improvement. I used to indulge in a weekly “treat meal” until I realized that maybe that one meal really was hindering my progress. It wasn’t until I had to completely cut out gluten that I realized maybe I could do without that one weekly treat meal and instead have it once a month. Or, maybe indulging in a steak and baked potato night-in was just as awesome as going out for tacos or ice cream. …Who am I kidding? Nothing beats ice cream. But my point is, by consistently choosing better options I started seeing a bigger change in my energy levels, weight loss goals, and even my happiness.
I then started applying this “consistency is key” to my sleep habits. I am not a happy camper if I’m not in bed and asleep by 9 (earlier if I can get away with it). When you wake up at 5 am it’s just necessary. Sleep is such a critical component to your health, it is not something that should be missed or abused (I know this is going to bite me in the ass in the next couple of years when we have kids….but do the best you can!). I’ve noticed a significant change in my mood and energy levels since making sleep a priority. And because I’ve been able to stay on track and be so consistent with my sleep and diet habits my mental health has also improved. I’m happier, more energetic, my stress levels are lower, I find it easier to brush off the annoyances and find the positives, and my overall outlook has become more positive and less negative. For the first time in a really long time I feel like things are falling into place and I truly believe it is attributed to the work and effort that I’ve consistently put into so many aspects of my life.
You may not see the effects in the first week or even month but give it some time and be patient and I guarantee you’ll see a massive difference. “Consistency is key” has become my personal motto. It sounds super cliche but it has become something that I tell myself everyday. Life isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon. And when you focus on the long-term it makes those day-to-day choices a little easier. I’m not saying don’t have any fun. Just have your fun and get back to your routine. Your future self will thank you, I promise!