As we get ready to embark on our 8-Week Challenge, I'm going to be writing about some of the lessons I've learned from being a Hamboody Strong trainer for almost a full year! I'm hoping the insights I share here will help all achieve success with not only their 8-Week Challenge but their overall lifelong Fitness Journey.
Be Consistent ... Not Perfect!
In today's topic I'm going to discuss the importance of striving for consistency ... and not perfection. I have many different personality types as clients, and many different personality types have achieved success, and many different personality types have struggled. The one common factor that I have observed that can accurately predict success or struggling for clients is consistency. Clients who consistently show up even just 2 or 3 times per week, every week, achieve much higher rates of success than clients who show up 5 days per week for 2 weeks ... and then don't show again for 3 or 4 weeks.
How many of you can relate to the following? You've decided "it's time!" to start working towards your fitness goals, you write up a strenuous schedule of training, you join a gym, or you sign up for a bootcamp, you come up with a meal plan, and maybe even do a ton of food prep on a Sunday afternoon, all to have your alarm go off on Monday and your motivation is gone and you hit snooze and bail out on day one. OR, maybe you make it through a day or two according to your plan, but by midweek you just can't maintain it and throw in the towel? I know I've done this - many, many, MANY times. I was the queen of putting together amazing training plans for myself, and the super mega queen of not executing them. I was too focused on being what I felt would be the perfect athlete with the perfect training plan, that I forgot about the importance of simply being consistent (and simultaneously sucked the fun out of the process).
Now imagine if, instead of trying to be it all from day one, we had simply said "it's time!" and then instead of creating a bananas training plan for ourselves that Michael Phelps would likely even cringe at, we just vowed to remain consistent and we vowed to integrate health & wellness into our lives in a way that was maintainable. What would happen if, at least for the first few weeks of working out, we simply vowed to "make 3 classes per week" and / or "eat 5 wholesome dinners" this week. We would be allowing ourselves some room to keep those old, comfortable (for now) lifestyle vices in place, while we slowly, and maintainably, transitioned to a new, healthier lifestyle. Instead of going from eating Doritos on the couch to, the next day, a 3 hour heavy lifting training sesh and then trying to be satiated by eating 2 boiled chicken breasts with a side of air ... we would allow ourselves to transition in a way that wasn't so shocking and exhausting to both our body and our psyche. Our bodies can take a lot - but our minds - not so much (yet) - and we ultimately need our minds to push our bodies. Willpower is a limited resource, and if you try to tap it too fast - you'll quickly burnout - and then that 8 week training plan you had hoped for turns into a 3 day training plan. No good.
If there are major lifestyle changes you wish to make during this 8-Week Challenge, let's keep those on the back burner for the first couple of weeks and just focus on consistently showing up to workouts as often as your schedule will allow, consistently perhaps working some short walks / runs into your work / home life and consistently (but not perfectly) attempting to address your nutritional needs. Remember y'all, a healthy lifestyle is supposed to be FUN and satisfying. I promise you, once you start feeling the improvements that being consistently more active has on your body, you WILL feel the fun and motivation to do more and that's when we'll start working on more demanding goals (but they won't feel as demanding by then - see what's going on here!). But trying to go "all in" on day one, almost as punishment for the weeks, months or even years prior when you haven't been doing as much as you could have, is NOT the path to success. It's the path to being back on that couch in less than a week. Be KIND to yourself. Commit to yourself to be consistent ... but not perfect. As Voltaire coined it "perfect is the enemy of good".