5 Reasons You Can’t Stay Consistent
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Usually when we find ourselves struggling with staying consistent, our approach is to add something – add another workout, add another meal prepping sesh on the calendar, add another to-do on the already never ending to-do list.
Sidenote: consistency is the #1 issue my new clients ask me about, so you’re NOT alone.
However, rather than adding more and MORE to your plate when you’re already struggling to stay consistent with what you’ve got, instead, try asking yourself one question:
What is making this (the behavior you’re struggling to stay consistent with) hard to do?
When you ask yourself, ‘what is making this hard to do?’ you can begin troubleshooting why you’re having a tough time with consistency in the first place rather than trying to pile on yet another thing.
Here are the top 5 things that usually come up when asking this question.
Not having the time to do something is by FAR the number one reason we have for skipping, not prioritizing, or neglecting our healthy habits all together.
Here’s some hard truth: we all have the same number of hours in a day.
I realize that’s not helpful, but my hope is this part is: your health may not always be priority #1 and that’s OKAY! Yep, a health coach just told you it’s okay if your health is not your #1 priority. However, I absolutely recommend it to stay in the top 3.
To help you stay more consistent, my friend Mary Hopper has a fantastic exercise that goes along with her book Lighten Up where you list out your priorities and then track your time throughout an average day to see how much time you’re spending on your priorities.
You may find that, like me, the time you spent did not reflect your priorities – an issue she helps remedy through her writing, blogs, and exercises. Only once you’re aware of the issue can you begin fixing the issue and stay consistent with your priorities.
By the end of the day you’re likely exhausted – you’ve done school drop off, an after school play date, helped with homework, made dinner, cleaned up after making dinner, and so on. And that list doesn’t even include YOUR day, that’s a brief list of what you did for your kids. (I know there’s TONS more)
So once the kids have gone to bed and you FINALLY have some time to yourself or with your man, nothing sounds better than snuggling up on the couch with a glass of wine and catching up on the season finale of Yellowstone (which was so, soooo good btw).
There’s no energy to get in a workout or get some reps in or go for a walk. You just want to zone out and veg out and do less. And you have every right!
But I’ll tell you this – when you can consistently add some form of movement throughout your day, you’ll find yourself with MORE energy. Not only does it give you an endorphin boost (so does Yellowstone!) but physical activity actually helps your body use energy more effectively and efficiently.
If you can get yourself over the energy slump enough to move your body, you’ll find in just a few short days and weeks that you no longer have that same energy slump. The long game is worth it, I promise, and then consistency will take care of itself – your energy will beget more energy!
Assuming you’re like most of my clients, you have a million +1 things to remember each day – everything from packing kids’ lunches to taking vitamins to setting up a sitter for Saturday’s date night.
So it’s not unusual that you honestly forget to get a workout in or go for that walk. There’s always something pressing that demands your attention, so unless it’s written on your forehead or in your calendar, there’s a good chance you’ll forget.
Enter one of the biggest consistency hacks there is: scheduling in your exercise.
Yep, put it in your calendar just like you would an important business meeting. AND, even though those pesky reminders get annoying, turn ON the reminders for them, too.
Even if you don’t use a digital calendar, you can put it in your smartphone as a reminder – whether it’s once a day or maybe you break it up into a few 10min walks. Either way, let tech help you remember rather than relying on your already strained memory.
It’s Too Big Of An Ask
Your life is crazy busy, so there’s just no way you can find an hour at the gym a few times per week, right?
But the great news is that you don’t have to.
The health industry has sold us a lie, making us think exercise doesn’t count unless it’s intense and there’s tons of sweat and it lasts at least an hour. It’s just not true.
If you’re thinking that working out consistently means you have to make it to the gym for a few hours per week, I’ve got great news – it most certainly doesn’t.
To stay more consistent, break it up into manageable chunks of time – whatever is manageable for you. Maybe it’s 5 minutes at a time (in which case, I’ve got you covered), or maybe it’s two 15 minute walks with the dog.
However you do it, remember it’s not all or nothing, there are no “rules” to moving your body … in fact, the only ‘rule’ I go by is that if you’re moving, it counts!
You Don’t Want To
Last on the list of what may be getting in the way of your consistency is that you just don’t want to do the thing. Maybe it’s meal planning, prepping, exercising, drinking more water, etc.
I’ve got even more good news for you – it’s okay!
There are tons of things in adult life that I don’t want to do, but I do anyway (like paying taxes).
Unlike taxes though, there are many ways to get healthy so you may not HAVE to do the thing you’re dreading.
Take drinking more water for example… maybe you just can’t choke down another sip. You NEED the bubbles and flavor that comes with other drinks. Enter flavored sparkling water. YES! It counts!
Or what about meal planning/prepping … maybe you hate the idea of planning an entire week of meals, it takes all the fun out of it. So instead, make a trip to the grocery store, grab a bunch of healthy(ish) ingredients and then treat each evening as an episode of ‘Chopped’ and see what you can come up with.
Even exercising can be a choose your own adventure… hate cardio? FINE! Do some yoga or some weight training. Or if you absolutely despise burpees (same!) then don’t do them! Exercise can, and in my opinion should be, enjoyable, otherwise we don’t want to do it.
There are so many ways to live a healthy lifestyle, so it doesn’t have to be a cookie cutter version you saw on Instagram. Find things you like, make it fun, and watch your consistency add up big time.
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