Just like one bad day of eating or one missed workout isn’t going to hurt you, one good day of eating or one great workout isn’t going to make the difference either.
If you are inconsistent, you aren’t going to achieve great results.
It’s as simple as that.
Success comes with consistency!
It doesn’t matter how “good” your diet was this past week, if you don’t keep it up.
Honestly, I would rather someone made small changes they could stick with long-term, than huge changes that only lasted a couple of weeks.
Because, even though the drastic changes will yield quicker changes and more instant gratification, they won’t yield long-term results.
Results comes from consistency.
Especially TRUE RESULTS.
Yea if you want to lose weight on the scale, you can really deprive yourself for a week and get “results.”
Yea your weight will go down, but you won’t really have changed your body composition or have improved your health.
Just like a couple of weeks of working out won’t really improve your strength or mobility. They may make you sore, but they won’t create LASTING CHANGE.
And while programing is an important piece of this, even the best laid plans and the best prepared programs won’t do you any good if you aren’t CONSISTENT.
But consistency is the hard part because life always wants to get in the way.
There will be hundreds of thousands of excuses you can come up with to slack on your program.
So you’ve got to find something that keeps you on track. That keeps you honest with yourself about whether or not you are actually truly following the program you set out to do.
I’ve found that ACCOUNTABILITY is key to CONSISTENCY.
Whether you hold yourself accountable by setting up a food log and writing down your workouts or by hiring a trainer and getting friends involved (or maybe even all of the above), you’ve got to find a way to hold yourself accountable.
So stop letting yourself off the hook because you did a few good days OR beating yourself up because you “slipped up” one day.
CONSISTENCY is key! And it is most easily achieved when we hold ourselves ACCOUNTABLE.
Happy Friday! Go out and work toward what you want today! Don’t wait till Monday!
Yesterday I mentioned that one of the main reasons why people don’t accomplish their goals, like their goal of being able to do a pull up, is because they don’t track their progress.
And most people know they should keep track. But they don’t.
They don’t track their progress because it takes energy and time. Of course, in the end, it really takes way less time to outline and track a program than it does to flounder around for months with no clear idea of how to reach your goal, but whatever…right?
Just keep floundering and not tracking. Just keep wondering why you haven’t hit your goal even though you’ve been working hard trying all these diets and spending long hours in the gym.
Really is spending a few minutes each day keeping a food log or recording weights and reps really that awful? Is it really that big a pain in the butt?
Is it really harder/more time-consuming/more frustrating than not reaching your goal?
And I’m not saying it isn’t annoying. Because guess what? It kind of is…but it is also probably the single best thing you can do to keep yourself moving forward toward your goal.
If you don’t track your progress, you won’t know what worked and what didn’t work. There are so many different workout variables out there you need to consider when creating a program (intensity, duration of workout, rest periods, type of exercises, number of exercises, reps, sets, weights, body parts worked, movement patterns worked…). And if you don’t track which types of each thing you used, how can you possibly know what helped your or hindered your progress?
You won’t know.
You won’t know if you get better results with shorter workouts. You won’t know whether or not 5 or 15 reps works better for you. You won’t know what helped you finally do that pull up…or what kept you from even getting close!
You also won’t know if you’ve gotten closer to your goal until you’ve hit it.
And if you don’t hit it soon enough, you may give up because you don’t FEEL like you’ve gotten any closer.
I mean how many times have you started on a goal only to give up because you’ve spent time working toward your goal only to feel like you haven’t gotten any closer?
Probably more often than you’d care to admit.
BUT if you’d tracked your workouts and diet and TRACKED YOUR PROGRESS, you would have concrete evidence showing that you are closer to your goal now than when you started even if you don’t necessarily FEEL closer because you aren’t there yet.
Often we get down on ourselves and FEEL like we haven’t made progress just because we aren’t exactly where we would want to be.
But when we’ve tracked our progress, we can remind ourselves of all our hard work and show ourselves all of the victories we’ve had no matter how small. And even those small victories can be enough to keep us motivated.
No matter how we FEEL we can’t argue with concrete progress. And even when we feel down, seeing those results, seeing that progress toward our goal, will keep us moving forward.
It is way easier to give up when we don’t see any forward momentum.
Whether or not you admit it…seeing even the smallest victory can be motivating.
Heck, even the victory of TRACKING can be motivating. You want to give yourself small things each day that you can easily ACCOMPLISH and keeping a food log or recording your numbers is just such a task.
Tracking, while we complain that it is hard and time-consuming, really isn’t. It truly is a “low barrier to entry” task that you can do in a matter of minutes. It is a small, easy task that you can do each day which gets you moving in the right direction.
When we ACCOMPLISH things, even small, easy tasks, we feel successful. And when we feel successful, we feel MOTIVATED to continue working hard toward our goals.
And the final, and probably MOST IMPORTANT REASON, why you should track your diet and exercise programs is because you don’t see yourself, your habits and your daily activities clearly and you don’t hold yourself accountable for what you are actually doing.
I’m sorry…but you don’t.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone tell me they are eating well only to retract their statement when they actually keep a food log.
They aren’t aware of how often they take “just one bite.” They aren’t aware of how often they DON’T actually have fruits or vegetables with their meals. They aren’t aware of how quickly “handfuls,” “bites,” “pieces” added up.
They aren’t aware.
Tracking makes us aware and makes us hold ourselves accountable.
It makes us aware of what works and what doesn’t. It makes us aware of our progress, even the smallest of victories. It makes us aware that we are doing things each day that move us closer and closer to success.
So if you’ve been struggling to reach your goals, if you’ve given up on goals more than you’d care to remember, maybe you should start tracking your progress with food and workout logs….
I haven’t posted a recipe in a while. Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing as much cooking as I had planned to since Ryan and I are staying with his very wonderful, generous and hospitable family until our lease starts.
So since I’m not always in control of cooking the dinners, there are always temptations around.
And unfortunately, I am human.
I don’t find it necessarily a sacrifice to forgo the flour tortillas or the bun on the burger, but boy do I have a hard time passing up guacamole and chips, homemade baked goods or frozen yogurt.
There are just certain trigger foods that you just can’t seem to ever resist.
And I’ve been indulging, in my opinion, way too often.
So yesterday Ryan and I made a pact to eat completely Primally this next week with no small indulgences.
Maybe this works for me because I’m competitive, but committing to eat well with someone else always seems to motivate me. I don’t want to cheat because I don’t want to let the other person down and because I don’t want to “lose” the bet.
By committing to eat well with Ryan, I’ve not only gained a support system to help me achieve my goals but I’ve also made myself RESPONSIBLE for being someone else’s support system. By eating well together, we have found a way to hold not only ourselves, but also each other, ACCOUNTABLE.
There are many ways you can hold yourself accountable.
Telling other people about your goals is one way.
BUT I’ve found that telling other people works even better if you can get them INVOLVED in helping you accomplish your goals.
When people are involved in helping you accomplish your goals, they are much more likely to stay on top of you to achieve them. Also, if you can get them to try to accomplish the same goals, you then have even more RESPONSIBILITY toward them.
For instance, with Ryan and I both working to eat perfectly Primal this week, I won’t want to eat badly because then he will know I failed AND because I don’t want to eat badly and tempt him to then cheat as well.
The accountability along with the added responsibility of helping him achieve his own goals keeps me on track to achieve mine.
So next time you attempt to achieve something that maybe you’ve failed at accomplishing before, get a friend or family member to work toward the same goal with you! Holding yourself accountable and making yourself responsible are key to achieving your goals!
Of course New Years resolutions are a hot topic right now. And everyone is giving advice about how best to achieve them.
In my opinion, the most important thing to develop when trying to achieve any goal is accountability.
Not only holding yourself accountable but also having other people to hold you to your goal.
When I first started on my fitness journey, I started a blog (not Man Bicep, but another blog…which now no longer exists). It had only one follower (Ryan), but the fact that it was public and that anyone could read it helped me remain dedicated to my goals. Having to keep a public log of my progress was enough to hold me accountable.
Also, sharing my goals with my family and friends helps. If other people know what you are doing, you are less likely to cheat on your diet or exercise plan because they are holding you accountable. You don’t want to disappoint them do you? No one ever wants to have people know they failed at something!
I’ve also run into the situation where friends and family try to be bad influences on you when they know you are on a diet. I take it as a challenge. I just think, “HA! Just watch me stick to my goals!” 🙂
And now I’ve also found that hanging a calendar on the refrigerator mapping out my goals helps me stick to them. It is a way for me to hold myself accountable. I don’t want to deviate from what that calendar says. So anytime I go to the fridge and think, “What’s just one little piece of cheese!?” I see that calendar telling me that it isn’t on my diet for today. That stops me.
That one little piece of cheese isn’t worth the shame and guilt I would feel for cheating on my diet.
If you find you have trouble holding yourself accountable, try making your goals more public. And hang reminders of your goals in places where you need the most encouragement!